This abandoned highway roadside ghost town in Esmeralda County, Nevada was built on coal and destroyed by gas.
Coaldale, NV developed in the 1880s after 1,200 acres of semi-bituminous coal belts were discovered in the nearby Silver Peak Range.
While never a thriving town, it did at one time support a small population of around 50 residents and included a market, general store, railroad depot, post office, gas station, hotel and small residential district.
Coaldale’s decline began nearly 70 years ago after the nearby coal mines proved to be unprofitable.
In 1947, the town’s railroad depot was shuttered after the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad went out of business due to waning gold and silver operations in Central Nevada.
Located 30 miles west of Tonopah NV, about a mile before the junction of where Highway 95 and Route 6 intersect, the small population of Coaldale subsisted over the next 46 years on the proceeds of the remaining businesses that provided roadside services to passing motorists.
The final blow came in 1993, after the EPA found that the town’s small service station was leaking gasoline into the ground. Unable to afford the $150,000-$200,000 to fix the problem and upgrade their tanks, the station quickly went out of business.
Soon, the restaurant and motel also closed, leaving behind the ghost town that stands today.
Similar to the abandoned buildings that remain at nearby Montgomery Pass, most of the structures still standing at Coaldale have been ravaged by vandals and looters.
Two of its dozen-or-so mid-century buildings were heavily damaged by a fire set by arsonists in 2008.
In 2014, the 40-acre township was put on the market for $70,000.
The listing stated that the property consisted of a 12-room motel, casino-bar-restaurant, general store, gas station, garage, diesel generator building, laundry, bath house and trailer park. Also included was the Coaldale Airport, which consists of a 3,050-foot airstrip. At one time, the airfield held the official designations “KOAL” by the International Civil Aviation Organization and “OAL” by the International Air Transport Association. Both designations have been suspended pending the field’s general improvement to meet minimum national and international standards.
Thankfully the annual county property taxes for the township were only $194.77, because it would’ve taken everything else the buyer had just to get it up to code.
The new owner would’ve also became the township’s marshal-constable, fire chief, town board chairman and airport manager.
It’s the end of the world as we know it / It’s the end of the world as we know it / It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.
The American dream…shattered.
I heard that there may have been some crazy squatters living in some of the buildings in the past, so I kept my distance.
Just as I was about to leave, a rough looking bearded dude came out of one of the buildings. Was he one of the crazy squatters or part of the armed patrols? I didn’t stick around to find out.