Nevada has more ghost towns than towns that survived. One of the best we have come across in our travels is the town of Gold Point. Isolated in a remote portion of the Mojave desert, its buildings have been preserved by an individual who purchased the entire town site with his winnings from a jackpot in Las Vegas.
The small collection of preserved buildings that is now Gold Point actually began as a small camp in the 1880’s that was known as Lime Point. It grew little until a couple of decades later with the discovery of silver in the area shortly after the turn of the century, spurring its first name change for the town to Hornsilver. The silver strike along with the last great gold rush in the American West led to the explosion of camps, town, and cities scattered along Nevada/California border. The inevitable and often repeated bust that came shortly after left the Mojave scattered with the abandoned remains of towns with names like Rhyolite, Bullfrog, and Gold Center along with a few towns like Tonopah and Goldfield that have been able to hang on but are shells of their former glory days.
Hornsilver held on and limped along until 1927 when gold was discovered in its mines prompting its next and last name change to Gold Point. While never a boom, the strike was enough to keep the town alive until a collapse of the mine in the 1960’s that shut the mine down for good. That was the final blow to a hardy town that then joined the long list of desert ghost towns of the area. The wooden structures spent the next several decades baking in the summer sun, some collapsing and giving in to time and the elements until their savior hit that jackpot and preserved what remained.
Thanks to that lucky slot machine in Las Vegas, we all now have the chance to take a step back in time and relive part of the wild west experience.
To find more interesting places to visit near Goldpoint, read up on our post about Scotty’s Castle.
Goldpoint, Nevada June 2013