Frank "Shorty" Harris and Ernest L. Cross discovered gold in this area in early August of 1904. Appearing on the USGS maps as "Original," for "Original Bullfrog Mine," Paher says the collection of tents began life as "Orion." That morphed into "Amargosa City." When some strikes were made about 3 miles east, "Bonanza" appeared. in 1905 Rhyolite was platted, and Amargosa City moved below that town and Bullfrog came into being. Bonanza moved to Rhyolite. Confused? Us too.
Bullfrog secured its own water line , bank, post office, telephones, hotels-- it even had a chamber of commerce. But as Rhyolite prospered, Bullfrog couldn't hang on, and by 1909 the entire district was circling the drain and Bullfrog went with it.
The latest strike to cause a rush from Tonopah was made at Bullfrog, as it is now called, in Amargoza valley, a little east oof south of the Grapevine range, about seventy miles southeast of Goldfield. The discovery was made by George Cross and Shorty Harris, with whom are interested Milton Detch and W.D. Frey of Goldfield. J. McQuillan bought out Harris at once and a stampede from Goldfield set in. Many claims were staked and a townsite was also staked by Dr. L.E. Benson of Tonopah.
-Tonopah Bonanza, September 10, 1904
Well, I guess some people weren't all that impressed.
THE TRUTH AND BULLFROG MINES
Wild Rumors Which Started Rush for Desolate Region
Reports which have been coming in of rich strikes in the Bullfrog District which lies 100 miles by trail south of Goldfield, on the southwestern neck of the Ralston desert, have been greatly overestimated. These reports have been the means of causing a stampede of miners, which may end seriously and cost several lives. The country surrounding this territory is one of the most desolate to be found in the entire West. In thsi region there is no vegetation, while water is extremely scares, and that obtainable is impregnated with alkalai borax and mineral to such an extent as to be unpalatable for man and will hardly be drank by animals except when suffering from extreme thirst. The mineral deposits of which so much has been said are entirely on the surface, and are the results of blowouts which have left mineral scattered in small pockets of no great value. Another repot which has had wide publicity is that a townsite has been located and the sale of building lots has commenced. This is a fabrication pure and unadulterated, as o townsite exists, and no building or improvements has been started. There is not a stick of lumber within nearly 100 miles of the spot. As Bullfrog is nearly forty miles from the nearest ranch and nearly 100 miles by trail from supplies, the matter of subsistance is one which confronts every prospector and miner that enters this desolate region. All food, water, and forage must be packed and starvation and thirst stares everyone in the face unless adaquate supplies are carried in.
-Reno Gazette Journal, October 10, 1904
I'm assuming not too many people read that article.
The amount of arrivals are on an average of from 75 to 100 per day. They stay a day or two in Tonopah and then proceed to Goldfield, where they rest up and from there on down to the new Bullfrog district, and reports from there are most excellent. Builds are being erected in that new district as fast as they were when Goldfield was discovered, and we would not at all be surprised were it to turn out as big as its sister camps.
-Tonopah Bonanza, November 5, 1904
Was anyone shocked to hear this man's opinion?
Humboldt Gates, president of the Bullfrog Townsite, Water, and Ice Co., and who is interested in several choice properties in the Bullfrog District, came up from the south tuesday and left for Manhattan Thursday morning. Mr. Gates says Bullfrog is the greatest mineralized section of the globe and its future will be glorious.
-Tonopah Bonanza, Jannuary 6, 1906
I wonder what their school mascot was?
BULLFROG WILL HAVE NEW SCHOOLHOUSE
Senator Stewart, William Parker, and T.M. Gronen, trustees for the Bullfrog-Rhyolite school district, yesterday formally selected a location for the school, and it is understood that construction work will commence at once upon the house. They have been around with paper and quite a fund has already been raised by subscription. The school house site is on the brow of the hill between this town and Rhyolite, just west of McDonald's corral. The lumber will be secured "on time," and the carpenters will put the building up for $400 [$11,285 in 2018 dollars], $50 of which they will donate.
-Reno Gazette Journal, January 18, 1906
As usual, even as things were drawing to a close they were still pushing it.
"There is no end of work going on in the Bullfrog District," said Bert L. Smith, banker, promoter, and mine owner, who arrived yesterday from Rhyolite. "The mill of the Montgomery Shoshone is grinding out oresteadily, and the mills of the Gold Bar and the Homestake are in the process of construction."
-Tonapah Daily Bonanza, February 5, 1908
Bullfrog was already gasping for air at this point
An action to foreclose on the first mortgage gold bonds of the Homestake King Bullfrog Mining and Milling Company of Bullfrog, covering the assests of the corporation who have failed to meet the interest and principal to the bondholders of the company was heard before Judge Averill in the district court at Tonopah.
-The Daily Appeal, February 3, 1910
No use pretending now....
FIGURES TELL OLD CAMP'S FINISH
Railroads Built To Take Care Of Rhyolite and Bullfrog's Traffic In Boom Days Now Serve Deserted Hamlets
Mines Hoped For Never Found So Cities of 15,000 Became Villages of 150 and Station of Amargosa Is No More
The rise and fall of Rhyolite, the Bullfrog District, Beatty, and Amargosa, which blossomed at the time of the Goldfield boom in 1907, but began to fade within a year, was told in figures of freight receipts and tonnage this morning in the court room of Judge Moran, where Henry Thurtell, examiner for the interstate commerce commission, is taking testimony in the cases involving rates on commodities used by smelting and milling companies in these sections.
Struggle For Existence
It has been a hard struggle for existence during the last few years, officials say,but conditions are improving and the carriers are now just about able to make both ends meet. The railroads are offering testimony to show that their revenues have been reduced as a result of orders of the state revenue commission. The Las Vegas & Tonopah and the Bullfrog-Goldfield Railroads,which effected a consolidation only a few months ago, gave, through testimony of officials and by exhibits, a detailed story of the roads that were constructed to handle the business of three thriving communities of from 5,000 to 15,000 population, told of the business handled during the early days of Beatty, Rhyolite, and Amargosa, when freight receipts amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars and shipments of freight were reckoned in the thousands of tons. These roads today, consolidated, serve the same three towns, but Beatty has a population of approximately 150 people, Rhyolite has less than 100 souls, and Amargosa is a deserted station.How the receipts declined from 1909 until 1912, when they reached so low a level that it was impossible to guarantee the running of trains at all, because absolute bedrock had been reached, was another feature brought out by the testimony at this morning's hearing.
-Reno Gazette Journal, February 10, 1915