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Goodsprings Mining District (1856 - 1957) - Ore deposits readily recognized in the faulted and folded limestone deposits of this district remained unworked until 1856, when the Mormons developed a single lead mine at Potosi; probably the oldest lode mine in Nevada. Named for cattleman Joseph Good, the open springs area was developed into the mining-ranching community of Goodsprings by A.G. Campbell. Samuel Yount established a post office in Goodsprings in 1899 and served as the postmaster from that date until 1914. The township was officially platted in 1904, and gradually its tents and shacks were replaced by more substantial buildings.

With completion of the Los Angeles-Salt Lake railroad in 1905, and the narrow-gauge Yellow Pine railroad from Jean to Goodsprings in 1911, transportation costs of the oxidized zinc minerals were reduced. The peak year of operations was reached in 1916 and Goodsprings then had 800 residents. The town continued to thrive through the end of World War I, when lead and zinc was badly needed for the war efforts. However, when the war ended in 1918, production decreased, mines shut down, and the town began to decline. By 1920, only about 400 people called the town home. Goodsprings once again saw a spurt of activity during World War II, but never grew to its former size. In 1930, the narrow gauge railroad to Jean ceased operations and four years later, in 1934, the railroad tracks were removed. By that time, the vast majority of the mines sat silent, and Goodsprings was on its way to becoming a ghost town, with less than 100 residents.

This district with the greatest variety of minerals in Nevada, produced a total of $30 million primarily in lead and zinc, with lesser amounts of gold, silver, copper, molybdenum, vanadium, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, and uranium. The Goodsprings Mining District provided about 1/3 of the total metal production for Clark County, making it one of the most lucrative mining districts in Southern Nevada.

To view a slide show of the old mines that I have explored and photographed in the Goodsprings area, click on the link below.

Goodsprings Mining District

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Yellow Pine Mill site. In 1910, the Yellow Pine Mining Corp purchased this mill site from the Mineral Union Co. to build a concentrator for ores. The site included housing, a store, and an assay office as well as the mill. The Yellow Pine Mine Railroad, a narrow gauge railroad connecting the Yellow Pine Mine to this mill and the mill to the railroad at Jean, was completed in August 1911. Remains of the grade are visible here and can be followed through town, to the mine and to Jean.

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Pioneer Saloon - Built by George Fayle (an ore hauler from Calico California) in 1913. He also built the Fayle General Store and Fayle Hotel (burned down in 1966). He died in a flu epidemic in 1918. The nearby town of Jean is named after his wife. The famous screen legend, Clark Gable, waited for three days at this bar for word on his wife of less than two years Carole Lombard. She was lost, along with 22 others, in a plane crash in January of 1942 near Mount Potosi.

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An interesting old International truck

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An old miners cabin maybe.

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The buildings on this site date from 1915 and originally included the Jensen and Crampton store, the assay office and the home of Justice of the Peace Phil Springer. In 1920, Otto F. Schwartz bought the buildings and the Schwartz General mercantile store occupied this site until 1934. They burned down in 1988.

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Cabin built in 1910 by a cottonwood tree. The tree was most likely planted by Joseph Good in the 1890s.

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The first permanent building in Goodsprings, dates from 1886. It was built of stone by A.G. Campbell, Jonas Taylor, and William Smith who were prospecting in the area. A.G. campbell was a wealthy mining promoter from Utah who had extensive mining and property holdings in the area including much of the Goodsprings townsite and the Keystone, Argentena, Golden Chariot, and Barefoot mining properties. Jonas Taylor was a prospector whose properties included the Shenandoah and Honduras. A.E. Thomas occupied this house from 1896-1898 and was the only permanent resident of Goodsprings during that time.

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Old miners cabins

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This school first opened its doors in September, 1913, to the sound of the bell on its roof. The one room structure was built by C.W. Price for the total of $2,000. Outhouses were out back. The teacher, Miss Katherine Williams, was paid $100 per month, $5 of that was for her janitor work. In 1916 two more rooms were added for $2,305. Also, at this time a janitor was added and the teacher was relieved of those duties. Over the years the school has been remodeled inside and outside, but the basic structure still stands today, including the bell. The school is still in use today.

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Goodsprings Post Office

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Goodsprings Community Church

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A covey of Gambel's Quail. I encountered many of these coveys during this visit. On a second visit just one week later (after Quail season opened) nary a one could be seen.

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Goodsprings Cemetery

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