For about five years, Goldfield, Arizona, was a booming town with 4,000 residents. Then the gold played out and it became a ghost town.
Gold was discovered around 1892. It wasn’t a high grade of ore, but the mines were considered some of the richest in the world at that time. In 1890s dollars, around $3 million was taken out of the mines. That was a lot of money for that time. That figure translates to $80 million in today’s dollars.
By 1898, the gold had been mined out, and people left. The post office closed that year, too.
Located a few miles northeast of Apache Junction, Goldfield Ghost Town is a thriving tourist attraction. It’s not on the original town site, but nearby on the Goldfield Mill hill.
|Old shovels artistically displayed|
Reconstructed buildings include a saloon, a couple of eateries, church, sheriff’s office/jail and small shops. It’s free to wander through the dirt-street town, but the museums charge admission, and there’s a charge to ride the only narrow gauge railroad in Arizona.
Rusty mining equipment can be found throughout the town. This equipment is perhaps more interesting to see than the buildings, some of which appear to be very old.
Gunfights take place hourly on the town’s only street on weekend. The gunfights aren’t as believable as those staged in Tombstone or Old Tucson, but kids will enjoy them.
The Superstition Mountain Museum and Apacheland buildings are just a mile away, so a visit to them and Goldfield could easily make a good day outing.
|Goldfield Ghost Town|
|Gunfight at Goldfield|
|Old mining equipment|