Ghost town of Goldfield
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  Posted November 10th, 2010 by Zdenko  in Travel | 2 comments

September in Arizona

By: Zdenko Kahlina

Authentic Ghost Town, Arizona

Things are different in the desert. The sky is bigger. The stars are brighter. The sunsets stop you in your tracks. It’s a feeling that can’t be conjured, landscaped or kindled with twinkling bulbs. Come to Greater Phoenix and you’ll understand.

Welcome to the Valley’s only Authentic Ghost Town… Goldfield!

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Come and visit Goldfield Ghost Town today! Walk down Main Street, explore the many shops and historic buildings. Tour the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and visit the Goldfield Museum. Pan for gold then take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train. 

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Arizona_Nov2004_034Zdenko with Billy the Kid in front of town’s jail 

Arizona_Nov2004_035Vera on the main street 

You’ll also get to witness an old west gun fight performed by the famous Goldfield Gunfighters! Spend a fun filled day, rich in wild west history!

Back in the 1890′s Goldfield boasted 3 saloons, a boarding house, general store, blacksmith shop, brewery, meat market and a school house. Just when it looked like the town would outgrow Mesa, the vein faulted, the grade of ore dropped and the town died a slow painful death. After several unsuccessful attempts to reopen the mines, the town did come to life again from 1910 on and off until 1926.

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After more than 115 years, travelers from all over the world still visit this gold mining town located on the historic Apache Trail and enjoy the excitement and grandeur of Arizona’s wild west !

Goldfield Ghost Town Located 4.5 miles N/E of Apache Junction, Arizona on the historic Apache Trail

Arizona_Nov2004_027Sheriff and the jail

The History of Goldfield Ghost Town!

Situated atop a small hill between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mountains, the settlement of Goldfield got its start in 1892 when very rich, high grade gold ore was found in the area. A town soon sprang up and on October 7, 1893 it received its first official post office. 

This “official” find, coupled with the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine, which had been circulating for years, led plenty of new miners to the area and in no time, the town boasted three saloons, a boarding house, a general store, brewery, blacksmith shop, butcher shop, and a school. For five years the town boomed until some 1,500 souls were residing in the burgeoning city. 

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But like other gold camps, Goldfield’s bustling days were quickly dashed when the vein of gold ore started to play out and the grade of the ore dropped even more. Just five years after it began, the town found itself quickly dying. The miners moved on, the post office was discontinued on November 2, 1898, and Goldfield became a ghost town. 

However, some prospectors clung on to the area, sure to find the elusive Lost Dutchman Mine or perhaps, a brand new vein. Others tried to reopen the existing mines, but all attempts were unsuccessful until a man named George Young, who was the secretary of Arizona and the acting governor, arrived on the scene in the first decade of the 20th century. Young brought in new mining methods and equipment to recover the ore and the town began slowly come alive once more. Also built was a mill and a cyanide plant. A second post office was established on June 8, 1921 and the “new” town was called Youngsberg. However, the town’s “rebirth” would last only about as long as it did the first – just five years. Finally, the gold was gone, the post office was discontinued on October 30, 1926, and the town died once again. 

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But Goldfield was obviously not destined to die permanently. In 1966, Robert F. “Bob” Schoose, a long time ghost town, mining, and treasure-hunting enthusiast made his first trip to the Superstition Mountains and instantly fell in love with the area. He moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1970 and soon began to dream of owning his own ghost town. He had heard of the old site of Goldfield, but upon inspection, he found little left other than a few foundations and rambling shacks. He and his wife, Lou Ann, then located another five-acre site that was once the location of the Goldfield Mill and decided with to rebuild the old town. Purchasing the old mill site in 1984, they first reconstructed a mining tunnel, which included a snack bar and opened for business in 1988. Next came a photo shop, the Blue Nugget, a General Store, the Mammoth Saloon and the Goldfield Museum.

Today, Goldfield is filled with authentic looking buildings, includes underground mine tours, and the only narrow gauge railroad in operation in Arizona. Numerous shops and buildings include a brothel, bakery, leather works, a jail, livery, and more. The authentic looking street is filled with people in period costume, horses and wagons, and sometimes authentic gunfighter presentations.

Lulu’s Bordello at Goldfield

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Lu Lu’s girls, otherwise known as “Floozy’s”, give a guided tour into the history of the women of the 1800’s (good and bad), their various rolls in the western territory, as well as what it was like for them to travel into the west, leaving the lives they lived in the east behind them.

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The choices that they made and the opportunities that they were allowed. We are always keeping in mind the vocabulary so as not to offend anyone.

As men found themselves in rugged and harsh Western towns many sought out the comforts and companionships of home in the only desert oasis to be found.

If children are present in your group, we will tailor the tour just for them, giving them an idea of what it was like to be a child in the 1800’s as well as going on a treasure hunt to find a 100 year old bathtub, 100 year old sink and 100 year old potty. There are opportunities for the children to touch some of old items.

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We take time to take to pose for pictures for those who want them, as well as accurately answer any questions anyone may have. We have hats and feathered boas to use as picture props for those who want to use them.

Our gift shop offers T-shirts, night-shirts, books, badges, coins, post cards, lotions, soaps and potions by Bonnie G. Some with a special surprise attached.

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Please come on out and have some fun with your family and friends at Goldfield Ghost Town. Don’t forget your cameras, and be sure to see the ladies. We will be sure to make some cherished memories for you with a guarantee to put a smile on your face. You can feel free to email the ladies of Lu Lu’s Bordello and be sure to send in your pictures of your trip.  By all means express your thoughts and comments about your experience at the bordello. Just ask your “Floozy” for her card. With your permission we will try to post your comments on the website or at least in our house album for others to enjoy.

  • Lu Lu’s Bordello Museum & Gift shop is located at the top of the hill, up the spiral staircase, in the green Victorian building, directly above “Ladies Love Outlaws”, and across from the Mammoth Saloon. It is a paying guided tour for the entire family to enjoy.
  • Children 7 and under are FREE with a paying adult, children 8-12 are $1.00 and 13 years and over are $2.00. Sorry but we do not offer senior discounts.
  • The tour takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Cameras and filming are encouraged, feel free to capture as many memories as you like. The tour is suited to each individual group that enters.

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We are waiting and looking forward to your stay with us. “We’ll keep a light on for ya.” 

Sincerely,  

Ms Trixy Rose and the Girls

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2 comments to “Ghost town of Goldfield”

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