"The Last Great Gold Camp" Top 5 Page for this destination Goldfield by atufft

Goldfield Travel Guide: 38 reviews and 106 photos

Once the most populated city in all Nevada

I took the title of this page from the title of the Goldfield Historical Society pamphlet that can be found for free at the Goldfield public library. Prior to discovery of gold in Goldfield, silver mining at nearby Tonopah was already booming, a period of silver production that spanned between 1900 and 1940. Today, Tonopah is the larger town of the two small towns in western Nevada, roughly halfway between Reno and Las Vegas on route US 95. However, gold causes a maddness for wealth, a boom of commercial activity that created Goldfield. Today, Goldfield barely holds on as it is mostly a ghost town; however, between 1902 and 1910, with a peak in 1907 Goldfield grew to some 20,000 and became the most populous town in all Nevada. In 1923, a devastating fire destroyed much of the city, contributing to a decline that had already begun with the drop in gold production.

The Goldfield Hotel

I was particularly interested in Goldfield because my great grandfather on my mother's side had been the craftsman who wallpapered and painted the interior of the Goldfield Hotel, by far the largest and most impressive building in town. The family story relates how champagne flowed down the hotel steps during its grand opening in 1907, and how my great grandfather shook the hand of President Theodore Roosevelt, who had come for the dedication ceremonies. Goldfield was a wealthy town that imported European treasures, even as the gold left for east coast banks. As a gift for my grandmother, my great grandfather purchased an authentic German made "Teddy Bear", which my grandmother passed on to my mother when she died.

Other Famous Characters Who Lived in Goldfield...

Among those who lived for at least a little while in Goldfield was Charles Schwab, a gold mine investor after whom the famous San Francisco brokerage firm is named. Also, Virgil Earp, older brother of Wyatt, and most experienced lawman at the OK Corral shoot out in Tombstone finished his career in Goldfield. Virgil died of pneumonia in the Goldfield Hospital while his younger brother lived to tell the Hollywood tale so familiar now. Many other interesting historical anecdotes are available in the Goldfield Historical Society pamphlet, and among these tips that map out the lives of individuals through the dusty ruins of commercial buildings and residential homes. I hope you enjoy your visit to these pages, so that when you drive on through route US 95 between Carson Cit and Las Vegas, you take a moment to stop and look around Goldfield.

  • Last visit to Goldfield: Mar 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (28)

Comments (3)

  • SteveOSF's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Nice tips on the architecture on this out of the way historic gold mining town.

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Hey Alan. Great memory and research, especially on the Yucca Nymph tip. We gotta put our nuke waste somewhere. How about Abbottabad, Pakistan?

  • Odinnthor's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Hey Alan, you went through the town house by house. I am fairly sure i would remember if I was there.Think not. Been to Tonopah, though. Also remember reading of the bottle houses, and a bit of the Tex Rickard character. Nice work compadre. Cheers, - Erik


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