A TRIP BACK IN TIME
This past Sunday, my family and I decided to take an impromptu trip. Out came the camera’s and off we went. Our wonder lust took us to the picturesque Ghost Town of Goldfield. Its appearance is so authentic you feel you have broken through a time warp and stepped into the 1890's. We found this treasure tucked away in a rural area not far from home.
The town of Goldfield was settled in 1892, when a low grade of gold ore was found between the Superstition Mountains and the Goldfield Mounts. By October of 1893, gold fever was running high and the tiny town began to flourish. Adding to the growth was the legend of the Lost Dutchmen’s Goldmine. Unfortunately, the gold fever ended and the town collapsed. Nevertheless, just like the Phoenix, Goldfield was destined to rise again…
In 1966, a ghost town enthusiast by the name of Robert F. “Bob” Schoose visited the Superstition Mountains. He fell in love with the area (who wouldn’t) and moved to Mesa, AZ in 1970. Bob always wanted to own a ghost town and with this move, his dream turn into a reality. He reconstructed the town of Goldfield, one building at a time, on a five-acre site where the old Goldfield Mill once stood. Today, Goldfield is once again a booming little community.
You are free to wander down the boardwalks through town or explore the surrounding property by horseback, horse drawn carriage or rail car. We choose to stroll around the historic little town and put our digital cameras to work. Between the three of us, we took over 800 pictures!
Goldfield provides most of the conveniences you need for the days visit.
The Mother Lode Mercantile will tease your senses with its aroma of fresh popped corn filling the air; it will be a struggle not to go inside. If you do, you will find a nice variety of candy, homemade fudge, soft drinks and treasures both old and new.
A little further up the street is the Coffee Cantina & Bakery---to tempt your pallet they have a variety of soft drinks, coffee (even Latte’s) and bakery treats. My personal favorite is a baked tortilla roll, filled with apple pie filling, and finished with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar—Yum-yum!
If you’re felling ravenous, head for the Mammoth Steakhouse and Saloon and try their 8oz Giant Mammoth Burger topped with pepper jack cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms. All meals include a hefty order of french fries and a veggie. If you still have room for dessert, try the Hot Apple Dumpling smothered with Vanilla Ice Cream.
I mention these locations because I can personally give you my official taste bud validation. The other eateries, along our walk through town, were jam-packed. That usually suggests more “good fixins” await you.
There is a verity of old west attractions just waiting for you. If it’s the thrill of a horseback ride you want mosey on over to Goldfield Livery Stable and ride the trails with real cowboys and gentle steeds.
If riding the trail isn't your bottle of sarsaparilla then head on over to the Apache Trail Tours. You can enjoy a jeep trip through the alluring beauty of the mighty canyons and jagged mountain peaks of the Arizona desert.
Have you ever wanted to pan for gold? Visit Gold Panning at Prospector’s Place. They will teach you the original and long-standing panning techniques. Watch out though, gold fever may overpower you.
Ladies, hold on to your men, the town flaunts Lu Lu’s Bordello---need I say more? Don’t worry if your man slips he can make amends at the Church on the Mount . This beautiful old-fashioned building sits at the top of the hill overlooking the town.
Several times a day a Wild West shoot out occurs in the main area of town. The performers are great fun to watch and interact with the crowd. Have a question---just walk right up to any one of them and say, “howdy pardner,” and enjoy a real cowboys style of conversation.
Oh, I almost forgot, they say the “ghost’ in ghost town describes another possible encounter during your visit. Just a little added feature to heighten your experience. I was hoping there would be a surprise for me in at least one of my pictures. Much to my dismay, not a one of them posed for me; maybe next time.
On your next visit to the southwest, be sure to stop at Goldfields for a real western “ghost town” experience. As always, dress for the weather and wear shoes that support a lot of walking. Keep in mind there are a few sharp but manageable inclines.