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Arizona’s wild west: Goldfield is a ghost town in Arizona made up of reconstructed buildings built in the 1980s and ’90s

David Goran

Goldfield was once a gold mining town, but now a ghost town northeast of Apache Junction in Pinal County, Arizona. The settlement of Goldfield got its start in 1892 when low-grade gold ore was found in the area.

Goldfield became a booming community with a population of about 5,000 people, 3 saloons, boarding houses, blacksmith shop, brewery, meat market, a hotel, a general store and a schoolhouse.

The Goldfield Post Office was established on October 7, 1893, with James L Patterson as its first Postmaster. There were 50 working mines in the district.

Situated atop a small hill between the Superstition and Goldfield Mountains. Source

Situated atop a small hill between the Superstition and Goldfield Mountains. Source

 

Goldfield Ghost Town. Source

Goldfield Ghost Town. Source

 

Entrance to the Goldfield Ghost Town. Source

Entrance to the Goldfield Ghost Town. Source

 

Goldfield’s Main Street. Source

Goldfield’s Main Street. Source

 

A different view of Goldfield’s Main Street. Source

A different view of Goldfield’s Main Street. Source

Millions of tons of gold ore were mined from this area back in 1893. Just five years after it began, the town found itself quickly dying. The vein of gold ore started to play out and the grade of the ore dropped even more. The miners moved on, the post office was discontinued on November 2, 1898, and Goldfield became a ghost town.

Just when it looked like the town would keep on growing, the vein faulted, the grade of ore dropped and the town died. Source

Just when it looked like the town would keep on growing, the vein faulted, the grade of ore dropped and the town died. Source

 

Water Tank. Source

Water Tank. Source

 

This was found among a collection of old vehicles at Goldfield, Arizona. Source

This was found among a collection of old vehicles at Goldfield, Arizona. Source

 

The 19th Century Railroad Station of Goldfield. Goldfield has the only narrow-gauge railroad in operation in Arizona. Source

The 19th Century Railroad Station of Goldfield. Goldfield has the only narrow-gauge railroad in operation in Arizona. Source

 

Different view of the 19th Century Goldfield Railroad Station. Source

A different view of the 19th Century Goldfield Railroad Station. Source

 

Cantina-Bakery. Source

Cantina-Bakery. Source

 

Bordello. Source

Bordello. Source

After several unsuccessful attempts to reopen the mines, the town did come to life again from 1910 on and off until 1926, after a small community evolved on the site of the old ghost town. It was named Youngsberg in honor of George U. Young, the Arizona Territorial Secretary from 1909 to 1910.

When mines were opened nearby, a mill and cyanide plant was installed reviving the town. A Youngsberg Post Office was established on March 15, 1920, but when the mines again played out the town was deserted and the post office was discontinued on October 30, 1926.

The 19th century “Tower” used in the Goldfield mine. Source

The 19th century “Tower” used in the Goldfield mine. Source

 

19th Century Mercantile building. Source

19th Century Mercantile building. Source

 

Livery. Source

Livery. Source

 

Goldfield Museum. Source

Goldfield Museum. Source

 

Church in Goldfield. Source

Church in Goldfield. Source

 

19th Century abandoned building. Source

19th Century abandoned building. Source

 

The Goldfield Gunfighters. Source

The Goldfield Gunfighters. Source

This site is now home to the Goldfield Ghost Town tourist destination. After more than 115 years, travelers from all over the world still visit this gold mining town located on the historic Apache Trail. The site features gunfights, train rides, several tours, and gold panning. Numerous shops and buildings include a brothel, bakery, leather works, a jail, livery, and more.