Belleville, Nevada

May 14, 2020

 

There isn't much left of Belleville, the town where steam driven hammers once ground ore from the Northern Belle Mine. From wind swept dust this temporary town was born of the ages old quest for fortunes of silver and possibly gold. Once extraction had been completed and shipments of metal fulfilled, once the water had run dry and operations moved for convenience, Belleville, known for it's brawling and corruption, lost it's usefulness.

The oxen were whipped and the wagons turned round the bend, leaving behind bits of rope and wire, cloth and cut stone laying alienated. The locomotive whistle of the Carson Colorado railroad blew one final time, then departing joined the wind. Remnants of the railroad exist only as a grade cut through sagebrush terrain, marked along the route by stone retaining walls exposed here and again in deep Nevada valleys.

Pylons which formed the trestle are caught in a century long explosion, a slow motion bursting held fast by stony ground. These violent, silent curiosities stand over mud floored hollows where dwellings and shops were carved in to the land.

Belleville existed too early in time to have left behind a dollar store or a big box super location, the town itself fulfilled the role of disposable. The town itself gives just a glimpse to the importance of the metal ore, of the back breaking work which built a monument of despoil.

 The hubris to build a new empire set aside once the true goal was obtained. Not for humanity, not for civilization, but for the riches, and now that the land is depleted of ore, the towering construct lays abandoned and forgotten, to be reclaimed by the sand, the sun and the wind.

 

 

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