Friday, June 15, 2018

Visit to living ghost town of Goldfield

Thursday morning we headed out early in the car to go to Goldfield about 26 miles south of Tonopah. We actually drove through it getting to Tonopah. While wandering around the town we discovered it has two RV parks. An older one a couple blocks off of 395 and a brand new on right on 395 at the north end of town. Neither are pretty, basically just parking lots with hook ups.  Driving south. Seems like we can see forever. 
 Now that is wanting to be living alone. The only other things we saw were two burros walking along the highway. 
Our first glimpse of Goldfield. The large building on the right is the Goldfield Hotel and the big one on the left is the old school. I took 169 pictures while there - so will really have to be selective or do a couple of blogs on the town. 
In the 2010 census Goldfield had a resident population of 268 down from 440 at the 2000 census. It is located along U.S.  Route 395. Elevation a little over 5600 feet.
Goldfield was a boomtown in the first decade of the 20th century due to the discovery of  GOLD — between 1903 and 1940, Goldfield's mines produced more than $86 million. The town boasted a population of 30,000 during its boom year of 1906. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1923, although several buildings survived and remain today, notably the Goldfield Hotel and the schoolhouse. Gold exploration continues in and around the town today.
 To its credit, there are few mining towns, if any, that have such an array of original buildings in good repair. This is not one of them. I took pictures of historical things and things that just caught my eye like the next few pictures.  

 We saw very few people as we drove around, but it was still early - to early for most tourists I guess.
The Goldfield Hotel. Built 1907-08. It has been unoccupied since the end of World War II. Supposedly it has ghosts. Many ghosts who try to harm people. 
The hotel from the side.
 A building next to the hotel. 
 The actual front of the hotel
 No idea...
 Looks old but kept up.

 Slowly falling apart. By the 1910 census, its population had declined to 4,838. Part of the problem was the increasing cost of pumping brine out of the diggings, making them uneconomic. The largest mining company left town in 1919. In 1923, a fire caused by a moonshine still explosion destroyed most of the town's flammable buildings. Some brick and stone buildings from before the fire remain, including the hotel and the high school.
 It wasn't open we were to early I guess. Lots of touristy "treasure" places in town. 
Except for US 395 all the roads are dirt. Lots of empty space in town. Lots of manufactured homes.
 Looks like it might still be active, in lower left corner several new looking cabins. 
Back downtown. The Railroad and Mining offices.

The 1906–08 Goldfield High School, which survived the fire of 1923/24, is in poor condition, but the Goldfield Historical Society has received a  grant of $296,000 to help restore it.  

 The Esmeralda County Courthouse built in 1907, when Goldfield was a rich mining town. Today the courthouse is still in use by all the local government offices. 
More about Goldfield in another blog. This is getting long enough. Our TV is staying on today, but the Internet from the hotel has been going on and off. What the heck?
Weather here hasn't been too bad. Around the mid 90's with some wind. The altitude is bothering both of us a little so we are doing more driving around than walking around. 
Got cool enough last night to use the quilt - still cool this morning. After watching three World Cup soccer games we will leave Tonopah. We'll have to top off the gas tank here at $3.59 as there will be no gas stations for quite a ways. We will be heading east then going south on the Extraterrestrial Highway to Rachel. Famous for the "many sightings of UFO's" Stay there over night in a three space RV park in the middle of no where. Still probably will not be able to use drone as we'll be right by "Area 51" 

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