Riepetown Nevada History and Photos

RIEPETOWN - (1907)
(REIPETOWN - this incorrect spelling of the name is often seen)
SR 44, 3 miles southwest of its junction with US 50; 5 miles northwest of Ely. Named for Richard A. Riepe, the original developer of the community that provided homes largely for foreign-born mine families and famous for its sinful reputation as an "open" community.

"By mid-1909 Riepetown had gained the distinction of being the wettest town in the county" and "thrived on liquor, gambling and prostitution, and knifings, robberies, and fist fights were regular occurrences. Numerous cribs and 16 saloons adequately served the district."

Louis Piscevich and wife Milka,  the parents of Lucy Schulz and several other children, owned and operated a saloon and boarding house in Riepetown for many years until around 1953 when they retired and moved to Ely.  All their children were raised in Riepetown. Schulz writes, "Riepetown was a mining town and had two grocery stores, a barber shop and 10 saloons... and gambling halls with prostitution. The post office, hospital, grammar school and sheriff were in Kimberly, about one mile away." She goes on to say, "There were a lot of different ethnic (people): Slavs, Greeks, Mexicans and Italians."

In the middle 1990's, the site contained only foundations and  was located on private property. By 1995, even those were bulldozed and leveled by MAGMA for room for mine buildings. The MAGMA / BHP copper mill now stands on the site of Riepetown and is not available to be seen by the public. BHP has some artifacts recovered from the old townsite that it is planning on putting on display in the near future.  Riepetown photos




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