Goldfield, Nevada

The town of Goldfield

In the morning, I was ready to walk the girls up the hill to the outskirts of town when our host, Randy asked if he could join me. Mila decided to come along too, so we moved a bit more slowly than the girls are used to; but, they managed to hold out until we got out to the burro trails to do their business.

There’s a herd of feral, black donkeys that live around and in Goldfield and they use the natural spring above town for a water hole. The hills are crisscrossed with their paths, all of which lead to the canyon with the spring.

After our walk, we all met at the Dinky Diner for breakfast. The service was great but the kitchen was slow, even though they weren’t busy. Fortunately, the conversation distracted us from our hunger.

Our hunger satiated by the comfort food of the Dinky Diner, we walked over to Cousin Dan’s place to see Marie’s new motor home and Dan’s progress on the renovations to the mobile home he had purchased some years ago for about $2,500, including the lot on which it lists. One of the interesting things about Goldfield is that, having been at one time, a prosperous city and the county seat of Esmeralda County, it is now nearly a ghost town. Two fires leveled almost all of the structures built of wood, leaving only impressive stone and brick edifices standing as testimony to the wealth the mines of the area generated.  Save for an eclectic group of individuals who share a passion for hoarding, the town is empty of the trappings of civilization even though it’s still the county seat. There is no gas station, no grocery store, not even the ubiquitous convenience market. The nearest necessities are in Tonopah, a half an hour’s drive north.

Refurbished House

Some residents, like Randy, hoard old mining equipment and western memorabilia, while others hoard derelict cars, trucks, trailers, rotting motor homes and sundry recreational vehicles. Blending in with the hoarders and collectors are generic white trash slobs who just live in squalor. These eccentrics are possibly some of the friendliest, most hospitable folks on the face of the earth. They aren’t preoccupied with appearances and I would guess that many of them are far more affluent than their humble lifestyle would suggest. Some wear their politics openly, even a bit belligerently, with banners hung on fences and flags waving from the porch. My cousin had to explain to me what FJB meant. Wow! I’m shocked that adults would make such a vulgar display. Color me naive.

How did these come to be stranded in the desert, far from any subway?
Two of the long-term residents.
Inside Randy’s saloon with one of Goldfield’s most eccentric, my cousin Dan.
Randy’s Choo Choo
Good Advice.
Mining Equipment – treasure or trash?
Inside the abandoned bank.

14 thoughts on “Goldfield, Nevada

  1. Dinky Diner or Donkey Dinner, Judy .
    Goldsfield is a ghost town but keeping some beautiful building in stones or in bricks.
    I have seen like in a dream the old locomotive, car , machine , rusty but so evocative of the miner past.
    The same for Randy ‘s saloon . On the table we see very beautiful and suggestive plates . I think the meal was good . I have been surprised by Randy clothes ,.They look comfortable and warm . How is the climate there ?
    Love ❤
    Michel

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    1. Goldfield is at 5,600′ elevation, so it gets a bit cold at night.
      The “meal” consisted of flan, purchased at the local Mexican market, and sauvignon blanc. I think it was actually a French appellation. French wines are inexpensive here and compete very well with California wines. Since the wild fires in California’s wine country, prices for California wines have increased dramatically, at least 20%.

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  2. Oh! I love the old and nearly abandoned towns – they all have a story to tell… Looks like Randy has made a great life among the relics of times long past!!

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    1. Yes, Randy is proud of his collections. The saloon is filled with antiques and replicas and he has two other buildings, one filled with mining equipment and the other that holds a marvelous collection of more interesting household items. He even has a player piano that has cymbals, drum, and tambourine. I can’t remember what it’s called.

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      1. For some reason those player pianos with accessory beat boxes, or more grandiose version# with horns and stringed instruments were popular. I know a man who rebuilds them, and @ friend in Canadian, Texas (boondocks) has one that came with his house. Orchestrion is the catch-all for those things and were often coin operated staples in carnivals, social clubs of ill repute, boardwalks and the heyday of amusement parks. Right in there with the creepy coin op fortune tellers, mechanical monkeys playing the saw, hand cranked girlie “movies” and other giant mechanical noise makers.

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    1. It’s fun to walk the streets of Goldfield and peer into the windows of seemingly abandoned buildings, many of which are still crammed with the accoutrements of a bygone time. The historically minded are working on restoring the hotel and the high school without noticeable effect. I hope I live long enough to see their work completed. In the meantime, the courthouse is open as it’s a living part of history. It hasn’t been noticeably modernized and still functions as the county seat. I can’t help but wonder what the jail looks like. Images of Mayberry RFD come to mind.

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