Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where I was last weekend. No costumes, but lots of history.

Unfortunately, Costume College overlapped my husband's birthday, so we did a trip for him instead. 

Where I'm all over the map with my love of all things historical, my husband has a major affinity for Nevada's southern mining boom years. Especially the town of Goldfield, NV. We went with friends up to the town for "Goldfield Days," the town's festival, complete with parade and land auction.

Goldfield, today.

It really is an interesting era in history. And it's especially relevant since we have both been raised in Nevada.

In 1902, gold was discovered in Goldfield, which was barren desert, and by 1907, twenty thousand people populated the city. It was supposed to be the next San Francisco or Chicago. But all was not to last. The boom ended, with the panic of 1907, and the town emptied out, though it was not as drastic a story as nearby Rhyolite, which went from a population of about 10,000 at the height of the boom, to barely 600 by 1909. By 1915 Rhyolite had only 12 people and by 1924 the last resident passed away.

Goldfield's big blow came in 1923, with a great fire that leveled the town. The town is still peppered with historic buildings, some in very bad shape, some have been restored, and some have remained in use over the years.

Ooo this one hasn't fared so well over the years... Though it does still stand!

The famous Goldfield hotel is still in quite good shape,
though it hasn't been a working hotel since the 1940's.

The courthouse has been in continuous use since 1907.

We hope to purchase one of these wonderful buildings soon (one able to be saved, of course), and do our part in helping to keep the history of the town alive, but for now, we decided to have some fun at the land auction and see what we could pick up.

It was actually like a really fun scavenger hunt. We looked at the land lots and then went to the courthouse and looked up the titles. The recorder's office was amazing. The computer looked positively out of place, sitting atop the huge cabinets full of hundred-year-old deed books. Not to mention, the door to the office is basically a vault!

So, happy birthday! We ended up with a couple of lots, just down the road from the old High School, which is one of the original buildings that is currently being restored. There's nothing on the land now, but who knows what was there in the past! We plan on finding out.

The high school, built 1907.

I can't wait to see everyone's pictures from Costume College! Maybe next year I'll be able to make it!

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