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Goldfield, Nevada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Goldfield
Esmeralda County Courthouse in Goldfield
Goldfield is located in Nevada
Goldfield
Goldfield
Goldfield is located in the Tonopah Basin of Nevada.
Goldfield is located in the United States
Goldfield
Goldfield
Goldfield (the United States)
Coordinates: 37°42′31″N 117°14′08″W / 37.70861°N 117.23556°W / 37.70861; -117.23556
Country United States
State Nevada
CountyEsmeralda
Founded1902; 122 years ago (1902)
Named forGold
Area
 • Total1.48 sq mi (3.84 km2)
 • Land1.48 sq mi (3.84 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation5,686 ft (1,733 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total225
 • Density151.92/sq mi (58.66/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP code
89013
Area code775
FIPS code32-28900
GNIS feature ID854468[2]
A commemorative marker for the boxing championship match between Gans and Nelson
The old Florence Hill Mines above Goldfield

Goldfield is a census-designated place in and the county seat of Esmeralda County, Nevada.

It is the locus of the Goldfield CDP which had a resident population of 268 at the 2010 census,[3] down from 440 in 2000. Goldfield is located 247 miles (398 km) southeast of Carson City, along U.S. Route 95.

Goldfield was a boomtown in the first decade of the 20th century due to the discovery of gold – between 1903 and 1940, Goldfield's mines produced more than $86 million at then-current prices. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1923, although several buildings survived and remain today, notably the Goldfield Hotel, the Consolidated Mines Building (the communications center of the town until 1963), and the schoolhouse. Gold exploration continues in and around the town today.

History

Interior view of mine and miners in the Mohawk Mine, Goldfield, circa 1900–1905

The community was named for deposits of gold near the original town site.[4] Gold was discovered at Goldfield in 1902, its year of inception. By 1904, the Goldfield district produced about 800 tons of ore, valued at $2,300,000, 30% of the state's production that year.[5] This remarkable production caused Goldfield to grow rapidly, and it soon became the largest town in the state with about 20,000 people.[6]

Goldfield, Nevada's courthouse in a postcard dated 1907

One notorious, early Goldfield resident was George Graham Rice, a former check forger, newspaperman, and racetrack tipster, turned mining stock promoter. The collapse of his Sullivan Trust Company and its associated mining stocks caused the failure of the Goldfield State Bank in 1907. Rice quickly left Goldfield, but continued to promote mining shares for another quarter-century.[7][8]

A prominent resident from 1906 was George Wingfield, one of Nevada's entrepreneurs, who built the Goldfield Hotel. In collaboration with his partner George S. Nixon (who was to become a US senator in 1904), Wingfield started in Belmont, Nevada in 1901, and saw the potential of Goldfield after mining at Tonopah, 27 miles (43 km) north, took off. Nixon and Wingfield made huge fortunes in Goldfield by forming the Goldfield Consolidated Mining Company. By 1906, they were worth $30 million.[9]

Wingfield moved to Reno, where his great wealth could be spread across northern Nevada and northern California. Between 1903 and 1918, mining in Belmont and Goldfield grew from $2.8 million to $48.6 million.[10]

Wyatt and Virgil Earp came to Goldfield in 1904. Virgil was hired as a Goldfield deputy sheriff in January 1905. In April, he contracted pneumonia and, after six months of illness, died on October 19, 1905. Wyatt left Goldfield shortly afterward.[11]

Goldfield reached a peak population around 20,000 people in 1906 and hosted a lightweight boxing championship match between Joe Gans and Oscar "Battling" Nelson.[10]

In addition to the mines, Goldfield was home to large reduction works. The gold output in 1907 was over $8.4 million, the year in which the town became the county seat; in 1908, output was about $4,880,000. In the early 1900s, Consolidated Mining dug an adit at Alkali, Nevada to deliver water 10 miles (16 km) to the 100-stamp Combination Mill near Goldfield.[12]

By the 1910 census, its population had declined to 4,838. Part of the problem was the increasing cost of pumping brine out of the diggings, making them uneconomic. By 1912, ore production had dropped to $5 million, and the largest mining company left town in 1919. In 1923, a fire caused by a moonshine still explosion destroyed most of the town's flammable buildings. Some brick and stone buildings from before the fire remain, including the hotel and the high school.

Labor relations during the boom years

Soon after mining on an extensive scale began, the miners organized themselves as a local branch of the Western Federation of Miners, which also included many laborers. Between this branch and the mine owners, serious differences arose, and several strikes occurred in December 1906 and January 1907 for higher wages.[5]

In March and April 1907, the owners refused to discharge carpenters who belonged to American Federation of Labor, but were not members of the Industrial Workers of the World-affiliated Western Federation of Miners; a strike followed, resulting in forcing the IWW out of Goldfield,[5] despite at one point counting the 1,500 miners as well as hundreds of white-collar and service workers as members.[13]

This defeat came after a bitter struggle which saw IWW organizer Vincent St. John first imprisoned and charged with conspiracy, then shot by a gunman in the street on November 5 along with two other IWW members.[14]

Beginning in August 1907, a rule was introduced at some of the mines requiring miners to change their clothing before entering and after leaving the mines – made necessary according to the operators by the wholesale theft of the valuable ore (worth as much as $20 a pound) in a practice known as "high-grading". In November and December 1907, some of the owners adopted a system of paying in cashier's checks. Except for occasional attacks upon nonunion workmen, or persons unsympathetic to the miners' union, no serious disturbance in Goldfield occurred. However,at the insistence of the mine owners, Governor Sparks, appealed in December 1907 to President Theodore Roosevelt to send federal troops to Goldfield on the grounds that the situation there was ominous, that destruction of life and property seemed probable, and that the state had no militia and would be powerless to maintain order.[5]

On December 4, 1907, Roosevelt ordered the commander of the Division of California at San Francisco, General Frederick Funston, to proceed with 300 federal troops to Goldfield. The troops arrived in Goldfield on December 6, and immediately afterwards, the mine owners reduced wages and announced that no members of the Western Federation of Miners would thereafter be employed in the mines. Roosevelt, becoming convinced that conditions had not warranted Sparks's appeal for assistance, but that the immediate withdrawal of the troops might lead to serious disorder, consented that they should remain for a short time on condition that the state should immediately organize an adequate militia or police force. Accordingly, a special meeting of the legislature was immediately called, a state police force was organized, and on March 7, 1908, the troops were withdrawn. Thereafter, work was gradually resumed in the mines, the dispute having been won by the mine-owners.[5]

Climate

Goldfield's climate is arid (Köppen climate classification BWk), bordering on semiarid.

An average of 35.9 afternoons with maximum temperatures of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher and 146.1 mornings with minimum temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C) occur. The record high temperature was 108 °F (42 °C) on July 20, 1906, and June 9, 1935. The record low temperature was −23 °F (−31 °C) on January 21, 1937. On average, 1.5 mornings per year have temperature of or below 0 °F (−18 °C), and an average of 10.6 days per year have temperatures of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower all day long.

The long-term average precipitation in Goldfield is 6.06 inches (15 cm). An average of 29 days have measurable precipitation. The wettest calendar year was 1978 with 13.19 inches (34 cm) and the driest 1934 with 1.47 inches (4 cm). The most precipitation in one month was 6.07 inches (15 cm) in August 1931, and the most in 24 hours was 2.43 inches (6 cm) on June 19, 1918.

Average snowfall is 17.8 inches (45 cm). The most snowfall in one year was 52.5 inches (133 cm) in 1969, including the record monthly snowfall of 42.0 inches (107 cm) in February 1969.[15]

Climate data for Goldfield, Nevada (1906–2009)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67.0
(19.4)
76.0
(24.4)
79.0
(26.1)
87.0
(30.6)
97.0
(36.1)
108.0
(42.2)
108.0
(42.2)
103.0
(39.4)
98.0
(36.7)
87.0
(30.6)
79.0
(26.1)
66.0
(18.9)
108.0
(42.2)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 42.2
(5.7)
47.1
(8.4)
54.2
(12.3)
62.5
(16.9)
71.3
(21.8)
81.4
(27.4)
89.6
(32.0)
87.4
(30.8)
79.0
(26.1)
66.5
(19.2)
52.9
(11.6)
43.3
(6.3)
64.8
(18.2)
Daily mean °F (°C) 31.3
(−0.4)
35.7
(2.1)
41.6
(5.3)
48.8
(9.3)
57.1
(13.9)
66.1
(18.9)
74.2
(23.4)
72.1
(22.3)
64.0
(17.8)
52.7
(11.5)
40.5
(4.7)
32.4
(0.2)
51.4
(10.8)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 20.3
(−6.5)
24.3
(−4.3)
29.0
(−1.7)
35.2
(1.8)
42.9
(6.1)
50.9
(10.5)
58.7
(14.8)
56.9
(13.8)
48.9
(9.4)
38.8
(3.8)
28.3
(−2.1)
21.5
(−5.8)
38.0
(3.3)
Record low °F (°C) −23.0
(−30.6)
−13.0
(−25.0)
0.0
(−17.8)
8.0
(−13.3)
19.0
(−7.2)
22.0
(−5.6)
38.0
(3.3)
36.0
(2.2)
21.0
(−6.1)
12.0
(−11.1)
−1.0
(−18.3)
−13.0
(−25.0)
−23.0
(−30.6)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.63
(16)
0.77
(20)
0.63
(16)
0.54
(14)
0.50
(13)
0.37
(9.4)
0.45
(11)
0.52
(13)
0.44
(11)
0.44
(11)
0.38
(9.7)
0.39
(9.9)
6.06
(154)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 3.3
(8.4)
3.7
(9.4)
3.6
(9.1)
1.9
(4.8)
0.5
(1.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.7
(1.8)
1.5
(3.8)
2.6
(6.6)
17.8
(45.2)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 29
Source: [16]

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
19104,838—    
19201,558−67.8%
1930692−55.6%
1940554−19.9%
1950336−39.4%
1960184−45.2%
1990655+256.0%
2000440−32.8%
2010268−39.1%
2020225−16.0%
Source: U.S. Census
Main Street, Goldfield, 1904
The run=down Goldfield High School building in October 2009
The Goldfield Hotel in 2009

The population decline continued throughout the 20th century, dwindling to 275 by 1950.

The 2000 census showed 440 people, 221 households, and 118 families resided in the Goldfield census county division. The racial makeup of the CCD was 93.2% White, 0.2% Black or African American, 2.0% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. About 5.2% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Present-day attractions

While the unoccupied buildings of the town remain an attraction, they are not abandoned. Each building has an owner, many with plans to renovate the property.[citation needed] The Goldfield Days festival is held in August each year, featuring parades, booths, historical displays, and a land auction.

Among the buildings located within the Goldfield Historic District are:

Education

Residents are zoned to the Esmeralda County School District for grades K-8.[18]

High school students in the entire county go to Tonopah High School of Nye County School District.[19]

Notable people

In popular culture

Parts of the cult classic 1971 car chase movie Vanishing Point were filmed in Goldfield, and it was the site of the fictitious radio station "KOW", and the DJ "Super-Soul".

Parts of Goldfield, and also parts of nearby Tonopah, served as the fictional town of Baxter, California, in the 1998 film Desert Blue.[24]

The town was featured in two episodes of State Trooper, Rod Cameron's syndicated television series that aired from 1956 to 1959.[25]

In the 1988 movie Cherry 2000, Goldfield was used as the set of the fictional town of Glory Hole.[26]

The 1995 movie The Stranger was filmed in and around Goldfield.[26]

An abbreviated depiction of Goldfield is featured in the video game American Truck Simulator.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 19, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Goldfield, Nevada
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Goldfield CDP, Nevada". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved February 16, 2016.[dead link]
  4. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1941). Origin of Place Names: Nevada (PDF). W.P.A. p. 31.
  5. ^ a b c d e Chisholm 1911.
  6. ^ Plaque on the Southern Nevada Consolidated Telephone-Telegraph Company Building, used from 1906 to 1963
  7. ^ Dan Plazak, A Hole in the Ground with a Liar at the Top, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2006; ISBN 978-0-87480-840-7.
  8. ^ "George Graham Rice". miningswindles.com. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Moe, Al W. The Roots of Reno, The Roots of Reno, 2008, p.20
  10. ^ a b Thomson, David, In Nevada: The Land, The People, God, and Chance, pp. 127–129
  11. ^ "Frontier Lawman Virgil Earp". June 12, 2006. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
  12. ^ Garside, J. L.; Schilling, J. H. (1979). "Thermal Waters of Nevada" (PDF). Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology Bulletin (91). Reno: 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  13. ^ Hermida, Arianne. "IWW Yearbook 1907". IWW History Project. University of Washington. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Vincent St. John, Victim of Gunman". Industrial Union Bulletin. Vol. 1, no. 38 (published November 16, 1907). 1907. p. 1.
  15. ^ "GOLDFIELD, NEVADA - Climate Summary". www.wrcc.dri.edu. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  16. ^ "Climate Of Goldfield, Nevada". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Notice by the GHS posted outside the building.
  18. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Esmeralda County, NV" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 17, 2022. - Text list
  19. ^ "Education". Esmeralda County, Nevada. Retrieved July 17, 2022.
  20. ^ "Tidbits - Did you know..." Moscow-Pullman Daily News. September 10, 2004. p. 38. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
  21. ^ Ron Powers, Mark Twain: A Life
  22. ^ "U101 College Search". shgresources.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2006. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  23. ^ Rites set for banker, Joseph H. Rosenberg. LA Times, 1 July 1971
  24. ^ sarahjeanaxo (June 18, 1999). "Desert Blue (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  25. ^ "No Blaze of Glory on State Trooper". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  26. ^ a b Holabird, Robin (2017). Elvis, Marilyn, and the Space Aliens: Icons on Screen in Nevada. University of Nevada Press. ISBN 9780874174656. Retrieved September 16, 2021.

References

External links

This page was last edited on 14 June 2024, at 21:21
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