The following is a Brief history of Esmeralda County, Nevada. An update of current conditions can be read in the Socieoeconomic conditions completed in 2011 here.
The Goldfield Historical Society has been making strides to preserve the rich heritage and buildings of the area. As part of a beautification process, the town has put in new sidewalks and lighting.
Goldfield is a community with private businesses like a gas station, an
auto repair shop, a grocery/convenience store, an antique store, U-haul,
a saddle shop, and some local bars. The Santa Fe saloon has slot machines
for gaming and you can catch a meal at the Mozart (the local restaurant).
Esmeralda County, Spanish for Emerald, was created in 1861, three years before Nevada became a state. The county seat, originally in Aurora, was moved to Hawthorne, and finally to Goldfield in 1907 at a cost of $125,000 which included office furniture and the construction of the jail.
The district courtroom is furnished with the original steel bench and back-drop with Tiffany Lamps. Located in the rear of the courthouse, the jail was constructed by the Pauly Jail Company of St. Louis, Missouri.
jail contains three levels of metal cells; two levels still house inmates in 18 cells. The two-story stone building is occupied today by
the elected county officials.
Silver Peak is one of the oldest mining areas in Nevada, discovered in 1863; it produced substantial amounts of silver, gold, and other minerals. The town site was established in 1864 due to a spring that was in the area. A 10 stamp mill was built in 1865 and a 20 stamp mill was built in 1867. However, mining was far from steady in the area as the mines changed ownership and new milling techniques were invented. The ups and downs of the mining industry resulted in a fluctuation in the population as well. In 1948 a fire burned the town of Silver Peak. After that there was little activity until 1966, when the Foote Mineral Company started its lithium extracting operations in nearby Clayton Valley.