Silver State Sights: Goldfield

By  | 
View Map

GOLDFIELD, Nev. (KOLO) It hard to find a town with a more self-explanatory name.

“Goldfield is really one of those boom and bust towns that make Nevada so famous,” says Bethany Drysdale of Travel Nevada.

Located along US 95 south of Tonopah, the mining town of Goldfield was a destination for miners looking to strike it rich in the early 20th century.

“George Wingfield made his fortune there.”

Goldfield is the county seat of Esmeralda County, so it's home to a court house, sheriff’s office, and a recently renovated visitor center – which shows off the town’s history.

Jeri Foutz has studied that history well, as she is now the town’s tour guide. Her store features a picture that shows what the town looked like in 1909, when it was at its peak.

“There was about 20,000 people then,” she said.

If you drive through, you will see the Goldfield Hotel, which has been shut down for years, but Foutz says it’s on schedule to re-open later in 2019.

Goldfield was also home to boxing history. On Labor Day 1906, 8,000 people went to watch Joe Gans defeat Battling Nelson in an epic 42-round fight - one that set the record for largest gate at the time.

Between 1903 and 1940, $86 million in gold was mining from the town, and it wasn’t just the gold being found that caused people to leave – a fire destroyed much of the town in 1923. Today, fewer than 300 people live there.

“I think they’ve stayed here because they like being away from a city,” Foutz said. “I think the old timers would rather keep the town to themselves, which I understand.”