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In 1901, J. F. Kent founded The Yellow Pine Mining Company in the Goodsprings area. Recognizing that transportation between the Yellow Pine Mines and the SP, LA & SL Railroad at Jean was a critical issue, Kent decided to construct a railroad to carry his ore. He purchased rails and equipment from the Quartette Mine in Searchlight in 1910, and by summer 1911, the 8 mile track from Goodsprings to Jean and the 4 1/2 mile track to the mine was completed. There were problems with the rail line from the start. The steepness of the grade from Goodsprings to the mine caused 4 wrecks. Twice flooding washed out the railbed. In 1928, a substitute engineer lost control of his train which then left the rails on a sharp curve and was demolished on impact. After this accident, the railroad was not in operation for a time. In 1929, another locomotive was brought in and operated for one year. The decline in profits at the Yellow Pine eventually led to the demise of the railroad. The rails were taken up in 1934 and the locomotives were sold to a Los Angeles junk dealer. The narrow gauge railroad that had transported over 72,000 tons of lead and zinc ore had become just another piece of history.
Myrick, David. Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California Vol. II. Howell North Books, Berkley, CA. 1963
Yellow Pine Rail Trail
The National Park Service through the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program encourages community groups to develop trails that provide outdoor recreation opportunities. Many of these trails are on abandoned rail beds.
In 2005, Dr. Elizabeth Warren suggested that the GHS participate with other agencies to study the feasibility of establishing a trail in the Goodsprings area. GHS members met with Liz Smith Incer, the NPS representative in Las Vegas to discuss the trail. She was very enthusiastic about a trail in the Goodsprings area and the Yellow Pine Rail Trail proposal was born. The trail, as envisioned by that group, would be a 14 mile multiple use recreational loop trail on and along the alignment of the historic Yellow Pine Mine rail bed.
Planning such a venture would require the assistance of many groups. In December, 2005, representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Minerals, Nevada Department of Transportation, Clark County, the Rails to Trails Conservancy and Vias de Vegas: Trails Connectivity Work Group met with GHS members to see the site of the trail. It was a cold, windy day at the trail site but the individuals at the meeting supported the Trail concept and encouraged GHS to move ahead with the planning process.
For the Yellow Pine Rail Trail to become reality, significant issues must be resolved. Among these are:
With holes in the roof and peeling paint, the old Community Clubhouse was showing its age. Its dismal condition had been a concern of the Goodsprings Historical Society and the community for many years.
In the Spring of 2005, the Goodsprings Improvement Association approached the GHS with a proposal to turn the building over to the GHS. After considering this proposal, the Board of Trustees of the GHS determined the best course of action would be to assist in the stabilization of this historic building. At the 2005 annual meeting, a motion was passed to match the $900 in the GIA account with $900 from GHS to make needed repairs to insure the building would not deteriorate further and would be more esthetically pleasing.
Since that time, the roof of the building has been reshingled and the rear of the building has been stabilized. This restoration has been possible through volunteer manpower, donated materials and dedicated commitment. Special recognition must be given to Gordy Siddons for his roofing and carpentry work, Frank Stevens for power washing the building, Len and Laura Carroll for donating plywood sheets and the County of Clark for donating exterior paint. The building will be painted on April 8, 2006 and a celebration of the building's new appearance will follow the painting. If you are able to assist in the painting effort, or if you would like to attend the potluck dinner scheduled after the painting, please show up on April 8(painting 9-4, dinner 1-3). There is still much that needs to be done to the Clubhouse to make it a useful, attractive building, but this is a positive start in preserving the town's past.
All GHS members are encouraged to contribute pages to the Historical Society's Memory Book in recognition of family members or friends who have lived in Goodsprings. These tributes should include information about when the person lived in Goodsprings and anecdotes about their life in the camp. This book will serve as a remembrance of those who are no longer with us, but who touched the lives of the people of Goodsprings.
The Goodsprings Historical Society Website is up and viewable at www.goodsprings.org. Mickey Moran has spent many hours putting together the site and it is full of photos and information. The walking tour and past newsletters are featured on the web site. To stay current on what is happening with the GHS, just log on to www.goodsprings.org.
Bobbie Poole, master quilter and GHS Board member has created a beautiful Goodsprings quilt that features historic Goodsprings photo blocks. The quilt will be on display at the Reunion in May. The reproduction printed here as a sneak preview cannot do justice to this fabulous work of art. See it in person in May!
The annual meeting of the Goodsprings Historical Society will be held Saturday, May, 6, 2006. The meeting will commence at 2:30 following the Goodsprings Old-Timer's Potluck Lunch. Annual membership fees of $10 are due in May. Business items at the meeting will include: filling one Board position, discussion of the Society's role in the Rail Trail and future preservation projects. The annual meeting is a great opportunity to reconnect with the past and look ahead to the future of Goodsprings. See you there.
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