GOLDFIELD - What started as an effort to clear old property off the Esmeralda County tax roles has bloomed into an annual event.
Goldfield's Second Annual Land Rush raised more than $135,000 for the county treasury. Fifty-nine pieces of property and six mining claims were sold during the Aug. 25 auction.
The auction of antiques and memorabilia raised $14,000, according to DeAnn Siri, the clerk/treasurer of Esmeralda County who conducted both auctions.
Goldfield is the county seat of Esmeralda County, the smallest in population of Nevada's 17 counties. More than 95 percent of the county's area is federal land, so the land sale revenue is a welcome addition to the county general fund.
More than 500 bidders and visitors participated in the numerous activities during the weekend.
A "Come As You Were in 1908" parade began at 10 a.m. The parade entries included several antique cars and people dressed in turn of the century costumes. Wildfire, a vocal group, and three gunslinger groups, Goldfield Gun Fighters, Blue Canyon Gang and Desert Drifters of Pahrump performed in front of the courthouse during the parade.
There were 37 vendors selling food, drinks, Goldfield memorabilia, crafts and antiques.
On both Friday and Saturday nights, there was a street dance in front of the Goldfield Hotel. Hourly tours of the hotel were conducted by local experts. More than 160 people toured the hotel.
The original opening of the hotel was reenacted with a special luncheon and dinner. Soirees Catering of Las Vegas prepared and served almost the same dinner menu as was served in the Grill Room in January 1908.
"Fifty-one people enjoyed the luncheon and the remarks of Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt," said Linda Toner, chairwoman of the luncheon and dinner.
The dinner was sold out.
Proceeds from the lunch and dinner and the memorabilia auction will be credited to the county historic preservation fund to be used to restore the county buildings in town.
The proceeds from last year's auction were spent in repairs and cleaning of the Goldfield hotel. In refurbishment of the hotel, one of the original signs was repaired and repainted by Brian Smalley. He also constructed a new sign for the Grill Room doors by copying a 1930s picture of the hotel. Both signs were rehung on the hotel by the Esmeralda County maintenance department.
More activities are set for Nevada Day Weekend, Oct. 26-28, and a third land rush will be held next summer. Call 485-6352 for information.