GOLDFIELD GHOST TOWN, AZ (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - In the shadow of the Superstition mountains, is a part of Arizona that still feels a lot like the old wild west. A place where mining was king and cowboys were common.
Saloons were not just watering holes, they were bordellos. After a cold drink, miners or cowboys could visit a lovely lady. Back then, life was hard, but simple.
History tells us what started here is not just part of Arizona, it helped forge it. And the best part? You can still visit today, more than 120 years after it all started. Mining is what created the territory and the state. This is why people came here. Established in 1893, the Goldfield Ghost Town is a popular tourist attraction.
But back in the day, it was the place to be. About 3,000 people lived and worked here, compared to 1700 in the city we now call Phoenix. Fifty mines provided plenty of work for people. Miners were paid about $2 to $3 an hour, considered a small fortune back then.
They were pumping out gold by the bucketfuls. People believe that it was the world's richest gold mine for that time period.
Today, you can tour the old mammoth mine, and see where the miners spent most of their days and how they mined for gold. The work was tough and the conditions grueling, miners worked 12 hours a day, all of it underground. What they couldn't dig out with picks, they blasted. Unlike the miners, visitors can spend 30 minutes down below, walking the cavern that produced more gold than any other, while learning about life as a miner back in the 1800s.
If going deep into the ground is not your version of the golden ticket, you can certainly walk the mine from above, getting a great perspective and appreciation for the equipment and the ways our forefathers mined the land.
Visitors can walk the dirt roads from one saloon to the next. Sit in a wood chair on a porch or shop for western nick knacks in the many stores.
The area is truly spectacular, and the views from Arizona’s only narrow gauge train are breathtaking, the desert colors creating the perfect backdrop to this wild west town.
So, if you ever imagined what it was like to dig for gold, be a cowboy or wear a badge, the Goldfield ghost-town is a must see and do.