History! Charm! Location! Ghosts! Goodsprings, located just 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas, was once one of the largest towns in Nevada. In those days folks from Las Vegas would venture to Goodsprings to shop and be entertained.
Goodsprings was originally named after a cattle rancher named Joseph Good. He was particularly pleased with the discovery of springs that were readily available for his cattle. The abundance of water made the decision to establish his cattle-raising operation there an easy one. The cattle would roam the southern end of the Spring Mountains and the springs soon became known as Goodís spring. History tells us that the springs were first used by the Anasazi and Paiute Indians.
But, what was even more important for putting Goodsprings on the map was another discovery, the discovery of minerals. Lead, silver, copper, zinc, gold and silver were all mined from this area in the late 1800ís and the early 1900's. Even Joseph Good tried his hand at mining. With the addition of the railroad in 1905, mining production prospered and the population of Goodsprings grew. A business district evolved to include a hospital, school, general store, a two-story hotel and several saloons, including the famous and popular Pioneer Saloon, which is still open and serving today. A side note, the cherry wood bar that sits in the Pioneer Saloon is the same bar that was brought down from Rhyolite, NV, already a ghost town after its short-lived boom.
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Like other mining towns throughout the state, the mining boom of Goodsprings did not last. The town never became a ghost town as was the fate of other mining towns in Nevada, but the population dropped to a handful. You can still feel the flavor of the old west by visiting the one remaining saloon that claims to be the oldest saloon in Nevada. History is preserved in the old tin building with bullet holes forever reminding patrons of the rough and tough life of miners who frequented the old establishment. It is said that the ghosts of several of those miners still enjoy the bar as their spirits have been seen by patrons and employees alike. In fact, there is a ghost hunt tour that includes visiting the Pioneer Saloon. For more information about this haunted Vegas tour, visit www.vegasexplorers.com.
Also on display at the Pioneer Saloon is a memorial dedicated to the tragic plane accident that took the life of Carole Lombard. Her plane, TWA Flight 3 crashed into the Potosi Mountain on January 16, 1942 not far from the saloon. Clark Gable held vigil at the saloon awaiting news of his beloved Carole. The accident, as we know, ended her life. Newspaper clippings and photos line the wall of the saloon forever commemorating this event.
Step back in time by visiting Goodsprings, Nevada. This short drive from the Las Vegas Strip is worth the trip for history buffs and anyone who just wants to enjoy a cold one! This is also a favorite stop for motorcycle enthusiasts who frequent the establishment. For more information about this and other Nevada destinations, visit www.travelnevada.com.
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