Situated atop a small hill between the Superstition and Goldfield Mountains, the settlement of
Goldfield got its start in 1892 when low grade gold ore was found in the
area. Low-grade or not, a town soon sprang up and on October 7, 1893 it
received its first official post office.
This "official” find, coupled with the legend
of the Lost Dutchman Mine, which had been circulating for years, lead
plenty of new miners to the area and in no time, the town boasted three
saloons, a boarding house, a
general store, brewery, blacksmith shop,
butcher shop, and a school. For five years the town boomed until some
4,000 souls were residing in the burgeoning city.
But, like other gold
camps, Goldfield’s bustling days were quickly dashed when the vein of gold
ore started to play out and the grade of the ore dropped even more. Just
five years after it began, the town found itself quickly dying. The miners
moved on, the post office was discontinued on November 2, 1898, and
Goldfield became a
Kathy Weiser, February, 2015.
This image available for photo prints and editorial downloads
However, some prospectors
clung on to the area, sure to find the elusive Lost Dutchman Mine or
perhaps, a brand new vein. Others tried to reopen the existing mines, but
all attempts were unsuccessful until a man named George Young, who was the
the acting governor, arrived on the scene in the first decade of the 20th
century. Young brought in new mining methods and equipment to recover the
ore and the town began slowly come alive once more. Also built was a mill
and a cyanide plant. A second post office was established on June 8, 1921
and the "new” town was called Youngsberg. However, the town’s "rebirth”
would last only about as long as it did the first time – just five years.
Finally, the gold was gone, the post office was discontinued on October
30, 1926, and the town died once again.
Goldfield was not destined to die permanently. In 1966, Robert
F. "Bob” Schoose, a long time ghost town, mining, and
enthusiast made his first trip to the Superstition Mountains and instantly
fell in love with the area. He moved to Mesa, Arizona in
1970 and soon began to dream of owning his own ghost town. He had heard of
the old site of Goldfield, but upon inspection, found little left
other than a few foundations and rambling shacks. He and his wife, Lou
Ann, then located another five-acre site that was once the location of the
Goldfield Mill and decided to rebuild the old town. Purchasing the
old mill site in 1984, they first reconstructed a mining tunnel, which
included a snack bar and opened for business in 1988. Next came a photo
shop, the Blue Nugget, a General Store, the Mammoth Saloon and the
Today, Goldfield is
filled with authentic looking buildings, includes underground mine
tours, and the only narrow gauge railroad in operation in Arizona.
Numerous shops and buildings include a brothel, bakery, leather works,
a jail, livery, and more. The authentic looking street is filled with
people in period costume, horses and wagons, and sometimes authentic
Goldfield is located off Mammoth Mine Road just
north of Apache Junction, Arizona.