History of Goldfield Ghost Town
The town was established in 1892 with twenty eight buildings and a population of 4,000. There were saloons, shops, brewery's, a mine, a butcher shop, a blacksmith shop, and a school. The gold in the town was eventually dug out by prospectors and the number in the community decreased greatly. The once booming town had turned dark and quiet leaving it to a Ghost Town.
The Secretary and Governor of Arizona, George Young, tried to revive the Ghost Town. He thought of new and improved methods of mining and equipment to bring the mine to life again in hopes of finding more gold. This did help the town gain its population back and the town was then called Youngsberg. New attractions were built and gold was found! This didn't last long though. In five years the town once again died when the post office went out of business. In 1926 all of the gold was gone leaving the people to move on.
In 1943 a terrible fire was accidentally caused by an errant military training flare. More than 60% of the town was burned. All that remained was a few parts from the buildings. A true Ghost Town. A man by the name of Robert F. “Bob”, was a mining, treasure-hunting enthusiast. He always had a fascination in mining ever since he was a child and dreamed of owning a ghost town in a desert. Bob made the move to Mesa, Arizona in 1970 and heard the stories of Goldfield and wanted to rebuild the town. “When he finally found his way out to the site, all that remained of the old settlement was a few old foundations, a rickety water tower, a rambling old shack used for a living quarters, and a small metal building” (Apache Junction Public Library, n.d). He bought the five acre property and spent years reconstructing the town to its original form. To this day people from all over the world visit the gold mining town.
This may seem like just an old town but it offers many exciting activities and attractions! As you enter the town you will be hit by a site of history from the wild west. In the middle of all of the shops there is a range where old west gunfights are being performed by Goldfield Gunfighters. They do this performance a couple times a day for new visitors to experience. The performers stay in character and dress the part which makes it much more realistic. There are fun photo booth cutouts where you can put your face through as someone from the Wild West or use props they have for photos.
On their website http://goldfieldghosttown.com you will find thirteen attractions! There are a variety of activities to choose from. Whether that be: ziplining through the Superstition Mountains, taking a twenty minute train ride through the town, going on mining tours, walking ghost tours, off roading trails, reptile exhibits, an interactive shooting range, horseback riding, gold panning and gem sluicing, or a historic museum. Each of these attractions offer something for everyone!
Goldfield Ghost Town has shops that mimic the 1800’s history. These merchants will take you back in time. There is an antique photography shop called, Time after Time Antique Photography where you dress and pose as your favorite time period (Western, Victorian, Roaring 20’s, ect.) This is a “must-do” when visiting the town.
The Blue Nugget https://www.bluenugget.com is an Indian jewelry and rock shop! Real Silver and Turquoise and rocks from the Southwest and Superstition Mountains can be bought here or in forms of jewelry.
On warmer days you can hop into Miner's Grill and Ice Cream Parlor to enjoy a cold treat. Also in this ice cream parlor is a grill where you can sit down for food, snacks, and to relax after walking around the town.
A really cool and unique touch to this town is its detail to local authenticity. Prickly pear is a well known cactus in Arizona. It is a part of a flowering plant that is edible. The fruit/flavor is popular in the state. A shop called, The Cactus Shoppe offers succulents, cacti, incense, wind chimes, and Arizona artisan creations. Another shop called, Mother Lode Mercantile is where you can find all kinds of different flavors of fudge. They have prickly pear fudge! As well as other unique sweets, souvenirs, and gifts.
Coffee Cantina & Bakery is a shop that offers yummy pastries, brunch, lunch, and of course coffee.
For Mexican and Western finds there is a shop called Border Town. Pottery, metal artwork, blankets, dolls, knives, and hunting items are sold here.
There is a church (Church on the Mount) located in the town that has active services going on every Sunday! An organ from the 1800’s and other items/features are still intact after over a hundred years.
Siphon Draw Apothecaryhttps://siphondraw.com is where you can shop for organic and handmade skincare items. The products are made in the Superstition Mountains. Fresh and wild-harvested botanicals from the desert are used. Prickly pear products are popular at the shop. Some of the customer favorites include their pain relief stick, bedtime relax lavender tea soap, liquid lizard lips lip balm, and bee happy honey soap. Herbal tea and raw local honey can be purchased here as well.
The Mudslinger Pottery shop captures the true essence of the Superstition Mountains with stoneware. The artist, Tom Schoolcraft makes handmade items for all to enjoy. These go great for decor around the house or as gifts!
Gidy Up Gourmet is where you can find all the hot sauce, chili, peppers, and salsas! A variety of unique flavors are offered which promote the local and authentic parts of Goldfield.
It took years to reconstruct the town to its original form, and it was done wonderfully as it attracts so many people. The authentic and historic value of the town was preserved creating what feels like you were taken back to the 1800's. There is a book all about Goldfield, a travel guide, and what it used to be, "Goldfield Boom to Bust" with a narration by Mayor Bob Schoose himself. The Ghost Town focuses on details that make the experience more real and exciting. The Apache wars were going on when the gold was found so the town was off limits resulting in a vacant town. It's amazing to see that it was able to be brought back to life after the events that occurred here.
Overview of Goldfield Ghost Town: /youtu.be/F3DnHGWIKao
**No professional photography is allowed in the Ghost Town without the consent of the management**
Goldfield Ghost Town is located 4.5 miles N/E of Apache junction, Arizona on the historic Apache Trail (SR-88).
4650 N. Mammoth Mine Rd
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Sources and References
Building a dream: Goldfield ghost town. Apache Junction Public Library. (n.d.). mhttps://www.ajpl.org/building-a-dream-goldfield-ghost-town/