Goldfield Reconnaissance Survey
The National Park Service (NPS) Pacific West Regional Office prepared this reconnaissance survey report of Goldfield, Nevada, at the request of Senator Harry Reid. Senator Reid asked the NPS to consider Goldfield's role in the American frontier mining experience, the national significance of the labor union struggles at Goldfield, and to include a sense of historic site boundaries. Senator Reid also described the importance of the 1906 Gans-Nelson boxing match to our nation's racial history.
This report includes a description of Goldfield's resources and a preliminary evaluation of the historic resources based on a field visit and available documentation. Based on the analysis, Goldfield's historic resources representing the last gold rush in our nation and the labor strife of unions, appear to be nationally significant and may be eligible for designation as a national historic landmark. The resources also appear to be suitable for inclusion in the national park system. The NPS is unable to make a preliminary determination of feasibility for Goldfield to be included in the national park system. The historic resources are nearly all privately owned by a large number of separate owners, and contacting these owners is beyond the scope of this reconnaissance survey. Other analysis that is beyond the scope of this reconnaissance survey includes evaluation of safety issues, preservation costs, and the level of public support.
The NPS study team recommends: (1) a National Historic Landmark nomination be prepared for Goldfield, and (2) a special resource study be authorized for Goldfield. The special resource study process should include extensive involvement of local landowners, government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to determine whether NPS involvement is desirable and feasible. Additional assessment will provide further substantiation of the significance of Goldfield's resources and further information on existing threats to resources and safety issues such as hazardous materials.
The NPS suggests that the study area be expanded to consider other historic mining resources that are also key to this gold rush story in southwestern Nevada, including Tonopah. Further management options considered in a special resource study should focus on a range of creative approaches, designations, and partnership arrangements.
Jean Boscacci, 510-817-1442
National Park Service
Park Planning and Environmental Compliance
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700
Oakland, CA 94607