Goldfield Mining District

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Esmeralda County

The mines around Goldfield are far too expansive to describe in a couple of paragraphs on this page. See the pages for Goldfield and Diamondfield for more information on the general area. At the beginning of the 20th century, Nevada was in an economic downturn. Comstock ore, which had been a dominant part of Nevada's economy for two decades, had mostly dried up. After the Comstock downturn, true mining booms in Nevada were few and far between. Fast forward to 1900. Jim Butler discovered what would become Tonopah. It would justifiably be called the "Queen of the Silver Camps". In 1903, 25 miles to the south, Goldfield would become one of the most substantial gold bonanzas ever discovered. By the time the Goldfield mines called it quits, they had produced over $86,000,000. That is $86,000,000 in those days. In 1904, $1.00 was equivalent to about $32.00 today. Ten years later in 1914, $1.00 was equivalent to about $29.00 today. Therefore, $86,000,000 in those days would be equivalent to about 2.5 Billion today. I have included a photograph from the Library of Congress- Free Use Photographs Section. This photograph was taken in 1906. It is an overview photograph of many of the major mines that were in operation at that time. You can see them off in the distance. The photographer also numbered and labeled each mine. I have also included several photographs of many of those same mines and how they look today. If you want to find more information on any of these mines, there are many good books out there regarding Goldfield and the surrounding area. Patera has some really good ones. Otherwise, you can do an internet search for USGS and go to their MRDS Records section. This section will provide you with links to the reports that the USGS has done for each one of these mines. Some of these reports are really good.

Last Trip/ Road Conditions: The last time that we did a thorough exploration of this mining district was in the Spring of 2015. I can't give you road conditions. There are too many individual roads. You can literally drive around in the backcountry around here forever. Each of these roads has its own description. Some are wide and smooth. Others are skinny, beat-up goat trails. And everything else in between.