Driving through Goldfield is like driving back in time. This town is the county seat of Esmeralda County with a population less than 500 people. You will drive through the town if you take US Route 95.
There is a mystery to this town that tries to draw me in when passing through. Why do these towns just slowly disappear over time? Did the residents leave for bigger cities, the gold ran out or was harder to mine, illegal land/mining claims, health epidemics, etc.???
What is the town’s history? The Earp brothers lived around Tonopah and Goldfield in the 1900’s. History states that Virgil Earp died in the pneumonia epidemic of 1905 in this town. The fire of 1923/1924 destroyed much of the town – the Goldfield Hotel, the Consolidated Mines Building and the School House survived the fire.
Interesting Fact: The unoccupied buildings of this town that almost look abandoned each have an owner – some owners have plans to renovate. The Goldfield Hotel is in the process of renovation with no set completion date.
The town looks forlorn and abandoned. The town has a unique and interesting past – could you imagine meeting the Earp brothers or Mark Twain or just being there in its gold mining heyday. The town is presently holding onto its remaining historic buildings. The residents and/or owners of those historic buildings are trying to bring it back to its former glory and into the present day. Hopefully Goldfield does not become a Ghost Town of Nevada.
Driving through Tonopah I noticed empty commercial spaces – the hotels and gas stations in town seem to be hanging in there – there is a Subway in town now along with the McDonald’s and Burger King. Usually stop in Tonopah for gas and a quick bite.
These rural towns of Nevada are interesting to visit and pass through. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what do people do out there and why. I like the country, however; in Nevada it is somewhat isolated and towns can be few and far between. Sometimes you feel like you are in the Middle of Nowhere.