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Sep. 9th, 2013 at 1:06 pm
I lived in Goldfield, Nevada for about a year when I was a little girl. It’s hazy because we moved back and forth so much. Nevada has some interesting old towns that were once boom towns and Goldfield is one of the most interesting.
When I lived there, there wasn’t much left of the town, the population is quite small. In its boom period, they’d built a big high school and gym, which we were threatened with our lives not to play in. We did anyway. We found a place that was broken to sneak into the gym and we had a good time. Someone had hung a thick rope with a knot in it to the ceiling and we’d work together to pull it to the side (no memory how we did that) and then we’d sit on the knot and swing. It was pretty fun.
I stepped on more nails in Goldfield than I did anywhere because there were so many falling down houses and we never wore shoes. Ever stepped on a nail? It’s a unique experience, especially pulling it out. We were up to date on our tetanus shots, thank God, because they were all rusty nails.
We made forts and played cowboy among the mine shafts; I fell into one once, but landed on a set of box springs—people used the shafts for garbage dumps and just laid there till my grandma came and pulled me out and yelled at me for being so stupid.
Goldfield was good to us scrawny little girls. The people had big hearts and we felt accepted. We went to a one-room schoolhouse with a marvelous teacher and attended the Christian church meetings on Main Street.
My mother was a bit more attentive there; not drunk so much. My father wasn’t with us, although he did drop in once long enough to get my mother pregnant. That baby died when she was one week old.
Once, we were playing with several other kids whose families lived in Goldfield and in the evening light, saw puffs of—-something? (I’m now pretty sure it was some time of pollen, maybe from Cottonwoods) and we decided they were fairies. We each caught one and made a wish and blew them away. I wished I would wake up and we’d be living in a palace instead of a one bedroom (also one bed!–all four of us slept with our mother), three room shack. I sincerely believed and dreamed all night of palace. Well, I was a pretty disappointed little seven year old.
Here are some pictures of Goldfield and of us when we lived there. I feel so sorry for my mom; she never smiled because my dad had knocked out some of her teeth and others had rotted so she looked like an Appalachia woman. The large green building is the old gym. The bottom picture is of the high school when there were a lot of people living in Goldfield. The top one is what it looks like now.
If you ever get a chance to drive through Nevada, stop in at Goldfield. Pretty interesting little place.