20 Cities in 20 Days: The man who rebuilt Goldfield Ghost Town

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Goldfield Ghost Town sits across from the Superstition Mountains on the outskirts of Apache Junction. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Goldfield Ghost Town sits across from the Superstition Mountains on the outskirts of Apache Junction. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
It was here that gold was discovered in the 1890s and soon after became known as Goldfield once it was sold. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It was here that gold was discovered in the 1890s and soon after became known as Goldfield once it was sold. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Bob Schoose put everything he had into Goldfield, just to preserve this rich Arizona history and to see kids' faces light up. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Bob Schoose put everything he had into Goldfield, just to preserve this rich Arizona history and to see kids' faces light up. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Goldfield Ghost Town sits across from the Superstition Mountains on the outskirts of Apache Junction.

It was here that gold was discovered in the 1890s and soon after became known as Goldfield once it was sold.

"They sold the mine for 20,000 bucks, so they each got 5,000 bucks apiece, each, and this thing produced millions," said Bob Schoose, who bought the town about 30 years ago and rebuilt it after a fire nearly burned it to the ground in the 1940s.

[SLIDESHOW: The man who rebuilt Goldfield Ghost Town]

"The reason it got that name is because the newspaper articles, the hundreds and hundreds of newspaper articles constantly said so and so is going to the goldfields," said Schoose, who used to be a miner.

He says he put everything he had into Goldfield, just to preserve this rich Arizona history and to see kids' faces light up.

"I was walking by the gold panning one day and I seen [sic] this one little kid panning gold and he spotted some in the pan and his eyes got about this big around and I looked at him and I go [sic], 'I did the right thing,'" said Schoose.

[VISIT: Goldfield Ghost Town]

Even the stagecoach that used to run folks back and forth to Mesa sits in the town's saloon.

"It was a dollar to ride the stagecoach and it took five, five-and-a-half hours to get out here," said Schoose.

And what would each saloon be without a bordello?

There were three in the town.

"Women lost their husbands due to accidents in the mine, getting shot, getting killed by Indians. They had to do something. Some of them were lucky, they got to be cooks or whatever, but some of them had to do what they had to do to feed their kids," said Schoose.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Wake Up Arizona's 20 Cities in 20 Days]

At Goldfield, the mineshaft has also been preserved, so you can walk right through it or how about a walk through the remake of a miner's home, built as though it had collapsed, which creates one heck on an optical illusion.

There's also a train to take you around the town, a wonderful saloon, gift shops or you can just walk the town and take yourself back in time or just sit back and take in the incredible views.

If you wondered how miners survived the Arizona heat in the summer, many would sleep outside, getting some degree of comfort by hanging burlap sacks, wetting them down and praying for a breeze.

Watch Apache Junctions' 20 Cities in 20 Days:

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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