This is one place where exploration of gold continues to date inside and around this once booming mining city. It is an incorporated community with 268 individuals living here as per the census conducted in 2010, which is a drop from a population of 440 as per the census of 2000. The discovery of gold in this area happened in 1902 which is the same year the town of Goldfield was birthed.
Rapid growth was experienced after gold was discovered at Goldfield and by 1904, almost 800 tons of ore with a total value of $2,300,000 were mined, which represented 30% of what the state produced that particular year. By and by, Goldfield became the largest in the state with a population of almost 20,000 individuals.
George Graham Rice was one of the famous residents of this town who was a racetrack tipster, check forger and newspaperman that had become a promoter of mining stock. He had a company called Sullivan Trust Company that collapsed together with its associated mining stocks and this led to the failure of Goldfield State Bank in 1907.
Thereafter, Mr. Rice hurriedly left Goldfield and for another quarter century, he continued promoting mining shares. George Wingfield was the other renowned individual’s who was an entrepreneur that built the Goldfield Hotel. Together with his counterpart; George S. Nixon, they started Wingfield in Belmont, Nevada after which they realized Goldfield’s potential when they engaged in mining activities at Tonopah.
These two were already millionaires by 1906 with a net worth of $30 million and this success was realized after forming the Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company. Mr. Nixon became a US senator in 1904. Other notable individuals were Wyatt and Virgil Earp who settled in this town in 1904 after which Virgil became Goldfield’s deputy sheriff in January 1905.
Later on the deputy sheriff died in October 1905; six month after he had contracted pneumonia. The following year, this town played host to a light weight boxing championship match between Oscar “Battling” Nelson and Joe Gans. Population in the town dropped in 1910 due to the high cost of pumping brine from the diggings, which was followed by a decline in ore production the years that followed and in 1919, the largest mining company in the town exited.
A moonshine still explosion destroyed most of the buildings at Goldfield in 1923 but there are some that survived the incidence that are still in place today including the high school and the hotel. These and more buildings have continued to be tourist attractions in this area where the Goldfield Days Festival is held yearly every August.
Planning a visit to this place for exploration as you learn more about the history of this town will be a great idea. You can also plan for the yearly festival that will be another chance to learn something about this semi inhabited, semi ghost town. It will be a wonderful opportunity to behold not only what is left off of this once vibrant city but also to enjoy time with others at the festival.