We were in search of a more substantial ghost town than our previous day’s exploration of Chloride. Despite having been on the road for several hours yesterday, husband insisted an extra 3 hour drive north of Vegas might yield better prospects for our ghost town hunt, especially since Goldfield has been featured several times on the Ghost Adventures TV Show.
And every once in a while he gets it correct. 😀 –Remember folks, marriage is usually a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is the husband. Just kidding, just kidding…. But not really. 🙂
The nearly 3 hour drive out of Vegas was pretty uneventful. About 184 miles of uneventful-ness, unless we count a poop-stop at a really weird alien gas station.
…But when we saw this sign, we knew we were in for a treat!
We didn’t know where to begin so we stepped into the Elite Trading Post, where the proprietors were extremely friendly and the building itself filled to the brim with interesting antique finds. We didn’t leave empty-handed and currently have one of our finds on display in our house.
After the Elite Trading Post, we explored the many historical buildings on foot. It’s hard to believe these derelict buildings were once the heart of Nevada’s largest city. Founded in 1902 when gold was struck, Goldfield quickly grew to a population of 20,000. Today the population stands at 282 with various factors contributing to the town’s decline: a mining stock collapse, bank failures, increasing costs of mining, a drop in production, strikes, and a major fire in the 1920s caused by a moonshine still explosion.
The Goldfield Hotel is one of the structures that survived the 1923 moonshine fire.
Built in 1905, this 4-story hotel consisted of 154 rooms with telephones, electric lights and heated steam. The lobby was opulently decorated with mahogany, black leather upholstery, gold-leaf ceilings, crystal chandeliers and was considered the most luxurious hotel between Chicago and San Francisco.
The old schoolhouse is another structure that survived the major fire of 1923. It was built in 1907 and graduated its last class in 1952. It’s currently under restoration (thanks to a matching grant from the NPS) but this building would have been neat to explore had it not been fenced off.
We’ve seen this movie before…
We may have jiggled several door handles to see if any of the seemingly abandoned buildings were open for a quick exploration. This was one… but only because the owner was in the building! Oops.
He was very friendly and led us through the various rooms of the building.
That isn’t him, but one of Goldfield’s notable residents (besides Mark Twain), was Wyatt Earp. 24 years after the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, Wyatt Earp and his common-law wife joined Virgil Earp in Goldfield.
My husband versus stove jokes are all used up.
The Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company was worth $30M in 1906 (almost $1B with today’s inflation).
Goldfield is still mined in various locations throughout town.
Overall, Goldfield gets our approval as worth a visit.
Goldfield Ghost Town (Nevada) Overview
- Coordinates: 37.7102092,-117.2563079
- Fees: FREE
- Usage: Light
- Pets allowed: Yes