Goldfield Hotel - Luxury in the Desert
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In the almost
is the historic and reportedly very haunted
Goldfield Hotel. The town
Goldfield was born when gold was
discovered in 1902 and within just a few short years, it became the
largest city in
as millions of dollars in ore were extracted from area mines. Like
other cities, whose only reason for being was its mining industry, when
the ore played out, so did the town. In addition to its numerous
saloons, the city once boasted three newspapers, five banks, a mining
stock exchange, and a population of nearly 35,000.
However, just eight
Goldfield was founded, the
volume of ore began to decrease and many of its residents began to move on
to more prosperous claims.
By 1920, the gold was almost
gone and the town was reduced to just about 1,500 people. Three
years later, a devastating fire wiped out 27 blocks of homes and
businesses. Today, this once thriving city supports a population
of less than 500, but still provides a number of views of its
prosperous past, with its centerpiece being the
Hotel, April, 2005, Kathy Weiser.
In 1908, the
Goldfield Hotel, designed by
Architect George E. Holesworth, opened amidst an array of fanfare.
Built on the former site of the Nevada Hotel, which had burned down in
a fire in 1905, the hotel was first owned by J. Franklin Douglas and
several other investors.
The four story building of stone and brick cost over
$300,000 to build and included 154 rooms with telephones, electric
lights and heated steam. The lobby was paneled with mahogany and
furnished in black leather upholstery, beneath gold-leaf ceilings and
crystal chandeliers. The hotel imported chefs from Europe and boasted
one of the first Otis elevators west of the Mississippi River.
Considered to be the most luxurious hotel between
Chicago and San Francisco, it
appealed to society’s upper crust, making
it an immediate success.
However, shortly after the hotel was
built, it was sold to mining magnate, George Wingfield, primary owner of the
Goldfield Consolidated Mines Company, and hotel entrepreneur,
Casey McDannell, who created a new hotel corporation called Bonanza
Hotel Company. After paying $200,000 cash and stock valued at around
$250,000 for the hotel, the Goldfield property was merged with
existing hotels owned by McDannell into the new Bonanza Hotel Company.
Though George Wingfield owned a majority interest in the Bonanza Hotel
Company, his principle partner, Casey McDannell, managed and
operated the hotel.
As owner of the
Goldfield Consolidated Mines
Company, Wingfield was a multi-millionaire by the age of 30 and became
a political powerhouse in the State of
Nevada. After making his fortune in the gold fields, he went on to own a chain
of banks, numerous ranches, and several Reno hotels, in addition to
his interest in the
Goldfield Hotel and the Bonanza
Hotel Company. Active
in political party circles in the 1920's, he became the reputed boss
of both the Democratic and Republican parties. George Wingfield's power was legendary in his own time, and was publicly
demonstrated when the collapse of his twelve banks in 1932 almost led
to the economic ruin of the state.
1923, the Goldfield Hotel was sold to Newton Crumley, another hotel
entrepreneur who owned the Commericial Hotel in Elko, Nevada. Crumley, who
evidently also aspired to make to profit from the gold in the area, dug
two mine shafts beneath the hotel in 1925. However, both resulted in
Goldfield was in its heyday,
the hotel entertained all manner of affluent guests. However, as
the gold began to play out and
Goldfield Hotel began a
gradual decline. By the 1930s, when the town supported fewer
than 1,000 souls, it had become little more than a flop house for
cowboys and undiscriminating travelers. During World War II, it
housed Army Air Corp personnel assigned to the Tonopah Air Base 25
miles north of
Goldfield. After the soldiers
checked out the hotel in 1945, the hotel closed its doors forever.
Hotel today, April, 2005, Kathy Weiser.
Legends of America is in no
way affiliated with the
Hotel nor has any contact information for the present owner.
Additionally, please do not contact us with questions about a
Goldfield Hotel Spittoon that you own. All we can tell you about these, is
that they must have been manufactured and sold in great quantities,
because we get this question probably more than any other.
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