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 historic town of Goldfield, the Esmeralda County seat, is filled with the history of its old mining days. Located approximately 26 miles south of Tonopah on US Highway 95, Goldfield has the grand old buildings of yesteryear.

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.

The 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.

The photographs below are of Esmeralda County, Nevada - click on thumbnails for larger views and about the county.

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Adobe surfaced building filled with bottles
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Historic building made with adobe filled with bottles
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Aerial view Goldfield
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arch
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Barbwire
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basement
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brown parker auto
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building in Goldfield
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Historic high school building

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Courthouse in the background in Goldfield, Nv

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Catholic cemetery sign Goldfield, Nv
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Cemetery crosses
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Classic fire truck
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County courthouse
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Desert
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Distant view of Goldfield, Nv
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Elevation sign
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Esmeralda County mountain
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Esmeralda desert floor
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Esmeralda desert
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Esmeralda desert
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Fun sign
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Goldfield building
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Goldfield garage
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Goldfield name in tiles
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Goldfield sign
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Goldfield street
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Goldfield hotel
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Goldfield garage
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Highway through the desert
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Window advertisement
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Historic high school building - no longer in use
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Large arch in Goldfield

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Crown Motel sign

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front of hotel

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Nixon & wingfield, Goldfield, Nv.
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Ranchers windmill
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Goldfield building
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Repository Oversight Program sign
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Rusted building
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Advertisement for the Mozart Club
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Signs of age

Street in Goldfield
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Streets in Goldfield
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The classic car2
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The classic 63 olds - 98
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Toys gifts novelties
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View inside Goldfield building
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Volcano peak near Silver Peak, Nv
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Welcome sign