YouTube EP8: Thursday Night Freakout- The Clown Motel with TheNorm
Tonopah & the early days
The story goes that a man named Jim Butler accidentally stumbled upon silver-rich ore in Tonopah after throwing a stone at a donkey in frustration and noticing it was unusually heavy!
Butler originally leased out his claims and collected royalties. Multiple mining companies were set up including the Belmont Mining Company founded in 1902. Tonopah grew into a thriving mining community.
Tonopah Cemetery built
The famous cemetery next door to The Clown Motel was founded in 1901 but was closed just 10 years later.
Among those buried buried are victims of the 1905 “Tonopah Plague” as well as the 1911 Belmont Mine Fire and Sheriff Thomas Logan who was shot while trying to save others in a local brothel. Among others there’s also George ‘Devil’ Davis, the first African American man in Tonopah. He was murdered by his wife who shot him in the back, although served a prison sentence of only one year due to the extensive abuse he’d inflicted upon her.
Also among the graves is Bina Verrault of New York who made national headlines after her and a friend made a pact to become wealthy widows and collected clothes & jewelry to today’s value of over $2.5 million from men they’d seduced. Bina went on the run and ended up in Tonopah where she died of alcoholism.
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