"GOLDFIELD" Top 5 Page for this destination Goldfield by JeanCooke

Goldfield Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 106 photos

The ghost town that won't die. Former residents resting place in Goldfield cemetery. An exquisite Joshua Tree bearing fruit stands guard.



Founded in 1902, the apex for this mining and milling community was during the first decade of the 20th century. Goldfield became one of the greatest gold-producing mining districts in the world producing $11million in gold.

Poorer housing consisted of canvas, barrels and even glass bottles mortared together. During 1906, one town lot sold for $45,000. Expensive buildings were erected including the 1908 Goldfield Hotel which remains in fine structural condition to this day. In the early days the Hotel was the finest and most luxurious between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Teddy Roosevelt spoke to a large street crowd from the balcony in 1908.

Probably the longest bar in the history, Tex Rickard's Northern, was so long it required 80 bartenders. The tenderloin district employed about 100 girls in row after row of cribs. Two mining stock exchanges kept track of big variations in stock prices and sudden changes in fortunes.

Drilling matches, a common feature of all mining camps, tested miners skill. The driller able to put a hole into a sold granite block deeper than his opponent within a specified time, with single jack and drill, was the winner. Kids engaged in pie eating contests. The “Battle of the Century”, lightweight championship of the world between Nelson and Gans was fought in Goldfield, September 3, 1906, with a $30,000 purse in gold $20 pieces. The battle ended during the 42nd round with Gans the winner

Goldfield, the county seat of Esmeralda County, now has 24% of the population employed by government and 44% by mining. Not quite dead, the city is gasping.

An easy walk of several blocks around town brings the visitor to some still standing notable buildings: Goldfield Hotel, Fire Station, High School, Courthouse, glass bottle house, Tex Rickard’s house.

  • Last visit to Goldfield: Jul 2001
  • Intro Written Jul 15, 2001
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Comments (3)

  • Nov 2, 2009 at 8:02 PM

    I am researching a Dr. Benjamin Frank Elliott, a local dentist of Goldfield. He died in Butte Co, Ca in May 1917. He was a state representative at the time of his death. He married Olive Crowley or Cowley, who's father may have ran the hotel.

  • mexicruiser's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2007 at 9:59 AM

    Hi Jean, really enjoyed your Goldfield photos - looks like a fun place to visit! Are there any functioning bars or restaurants where one can get a bite to eat and a cold one?

  • orlikins's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2002 at 2:54 AM

    great photos,looks like something out of old movies.


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