The historic mining town of Goodsprings is perhaps best known for its 1913 Pioneer Saloon and Goodsprings School House, the oldest school in the County still in use, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Saturday, May 4, the town nestled in the foothills of the Springs Mountains 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas will gain another rich amenity and celebrate the grand opening of a 2.2-mile trail giving users glimpses of the area's beauty and rich history.
Visitors are invited to explore the trail from 9 to 11 a.m., when plein air artists will capture on canvas the views from various trail vantage points. At 11 a.m., the art pieces will be displayed at the trailhead as part of the ceremonies led by Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones, who represents the town of more than 200. The Goodsprings Historical Society (http://goodsprings.org/) also will take part.
Throughout the event, attendees can learn about the history of the area, participate in an art project, view the art for sale from participating artists, or simply enjoy the peace and beauty of the desert surroundings.
The project features a 2.2-mile natural surface loop trail with interpretive signs describing the area's rich history, mining, flora, fauna and more. The trail traverses a ridge, follows the path of a portion of the original train tracks, and features a footbridge over a natural wash. Depicted along the sides of the footbridge is a replica of the train that once carried ore from Goodsprings to Jean.
Also included are a picnic table and shade structure at the 5-acre trailhead next to the Goodsprings volunteer fire station with parking and restrooms. Funding was provided by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.
The event coincides with the town's 37th Old Timers Reunion later in the day May 4 and 5. Its members will be in attendance at the trail event.
"This is such a great project on so many levels," said Commissioner Jones. "I would encourage anyone who wants to get a little exercise in a beautiful setting to venture out to Goodsprings for this event. You're sure to enjoy the festivities and learn something about this intriguing corner of Southern Nevada at the same time."
To reach the trail, head south from Las Vegas on Interstate 15 to the Jean exit. Head west on State Route 161, which leads to the town of Goodsprings. At the Y, turn right on Esmeralda Street, then left on Pacific Avenue. The road turns right and the site is immediately on your left.
Goodsprings was at the center of what was once one of the most productive mining districts in the County. Zinc, lead, silver and gold were all mined there. Goodsprings Township was created by Lincoln County before the 1909 formation of Clark County and the town was platted in 1904.
According to the historical society website: "The Yellow Pine Mining Co. built a narrow gauge railroad to connect the mines to its mill at Goodsprings, and to take the ores to the main railroad line at Jean. Opened in 1911, the railroad and the mill stimulated the growth of the town. In 1918, there were about 800 people, several stores and saloons, a post office and school, a grand hotel and a weekly newspaper…. Goodsprings was thriving until the post-WWI mining bust. Gold mines in the 1930s and government need for lead and zinc in WWII resulted in minor excitement, but the mines of the Yellow Pine Mining District have been largely dormant since the 1950s. The railroad was taken up in 1934."
The Pioneer Saloon is considered one of the oldest bars in Nevada. It features a bullet hole on one side of the building and a coroner's letter describing how it was created. It also has a memorial to actors Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. After the latter's plane crashed into nearby Potosi Mountain on Jan. 16, 1942, Goodsprings' saloon and hotel were the centers of operations for the search. Lombard died in the crash.