Monday, May 28, 2012

Strange Geographies: the forgotten High School of Goldfield, Neveda

goldfield high 1908

                Good Day Humboldt County!

  I felt like exploring the past today, and found this story. My father and I were touring Nevada back in 2000, looking for remnants of the Old West when we came upon this old high school.

  It was in pretty bad shape. At the time we weren’t aware of it’s history and knew little about Goldfield’s colorful history.

  Goldfield High School, was built during the boom years in 1907. It graduated its last class in 1952, and has stood proud but shuttered ever since, impressive on the outside, decaying within.

Over the past few years, a small team of dedicated volunteers has begun trying to save the high school, but restoring it to its former glory is a gargantuan task. Vandals and the elements have had their way with the building for many years, and it will take many more to lift it from the beautiful state of decay it’s in today.

Photo - The teacher’s writing on this board is still readable. Looks like a pop quiz: 5. What is the most important country in the Western hemisphere? Anyone care to take a guess?

by Ransom Riggs/writer for Mental Floss

“At the turn of the last century, Goldfield was a mining boomtown — prospectors were pulling millions of dollars worth of ore outIMG_4797 of the ground each year, and with a population that ballooned to more than 30,000 by 1904, it was the largest town in the state of Nevada. It was a classic Old West success story: gun-slinging heroes like Wyatt Earp trod its wooden sidewalks, and in a society where the real measure of a town’s worth was its bar-and-whorehouse scene, Goldfield had the rest beat: Tex Rickard’s Northern Saloon had a bar so long it required 80 bartenders to run it. Of course, I wouldn’t be writing about Goldfield if everything had kept going like gangbusters.

By 1920s, the gold mines had started to peter out, and in 1923 a moonshine still exploded and started a fire that took most of the town’s wooden buildings with it. Today about 400 people remain in Goldfield, a semi-ghost town set among the barren wastes of Nevada’s high desert, surrounded by ghost stories and empty buildings — many of which are impressive stone and brick structures that survived the 1923 fire.” (More photos here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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