[Goldfield, NV] — “Here today, gone tomorrow,” pretty much sums up the town of Goldfield, Nevada. From its first gold discovery and the city’s founding in 1902 , the city grew explosively to become Nevada’s largest by 1906, with over 20,000 residents, five banks, three newspapers, a hotel billed as the finest between Chicago and San Francisco, and countless saloons — the largest of which employed 80 bartenders.

Today, not so much. “We’ve got 2.5 million acres and 1,020 people left in the entire county,” David Ashe, owner of Barbarrossa & Bear Vintage Wares & Classic Motorcycle shop explained to me. Although the town was “the last and one of the biggest gold strikes in the U.S.” according to Ashe, the gold ore quickly played out. A flash flood in the teens and a major fire in the 1920s helped hasten the city’s demise.

Although a shadow of its former self, Goldfield is hardly a ghost town. People still live and work here, albeit not that many. On a ride through Nevada earlier this year, I parked on the street outside the courthouse and strolled the main street, admiring the early twentieth century stone buildings and imagining the city as it once was.




Early 1900s “bottle house”

About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a Florida-based travel writer & photographer specializing in motorcycle touring and travel. He is regular contributor to Harley-Davidson's HOG Magazine, and his travel features appear regularly in motorcycle magazines and other publications.

View all posts by Glen Abbott »

  1. irondad

    September 26, 2011

    I can’t help but think: All that elbow room!!

  2. Technosyncratic Travel Blog

    September 20, 2011

    Old mining towns like this are awesome. I just watched the tv series Deadwood and got into this big “gold rush” kick!
    Technosyncratic Travel Blog recently posted..Unexpected Perils of the Roman Baths

  3. Demi

    September 20, 2011

    Thanks for these beautiful pictures. I espacilly like the one with the 2 rusty cars, but they are all very beautiful. Thanks
    Demi recently posted..asbakken

  4. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    September 19, 2011

    I like photos from small, Western towns like this.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Best Restaurants in Columbus: Basi Italia

  5. Mark Errol

    September 19, 2011

    Is there any other reason why those houses have bottles placed on the walls? It seems that they are for decoration purposes, but do they have a contribution to keep the house sturdy?
    Mark Errol recently posted..יוגה

  6. adventureswithben

    September 18, 2011

    Man, you get everywhere on that bike!
    adventureswithben recently posted..You Pick My Next Adventure Anywhere Around the World!

  7. David @ MalaysiaAsia

    September 18, 2011

    Love the pics, especially the Blue… Harley? I bet you back in the day, the place used to be really busy.
    David @ MalaysiaAsia recently posted..Louis Vuitton Island Maison in Singapore

  8. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    September 18, 2011

    This place looks like the wild, wild west…great pix!
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..An Inconvenient Death

  9. Emme Rogers

    September 18, 2011

    Great shots!

    Love that that one shot at the top is of one of those septic tanks turned homes. Once had a boyfriend that had one of those. Know that ‘it’ was never used as a septic tank, but could still never quite shake that out of my head.

    ~ Emme
    Emme Rogers recently posted..Italy 3 – A History Lesson in Pompeii

  10. jenjenk

    September 17, 2011

    wow – what an interesting town!! love the photos!!!
    jenjenk recently posted..Photo Friday: Oklahoma State Fair

  11. Jay Green

    September 17, 2011

    Cool little post and great pictures!
    Jay Green recently posted..East Coast Biker Online Sept 2011

  12. Cathy Sweeney

    September 17, 2011

    I love visiting old town like that. Seems that Nevada has its share of them that boomed, then busted. Interesting history. Great pics!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..A San Francisco Treat

  13. inka

    September 17, 2011

    Love the Goldfield roadsign. It doesn’t get any more nostalgic than that shot.
    inka recently posted..The sweet smells of Saida/Lebanon

  14. These shots are excellent! I love the “garage” pic.
    Caanan @ No Vacation Required recently posted..Entitlement Sucks

Leave your comment

CommentLuv badge