South County Land Use Plan
Land Use Plan Links:
Special Overlay Districts in South County (PDF)
Location: South of the Las Vegas Valley
Size: 1,214,310 acres, 1,898 sq miles
South County is an unincorporated planning area administered by Clark County. It includes the communities of Cal-Nev-Ari, Eldorado Valley, Goodsprings, Jean, Nelson, Palm Gardens, Primm, Sandy Valley, Searchlight and Sloan.
Named for Joseph Good, whose cattle frequented a spring nestled in the southeastern foothills of the Spring Mountains, Goodsprings was once the heart of the most productive mining districts in Clark County. Over the years, lead, silver, copper, zinc, gold and silver have all been mined from this area.
Before 1900, a small cluster of tent cabins and a mill were erected, a post office was opened, and Lincoln County established Goodsprings Township. In 1904, Salt Lake City mining interests platted the Goodsprings Township. Most early buildings in the town were constructed during the boom spurred by the railroad in 1910-1911.
After World War I, mining slowed and families moved away. World War II created a second boom, but it too slowed after the war ended. The town's population has dwindled to approximately 200.
Sandy Valley came into being in 1893 when a ten stamp mill was constructed to handle the ore from the Keystone gold mine. It was granted a post office in January of 1896.
Searchlight was founded on July 20, 1898.
There are two stories on how Searchlight was named. The first version is that two men, G.F. Colton and A.E. "Gus" Moore, were in this area looking for mining claims. Mr. Colton lit his pipe and noticed he was using Searchlight matches. As a name was needed for the mine they had just located, they named it Searchlight.
The second story is that the same two men were looking for gold in the rock of the mine and one said to the other, "if there is gold, you would need a searchlight to find it."