Beatty, Nevada

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Beatty (pronounced BAY-dee) is a census-designated place (CDP) along the Amargosa River in Nye County in the U.S. state of Nevada. U.S. Route 95 runs through the CDP, which lies between Tonopah, about 90 miles (140 km) to the north, and Las Vegas, about 120 miles (190 km) to the southeast. State Route 374 connects Beatty to Death Valley National Park, about 8 miles (13 km) to the west. The population was 1,154 at the 2000 census.

Before the arrival of non-indigenous people in the 19th century, the region was home to groups of Western Shoshone. Established in 1905, the community was named after Montillus (Montillion) Murray "Old Man" Beatty, who settled on a ranch in the Oasis Valley in 1896 and became Beatty's first postmaster. With the arrival of the Las Vegas and Tonopah Railroad in 1905, the CDP became a railway center for the Bullfrog Mining District, including mining towns such as nearby Rhyolite.[2] Starting in the 1940s, Nellis Air Force Base and other federal installations contributed to the town's economy as did tourism related to Death Valley National Park and the rise of Las Vegas as an entertainment center.

Beatty is home to the Beatty Museum and Historical Society and to businesses catering to tourist travel. The ghost town of Rhyolite and the Goldwell Open Air Museum (a sculpture park), are both about 4 miles (6 km) to the west, and Yucca Mountain and the Nevada Test Site are about 18 miles (29 km) to the east.



Before the arrival of non-indigenous explorers, prospectors, and settlers, Western Shoshone in the Beatty area hunted game and gathered wild plants in the region. It is estimated that the 19th-century population density of the Indians near Beatty was one person per 44 square miles (110 km2). By the middle of the century, European diseases had greatly reduced the Indian population, and incursions by newcomers had disrupted the native traditions. In about 1875, the Shoshone had six camps, with a total population of 29, along the Amargosa River near Beatty. Some of the survivors and their descendants continued to live in or near Beatty, while others moved to reservations at Walker Lake, Reese River, Duckwater, or elsewhere.[3]

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