Desert Messenger

October 3, 2012

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Page 12 By Jenn Jedidiah Free The last great gold camp ADVENTURES WITH ROCKS In our last column, we took you to Tonopah, NV. From there we con- tinue southward about 30 miles to Goldfi eld. According to some people, Goldfi eld is a ghost town. While there are some areas of Goldfi eld that may be considered a ghost town, it is more properly characterized as an historic town. Areas of town are growing and being rehabbed and there are buildings that are being restored. The mines in Goldfi eld are producing again, and bringing in revenue that is spurring new eco- nomic development. In fact Goldfi eld promotes itself as "The Last Great Gold Camp". Gold was discovered in Goldfi eld in 1902 by two miners from Tonopah who settled in the area. The claims were on the north side of town, near where the mines are located today. By 1903, a group of 20 miners were living in tents in what they called the "Grandpa" mining district. On Octo- ber 20th, 1903, they, along with several investors, voted to establish a town site and change the name to Goldfi eld in order to promote growth of the town. And grow it did. It grew to 20,000 people in just six years. While the To- nopah mines were producing mostly silver, with a small amount of gold, the mining district in Goldfi eld was producing three times more gold than silver. The boom years were from 1905 to 1910, and by 1907 it was the largest and most economically power- ful city in Nevada. During that time Goldfi eld boasted 21 grocery stores, 49 saloons, and 6 bakeries. Fancy res- taurants, hotels, theatres, casinos, ath- letic clubs, and more lined its bustling streets, and the Tonopah & Goldfi eld Railroad terminal was a hub for trans- portation between the two towns. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad also featured a stop in Goldfi eld. By 1910, however, the population of Goldfi eld had declined signifi cantly. Full Service Cardiovascular Office in Quartzsite! Gold was still abundant in the mines, but the cost of mining it became too great. Mines began to shut down, and the people began to leave. In 1923 and 1924 two major fi res destroyed most of Goldfi eld, devastating 25 blocks of the bustling main street section of town. The town never recovered. Today, The Goldfi eld His- torical Society is working October 3, 2012 Goldfi eld Hotel hard to preserve and restore the heri- tage of Goldfi eld. A walking tour of Historic Goldfi eld takes you to several of the original buildings, a cemetery, and historic sites, as well as mining and railroad antiquities and other in- teresting stuff. A very nice Guidebook with lots of historic photographs and information is available for this tour. Along this route you will meet some of the 250 or so current residents of Goldfi eld, all of whom will be glad you came to visit their town. the small concrete-lined pools. The pools are out in the open air, and offer a picturesque view of the desert and mountains while soaking. There are many opportunities to ex- plore outside town as well. The Min- ing District north of town is not open to the public, but you can drive pretty close and get a good view. Belmont and Gold Point ghost towns are close by, as well as some other similar at- tractions. If you like rather primitive hot springs, Alkali Hot Springs is only a couple miles outside of town. This once booming resort is now in ruins, but the springs are still fl owing into There is a rockhounding site called Gem Fields just north of town where you can fi nd interesting agates, but check to be sure the site is still open. We also visited Alkali Lake, a large dry lake bed where we spent the day hunting for meteorites. Wild horses and burros frequent this area, too. For more information about Gold- fi eld, as well as photos and links to the Historical Society and Chamber of Commerce websites, visit our Blog and our Facebook page. You can access both through our website We will be open in Quartzsite at A37 in Rice Ranch in the beginning of Novem- ber. Happy traveling and we'll see ya' online and in Quartzsite. In the meantime, remember: Life is Short. Go Outside and Play! Rail Splitters play at Kingman's Oktoberfest CARDIOVASCULAR DIVISION OF IMS Diagnose and Treat • chest pain • shortness of breath • leg pain • varicose veins • leg swelling • palpitations LOCATED in Palm Plaza 255 N. Central Blvd. #5 Quartzsite Cardiac Services Provided • stress testing • echocardiograms • vascular ultrasound • PAD screening • coronary angioplasty/stenting • peripheral angioplasty/stenting All testing done on-site No need to travel 928-927-6105 The "Rail Splitters" dance and listen entertainment group will start their winter season early by playing at the Oktoberfest in Kingman, Arizona. The event will be held at the "Locomotive Park" on Beale Street in Old Town Kingman on Octo- ber 12 and 13. The group will be playing in the afternoons from 3-5 pm each day. Come one and all for some great fall entertainment in historic old Kingman...There will be other musicial groups performing before and after the "Rail Splitters". The Oktoberfest is sponsored by the RotaryClub of Kingman. Starting in November, the Rail Split- ters will be back in Quartzsite to begin their winter season for your winters dancing and listening fun....See you there... Stay Young, go Dancing.... 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