I-Team: Goldfield to Join National Park Ranks? - 8 News NOW

Chief Investigative Reporter George Knapp and Photojournalist Matt Adams

I-Team: Goldfield to Join National Park Ranks?

Posted: Updated:

Senator Harry Reid's fondness for Nevada mining camps is no secret. He was born in one -- the tiny town of Searchlight, Nevada. Reid's affinity with the boomtowns that sprung up at the height of Nevada's gold and silver rush and died just as quickly prompted him to ask the National Park Service to take a good hard look at Goldfield, or what's left of it.

It's hard to believe now, but in the early 20th century, Goldfield was the largest city in Nevada. The mines produced some of the richest ore ever seen and money and whiskey coursed through its civic veins. "At its height, it was as big and thriving as Virginia City. Think about that -- 30,000 people," said Senator Reid.

Read the National Park Report

Reid hoped the NPS might take a liking to Goldfield, but he had no idea the feds would flip for the old town.

The reconnaissance survey conducted last year and just made public practically gushes about Goldfield's potential. The report stops just short of recommending that Goldfield be included as a piece of the national park system, but did recommend the town in general deserves historical landmark status and that a larger, more formal evaluation should be launched to figure out what, if anything, to do with the place.

The NPS report says Goldfield is of national importance, not only because it was the last of the great mining camps, but also the site of labor unrest, world championship boxing matches, and home to Wyatt Earp for a spell.

The Goldfield Hotel was the finest lodging place in the state, though today the locals think it's haunted. "They had tennis courts. These mining camps had tennis courts. They were the most modern cities in the world when they were thriving," said Reid.

The park service survey recommends another, more in-depth study of Goldfield to figure out, among other things, who owns what. It hints that the town of Tonopah, north of Goldfield, might also deserve special historical consideration.

Goldfield is located in Esmeralda County, about a three-hour drive north of Las Vegas.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.