Goffs, CA

Originally known as Blake, Goffs, CA is a small unincorporated community located off of Route 66 in the Mojave desert near the Piute Mountains.  Originally named for Isaac Blake, builder of the Nevada Southern Railway, the town was named Goffs in 1902, when it served as a railway stop, and housing for the Santa Fe Railroad.

Goffs, CA

Goffs, CA

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Bodie and Aurora rivalry continues in the modern era, what is the true distance between the ghost towns?

Two towns located in the hills above Mono Lake maintain, the Bodie and Aurora rivalry continues even now, long past their demise.  Bodie, CA and Aurora, NV boomed with the gold rush of the 1870s and busted just years later when the gold ran out and faded into history.  Miners, merchants, and people would undoubtedly moved either direction between the two cities and with good fortune would undoubtedly talk down the previous city.  Such is human nature, but why would this rivalry continue long past the demise of both towns?

The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun
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Downeyville Nevada

Downeyville Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada.  In May 1877 silver-lead discoveries in the area caused a large influx of start up mining camps and development.  Most people who came to the new and yet to be named town came from nearby Ellsworth.

So many people made the trip so quickly, that frequently, they were greeted with no accommodations. The new towns people were often forced to sleep outside or camp among the sage brush.

The town of Downeyville was founded in 1878 and had a population of 200 men. The small town boasted several stores, stables, saloons, stage lines which included Wells Fargo Express.  A post office was added in March of 1879 and the town was named after the first postmaster, P. Downey.   Mr. Downey

By 1881 ore was shipped to the nearby Carson & Colorado railroad for processing, until a lead smelter was constructed in Downeyville, which did not occur until several years later.  Like many boom towns, Downeyville Nevada passed into history with the next big discovery hit in Tonopah. By 1901 the post office was discontinued and the town faltered leaving behind stone ruins.

Marietta, Nevada

Located at 4947 feet above sea level, Marietta was formally established in 1877 near Teel’s Marsh and is now a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada.   F.M. “Borax” Smith a silver and gold prospector, found his place in the world, when he established a borax works in Teel’s Marsh in 1872.

Francis “Borax” Marion Smith
Francis “Borax” Marion Smith

Soon after the town was founded, the populations swelled to several hundred people, however exact figures are unknown due to inaccurate record keeping among the Chinese populations who worked in the borax plant.  The town soon boasted 13 saloons, a post office and several stores.

The town had a rowdy image and due to its remote location made it an easy target for robbers, and for criminals to run free.  At one point in the 1880 the stage was reported robbed 30 times. 

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