GOLDFIELD (5,689 alt., 513 pop.), (tourist-camp, gasoline, restaurant), sits high on one side of a broad saddle between bare brown peaks. Seen from the highway, this fabulous town is drearier than a graveyard—for no one expects anything of the dead and Goldfield is not a ghost.
—Nevada, A Guide To the Silver State (WPA, 1940)
Eric Reeve files this dispatch for American Guide Week from the town that’s been among the walking dead since our WPA forebears visited in the 1940s:
Bronica ETRS & Kodak Tri-X 400
Like many western gold towns, Goldfield boomed then bust in a very short period of time, the difference here being that some people never left and a few interesting and eccentric folks continued to be drawn to the isolated city for years after the gold was exhausted. You’ll find beautifully kept cottages next to crumbling shacks, the famous Goldfield Hotel (reportedly haunted, of course) as well as a few businesses that are still operating, mostly thanks to the fact that Goldfield is a living ghost town.
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Raised on the streets of Montréal, in the forests of Québec and on the fields of Ontario,Eric Reeve loves things altogether cultural, natural and rural. He’s a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. Follow him on Tumblr at manandhisworld.tumblr.com.
Here’s another American Guide dispatch. Thank you, again, to Erin and the crew for letting me be a part of #americanguideweek.
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Among the shellfish are butter clams, the staple food of Puget Sound Indians, and still abundant today; razor clams of the ocean beaches, sought by tourists; the small Olympia oyster, famous for its flavor, and the rock oyster, both native to Washington waters, and the large Japanese oyster introduced here a few years ago, scallops with exquisitely fluted rose-tinted shells; and the geoduck, elusive and comparatively rare.
—Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (WPA, 1941)