Select Traveler

NOV-DEC 2016

Select Traveler

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 65 of 79

2 0 1 7 T A P T R A V E L G U I D E 66 on the main level, the bedrooms upstairs and the Underground Railroad Learning Station on the lower level. Because historians "don't know exactly where they hid [f leeing slaves], we created an area in the base- ment root cellar to give visitors an idea," Reuter said. BELMONT GHOST TOWN BELMONT, NEVADA The remote town of Belmont, Nevada, doesn't have power; it barely has cell service. But it does have people, about a dozen residents. And those residents welcome visitors to the ghost town to see the ruins of collapsed buildings, to gaze upon the remains of partially standing structures and to tour the inside of the Belmont Courthouse, which is being restored. "There were always people in Belmont — maybe not a lot — but it never really was completely a ghost town," said Donna Motis, president of Friends of the Belmont Courthouse, which was established in 2011 to preserve and restore the building. Belmont is the classic tale of a boom-and-bust mining town that sprang up after a rich silver ore deposit was discovered in October 1875. Only 25 years later, Belmont's silver boom was winding down, and people were drifting away. Nearly 100 years later, in 1972, the entire town, including the 1876 courthouse, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse has a new roof and new windows to make it weather tight. Regular tours are available in the summer, or groups can arrange for private tours, Motis said. Inside the brick building is a veritable archive of history — on the walls. After the county seat moved to Tonopah, the nearest "big" city 55 miles away, in 1905, the courthouse remained unlocked, and people wrote on the walls. "There's a lot of history in there just from the names and dates written on the walls," Motis said. Groups can also follow a brochure and plaques for a self-guided walking tour. Some buildings are still partially standing, among them the George Ernst house and the old schoolhouse. The Philadelphia Building, which once housed offices for the mine, the mill and the newspaper, still stands and is now a private residence. After wander- ing around town, visitors can grab a drink at Dirty Dick's Saloon or browse one of three gift shops. FORD'S THEATRE WASHINGTON Standing in the spot where President Abraham Lincoln was shot on the night of April 14, 1865, means you're standing in the very place where history pivoted. But Ford's Theatre also allows visitors to walk in the steps of history through the tour History on Foot — Investigation: Detective McDevitt. During the walking tour, each person takes on the role of a deputy while a costumed actor plays the role of detective James McDevitt, who was on duty the night Lincoln was shot. The guide leads the group from the theater to the White House, past eight major sites along the way. He narrates the tour based on "original witness accounts of what happened that night," including information from McDevitt, who was on duty about half a block away when the shooting occurred, said group sales manager Josh Feldman. Groups can visit the historic theater, as well as the Center for Education and Leadership located across the street and adjacent to the Peterson House, where Lincoln died on the morning of April 15, 363 days a year. The Peterson House is also open for tours. Groups can also enjoy a ranger talk or a performance in Ford's Theatre. During the spring and early summer, visitors can watch the one-act play called "One Destiny," a name derived from the phrase "One Country, One Destiny" that was embroidered in the lining of Lincoln's overcoat. Although it's a historic site, Ford's Theatre is still a working perform- ing arts center with "a really exciting season that's underway," Feldman said. Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is onstage every holiday season. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf " will run January 21 through February 19, and the musical "Ragtime" will open March 10. FREEDOM TRAIL BOSTON It's only 2.5 miles long, but the Freedom Trail in Boston "is an experience of 250 years," said Suzanne Taylor, executive director of the Freedom Trail Foundation. The trail leads visitors to 16 country-defin- ing sites, including Boston Common, the Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House. THE KELT ON HOUSE IN COLUMBUS Courtesy Kelton House Museum By Sydney Martinez, courtesy Travel Nevada NE VADA'S BELMONT COUR THOUSE

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Select Traveler - NOV-DEC 2016