20 Cities in 20 Days: Goldfield Ghost Town just outside Apache Junction

Posted: Updated:
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Apache Junction in the far East Valley is known as a retirement paradise with lots of great activities including golf and hiking. But this area originally boomed thanks to gold and the nearby town of Goldfield, now a ghost town come back to life.

Goldfield Ghost Town sits across from the Superstition Mountains on the outskirts of Apache Junction. It was here that for men found gold in the 1890s and soon after sold what later became known as Goldfield.

The reason it got that name is the newspaper articles, the hundreds and hundreds of newspaper articles, constantly said so-and-so is "going to the goldfields."

We walked Goldfield with Bob Schoose, who bought the town about 30 years ago and rebuilt it after a fire in the 1940s nearly burned it to the ground.

[MEET: The man who rebuilt Goldfield Ghost Town]

[SLIDESHOW: Tour the town]

Schoose used to be a miner himself. He put everything he had into Goldfield just to preserve this rich Arizona history and 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,'" he said.

You can still see the stagecoach that used to run folks back and forth to Mesa; it sits in the town's saloon. It was $1 to ride the stagecoach and it took 5.5 hours to get out here from Mesa.

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

At Goldfield, the mine shaft has also been preserved so you can walk right through it. There is also a miner's home, built as though it had collapsed, which creates one heck on an optical illusion.

There is also a train to take you around the town, a wonderful saloon and gift shops, or you can just wander around and enjoy 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:


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

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


Popular Stories