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Glory Days in Goldfield, Nevada, The

By: Zanjani, Sally
Price: $31.95

University of Nevada Press,2002.
Goldfield, Nevada, was one of the West's last mining boomtowns, centered on a fabulously rich gold deposit discovered in 1902 and exhausted by 1920. Goldfield's heyday embraced both the final days of the western frontier and the beginning of the automobile age, and its brief but brilliant history combined elements of both.
Distinguished mining historian Sally Zanjani has a personal connection to Goldfield-her father was one of thousands who went there to seek his fortune. In this book, Zanjani tells the colorful history of the town, enhancing her story with the personal accounts of many of its residents. The result is an exceptionally readable narrative of an exceptional place.

Goldfield developed first as a rough mining camp after the discovery of gold in 1902, but quickly it included modern stamping mills, an array of saloons and brothels, a lively business district, and a population of widely diverse backgrounds and habits. The arrival of the railroad brought access to the culture and luxuries of the wider world, and gold created the fortunes to enjoy them. But there were families here as well, mothers and children, homes, schools, and churches. There were also single women seeking a livelihood (respectable or not), crooks of many persuasions, politicians with a range of agendas, some less than honorable, and working men of many backgrounds, all hoping to strike it rich. By 1919 the gold rush was over-the ore bodies were exhausted and most of the population left for greener pastures. A disastrous fire in 1923 destroyed much of what was left.

Today's Goldfield is a mere shadow of its halcyon self, but Zanjani's engaging recounting of its story brings this last western gold-rush town to life again as the town celebrates the centennial of its founding. Lavishly illustrated with more than 150 remarkable period photographs, many from private collections and never before published, The Glory Days in Goldfield will delight readers and preserve the history of one of Nevada's most important and vibrant mining centers. Oversized Hardcover, 141 pages.