Following a brief visit to this wondrous Courthouse back on September 21st of this year, we were finally able to get the gang all together and revisit Belmont on November 10th. It's quite a drive from Vegas, about 5 hours, including brief breaks in Beatty and Tonopah. Our stop in Tonopah is for gas and anything else that we may need as Belmont has no services of any kind...not even electricity! That's right. Those that reside here (a total of about 11 full-time residents) who rely completely on solar energy. Tonopah is about a 45-minute drive from Belmont and pretty much the closest city with any full-time services. If you should visit Belmont...which we highly recommend...make sure to have plenty of gas, water and food with you. And don't plan on any cell service, cable TV, wi-fi or most any other modern-day convenience. Just a note, there are modern restroom facilities available. But if you want to get far...far away, (as the Belmont Inn & Saloon taunt), then Belmont is for you.
During the 1870s it was known as a major mining boomtown producing silver, and was rumored to have a population of 15,000. Like many towns which are now ghost towns, this one lasted for only a short time.
Windows were broken and removed leaving the interior exposed to the harsh elements. The jail cells were torn out and used in Gabbs, Nevada, only to be returned in 1991 and placed outside the brick jail structure. Over time a deteriorating roof caused water leakage and structural damage. Most of the interior contents or architectural elements have disappeared including furniture, heating stoves, hardware, ornate wood trim, flooring, and the like.
On June 13, 1972 the town of Belmont was placed on the National Register of Historical Places. The courthouse was recognized as a part of this historic district. The two story red brick building was transferred to the Nevada Division of State Parks, State of Nevada on August 20, 1974. A preservation effort was undertaken in 1975 to restore and stabilize the courthouse. At that time a metal roof was replaced, stairs were braced, exterior wood was painted, faulty and weak structural systems were corrected and the cupola was restored. Plastic sheeting was installed on all windows as protection from inclement weather. A seismic retrofit was completed in 2007. Late in 2011 the roof was temporarily sealed in preparation for winter.
During our first visit in September, Michele and I (Mike) did a thorough walk-through and a smaller investigation, as we were only two. We happen to be there the night of the fall equinox, which we believe to have helped with energy for spirits to communicate with us. Keep in mind, there is zero electricity running in this area, so the spirits really have nothing to help them draw energy from. As a note, the Courthouse, standing since the mid-19th Century, has never had any electrical wiring of any kind. This is to the best of our knowledge from research and talks with Rick.
While we did have some activity that first evening, there was some additional activity the next day. Michele had gone from our cabin back up to the Courthouse to wrap up some of the gear still out from the previous evening's investigation. As she was wrapping some cables, she heard distinct boot steps, like those of cowboy boots, from overhead. She was the only person there, or so she thought. She called out, "Hello", yet there was no response. She thought maybe one of our local folk had come in while she was in an adjacent room, and gone upstairs.
Michele headed upstairs. She found no one.
Well, the names didn't match (we were looking for a Marie or Maria), but the newspaper was from September 22, 1955. Wow. And today was September 22nd, 2013. Coincidence? Hmmm...
So, we packed our things and said our goodbyes, knowing we needed to return very soon. And soon it would be...November 10th...Veteran's Day.
We loaded up the truck...packed it full with everything we could think of...for our return to Belmont on this crisp November morning in Las Vegas. All the arrangements were made and we headed out for the 5-hour trek to Belmont. This time Pete and another friend joined Michele and Mike for the trip. We brought every piece of gear we could lay our hands on, as well as some new pieces that we had gotten to augment our investigation.
Michele had felt on the previous visit that there was little to no energy available in Belmont, especially the Courthouse, that the spirits could use. We brought along not only a generator for our own electricity but hopes that this would give the spirits some energy as well. Another piece of new gear we added was an EMF pump. This unit generates low-frequency EMF...ideal for spirits to draw energy from.
We are looking for old photos and papers related as to how the courthouse looked in its early years. Anyone who might have interior pictures or descriptions of the courthouse that might show how it was furnished would be greatly appreciated.
Anyone interested in making a monetary donation or contributing to the preservation of this fine example of Italiante style architecture may do so by contacting Friends of the Belmont Courthouse.
We here at DVP are also dedicated to preserving and restoring all these magnificent old buildings and towns that are dotted across the landscape of Central Nevada. We have taken on a great fondness for the people and town of Belmont. They continue their journey to completely restore this courthouse. Please visit their website at http://belmontcourthouse.org/ and see if you can help.