Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Wild West: Goldfield Ghost Town

    Our next stop on the Apache Trail was Goldfield Ghost Town. We visited here two years ago and the kids were excited to return. Goldfield was a mining town that thrived for a mere five years in the late 1800s. It's a nice place to spend a couple of hours; there's lots of old mining equipment for the kids to play on and around, and beautiful views of the Superstition Mountains as well. 

An old mining rail cart.

Main Street, Goldfield Mining Town.

Peregrine and Raphael played on this old tractor for a long time. Peregrine was pretending it was a train engine and he was the engineer calling out "All aboard on the California Express!" 

There's a little church at the top of Main Street. Someone actually holds services there on Sundays. 

Windmill, Goldfield Ghost Town.

This ol' timer was sitting there fiddling, so we wandered over to listen. He introduced himself  as Garbanzo, and proceeded to give us a litany of bean-themed jokes. He has a wife called Chick Pea. After fishing in a little pouch he handed each of the kids a handful of dried beans and told them that now they're "Has Beans" like himself. And that he only gave those out to nice "Human Beans", and they could plant them, grow some more, eat them, and be "Full of Beans". Then he asked them each their name in turn and sang a little ditty about them, and how they like to eat buttered beans. 

The Superstition Mountains as seen from Goldfield. You can see the narrow gauge train that runs around the outskirts of town. We didn't take it this time, but last time we were there we did. These mountains are so beautiful! Erik's parents live on the other side of them and have a lovely view from their back yard.

Again, there were so many green things in the desert; it was really beautiful!

The entrance to the mine. We decided to take a tour, and descended the staircase to where we took a rickety feeling elevator down to the first level of the mine. As we walked through the tour guide told us the fascinating and sometimes horrible history of the mine. I'm not sure it was all true, but it gave us all insight into the life of a miner during that time period. Raphael really disliked being down in the mine and I had to hold onto him and keep telling him it was okay. To be honest I didn't like it either; being 35 feet below the ground in an old earthen tunnel was pretty unnerving. But I was glad we did it. There is nothing as educational for the kids as running around these places and experiencing as much "living history" as they can. 

Pearl and Raphael playing around some of the old mining equipment.


  1. I love that ol' feller and his beans. Memorable for the children I'm sure. Enjoying your journey immensely. Thanks for sharing.

  2. On our trip to Yellowstone, we stopped in the Black Hills of South Dakota and went to a gold mine...definitely a good memory. We panned for gold and still have a little jar with a tiny fleck of gold that we got...

  3. Marfa, I hope we can pan for gold someday. A local farm has a little sluice set up and you can buy a bag of dirt with some treasures in it... pretty hokey, but the kids like it.

  4. The place is so cool. It love mining town settings and although they are commonly referred to as ghost towns, they are amazing. It's nice that there are people who preserve this place to at least make them tourist attractions. mining equipment


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