Thursday, April 2, 2009

Goldfield Ghost Town

On March 17 our home school group went on a field trip to Goldfield Ghost Town.
Goldfield was the largest and most productive gold mine in Arizona until they dug too deeply tapping an aquifer and flooding the mine. There is still gold mining going on there, but it is not nearly as productive as it once was.

We started our day with a ride around the town and mining area on a little train.

The trip takes a loop that goes past both the active and inactive mines and around the town which looks likes a Victorian mining town -- all wooden buildings with gingerbread trim, dirt roads, water storage towers, and boardwalks, with a church at the highest point at the end of town, just a couple of doors down from the bordello.

We then had the opportunity to do some gold panning.
Each pan was guaranteed to contain gold, iron pyrite (fools gold), and garnets. And the best part was that you got to keep what you found. Between the two of us, we managed a pretty respectable haul, mostly of garnets.

We wrapped up the day by taking a tour of a mine. Much of it was just replica (remember - the real mine flooded!), but it was fun and interesting just the same. Our tour guide was, of course
dressed in character, and shared the history of mining and some really bad jokes with us.

This was one of the funnest field trips we have ever been on, and if you ever get the chance to visit, it's worth the time. Be warned though, it IS a tourist trap, so come prepared!

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