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The Goodsprings Historical Society (GHS) invites all old friends and new friends to join us for conversations about Goodsprings past and future. There will be good food and historic memorabilia in abundance. Please mark your calendars and enjoy these 2 special days in Goodsprings. Check for any changes at www.goodsprings.org.
8:30 AM-11:00: Registration/Donuts - Community Center Historical Society displays
10:30-11:00 AM: School tour
11:00 AM: Goodsprings School Time Capsule: at the school
11:30-12:30 AM: School History Displays: old clubhouse
12:30-2:00 PM: A return to the popular Potluck Lunch - Bring your favorite meat dish, salad, or dessert to share
2:00 PM: Group photo: in the park
2:30 PM: GHS Annual Meeting: Community Center
School History displays after meeting
8-11:00 AM: 28th Traditional Miner's Breakfast - Community Center
11:00 AM-1:00 PM: School History Displays at old clubhouse
1:00 PM: Lunch
GHS Annual Meeting May 4, 2013: The annual meeting of the Goodsprings Historical Society was held on Sunday following the Miner's Breakfast. Bobbie and Corky Poole were recognized by the Society for their many contributions. Stephen Fleming and Julie Newberry were reelected to the Society Board. The school Centennial celebrations and fundraisers that had been held this year were reviewed. These included a welcome breakfast for the first day of school, a picnic with an auction in Sept., school lessons taught by Society members, Bingo, the Christmas gift project, the soup contest and distributions of children's books to the Goodsprings students for Nevada Reading Week. All events were successful and helped build enthusiasm for the centennial year. The Sandy Valley student council was recognized for their help and a $25 donation was sent to the school in their honor. The memorial quilt was discussed and members were reminded to send any completed blocks to Ruth Rawlinson or Bonnie Casto. The book that Bobbie Poole and Julie Newberry have been working on, Goodsprings School the First 100 Years was discussed and orders were taken from those interested in purchasing it. The book costs $100.
Submitted by GHS Trustee Liz Warren
For starters, Nevadans should care about the Old Spanish Trail because the very name Nevada derives from the Spanish word for "snowy". The use of a Spanish name reveals that this land was once controlled by Spanish (and later Mexican) governments. Las Vegas, translated from the Spanish as "a well watered valley" is the name of our principal city-another clue to our Spanish/Mexican heritage, which dates to the time of the Conquistadors.
Fast forward to the 19th century, when Americans in Eastern states began to look west, to the opening of trade between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Independence, Missouri. New Mexican traders needed better equipment (stronger horses and mules) to use in this long distance trade. Strong animals, abundant in California, could be had for a couple of blankets, a product of New Mexican weavers. In 1829, trader Antonio Armijo of Santa fe pioneered a trail to California, unlocking a pent-up market for New Mexican goods and relieving the Californios of their unwanted excess stock. Within a few years of its opening, literally thousands of animals were driven from California to New Mexico via the Old Spanish Trail. In 1844, Capt. John C. Fremont journeyed along this route, and depicted: "Las Vegas" on his map of the journey. Members of the Mormon Battalion followed the OST from San Bernardino to southern Utah in 1847 converting the trail from an animal path to a two-rutted wagon route. This route served traders and emigrants until replaced by the railroad and paved highways, both 20th century innovations.
Nevada celebrated its centennial as a state in 1964. Sherwin "Scoop" Garside, then managing editor of the Review-Journal, marked the trail through Southern Nevada to bring attention to our heritage. This year, the state marks its 150th anniversary, and the Old Spanish Trail Association(OSTA) is re-marking the trail(now designated a National Historic Trail) through Southern Nevada. Trail markers are ca. 4' tall concrete obelisks, similar to the centennial markers. We have the benefit of research conducted in these last 50 years, and so are more certain about where the trail markers should be placed. OSTA proposes that one should be erected in Goodsprings at the site of Armijo's "Little Spring of the Tortoise", where the caravan spent the night of January 11, 1830. The 60 men and 100 mules found water and sufficient forage at this lifesaving spring site. OSTA is asking GHS to help support this Sesquicentennial project by contributing $250 toward the cost of the monument. Take a moment while you are here for the reunion and visit this historic site which is located off State Rt. 60(Spring St) and Vegas Drive.
Yellow Pine Rail Trail The funding for the Yellow Pine Rail Trail, which will start at the Goodsprings fire department parking area has been approved. Contracts for construction are being negotiated and hopefully by next May the trail will be in. The approval of the Trail by Clark County has been an on-going project for the GHS for many years. The Trail will bring hikers, horseback riders and non-motorized bikers to Goodsprings.
A new book Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen give some new insight to this well-known crash. It cites Goodsprings residents who led the recovery effort and provides information on the causes of the crash and the drama associated with the crash. GHS members might find it interesting.
The story of Carole Lombard and Flight 3's tragic crash on Mt. Potosi is well-known Goodsprings lore. But how many of you know the story of the August 1947 crash of a Stearman biplane whose 2 passengers not only survived the crash but miraculously hiked to Goodsprings and safety. This summer Eugene Timpe contacted the Goodsprings Historical Society with his amazing story. I would like to give you a few tantalizing details here from Eugene Timpe's account in the "Flying Magazine," and invite you to read the whole incredible story at the reunion where it will be available in its totality.
On the second of August 1947, a Stearman biplane left the now defunct Central Airport in Los Angeles. The passengers were Eugene Timpe (Pilot) and passenger Bob Bimie. The plane was heading to Utah with a stop in Las Vegas. The day was hot and large cumulonimbus clouds hung over the Spring Mountains. Rather than following the highway, Timpe decided to pursue a course through the mesas and valleys which led to the Spring Mountains. As they approached the range they spied a canyon that appeared to lead through the mountains. The combination of the desert heat and the cloud formations was too much for the biplane and, despite Timpe's attempt to overcome them, the plane dropped to the ground. Neither passenger could remember hitting the ground, but upon awakening the devastation of the crash was obvious. Neither passenger had shoulder harnesses so both had upper body and head injuries. Bob had a long cut above his eye and his ankle was badly sprained.
Both men's goggles had been smashed across their eyes when their heads were thrown forward. Eugene's head had knocked the instrument panel into a "U" shape and one of his legs was injured when both of his feet had pushed through the bottom of the fuselage and dug into the ground. The plane wasn't in much better shape. The engine mount was bent, the propeller was wrapped around the engine, both lower wing panels had been torn loose by the wheels and the inside of the cockpit was littered with smashed glass, broken instruments and bent controls. From the baggage compartment aft, however, the plane looked great. (The rear section of the plane remains at the sight of the crash today).
Bob assessed Eugene's injuries which he decided were worse than his and made the decision that Eugene should remain behind and he should walk for help. Bob spread the cockpit cover in a sheltered place for Eugene. He pried the rearview mirror out of the wing and gave it to Eugene to use as a beacon, gave him his flashlight and a canteen and, after bandaging his ankle and studying the maps started out for help. Neither man realized help was 40 miles away. How these two injured men survived the desert heat (112) with one canteen of water each and no food is a remarkable tale of industrious, desperate fortitude. To learn how they did it, you will have to read Eugene's story at the reunion. I promise you it is quite a tale.
Goodsprings School Alumni Reunion May 4: To celebrate the school centennial, the Historical Society decided to throw a party and celebrate with a lunch catered by Famous Dave's Barbecue. Over 140 celebrants enjoyed the food and reminisced about their school days. A lively auction of food and historical items provided entertainment. The Society received a gift from Clark County of framed news clippings from the Goodsprings Gazette as well as a CD containing copies of Goodsprings Gazette newspapers.
Pictures by Bobbie Poole
Bobbie Poole (First on right) presents quilt to teacher Erika Samuel to hang in the school. Carolyn Edwards and Julie Newberry assist.
Goodsprings School ended its Centennial Year on Sept. 15, 2013, one hundred years after the actual opening on Sept. 15, 1913. To recognize this important date, the Historical Society held a special event. A highlight was the arrival of 25 Model T cars from Las Vegas. The cars made a pass through Goodsprings and parked so all could see the cars and visit with the drivers. Dignitaries Senator Richard Bryan, commissioner Susan Brager, Trustee Carolyn Edwards, Deputy Superintendent of Educational and Operational Excellence Kim Wooden, and Principal Jerry Cornell welcomed all to the celebration. Trustee Carolyn Edwards presented a framed "Proclamation for Goodsprings School 100th Anniversary" signed by all 7 members of the Clark County School District and Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky. Bobbie Poole made and presented a lovely quilt to the school which was received by teacher Erika Samuel. Food for the event included hot dogs sold and served by Ruth Rawlinson and a birthday cake. An auction of food and various items was conducted by Pat Pinkerton. Proceeds were used to offset costs for the Centennial celebrations.
By Julie Newberry
The decade of the 60s was one of social unrest and men on the moon. The students at Goodsprings School continued life as usual, seemingly unaffected by national events. The ringing of the bell, the outside flag salute, and the annual Christmas play followed by Santa Claus are still well remembered.
The Goodsprings Schoolhouse continued to be updated and modernized. The roof was replaced, and the outside of the building received a coat of light green paint. A storeroom was built on the west side of the school. A new well was drilled in the back and a new water fountain was placed in the front. After the old wooden flagpole fell down, a new steel pole was erected. The playground was covered with blacktop. On the inside, an accordion divider was installed in the front room. The cable on the bell was so badly frayed that it would come loose and a student would climb up and reattach it. Finally someone fixed it with a steel cable; to keep it from coiling, Brad Whitney added a lead weight from a diver's belt.
Students had time off for lunch. They could bring a sack lunch or walk home if they lived in Goodsprings. Students who were bused to school had permission to walk home with a friend or relative to have lunch. During lunchtime Peter Simon remembers often swapping sandwiches with his friend Vernon Bowman. Peter's sandwich was roast beef made by the cook at Pop's Oasis, Vernon's sandwich was venison provided by his father on homemade bread. Both boys were happy with the trade.
Education was still foremost on the list. The study of Europe in geography class was a favorite subject. Those students in grades 4 through 8 had to memorize many facts about the countries, such as spelling each European country (fifth-graders) or knowing each country, capital, and location on the globe (8th graders.) All were expected to earn 100% on the exam.
Other lessons impressed students. Dr. David Dennis, teacher, had received his degree in archeology, so students enjoyed lessons from him in that field. Fossils were a particular interest to all ages. Former students remember his drills on the chalkboard. One group of students remembers making a cactus garden under Dr. Dennis's direction. The students set the rules for walking on paths through the garden and protecting the plants. Anyone who did not obey those rules was subject to a punishment designed by students; that led to a form of student government.
Since this teacher enjoyed teaching outdoor, he also started "Doc Town" up the hill from the school. Students could purchase one square for a nickel and build on it. They made fences, little houses and added things they found in the desert.
In the '63-'64 school year with teachers Albion and Nellie Ogee, students joined the rest of Nevada in celebrating the state's first century. They studied Nevada history, wrote reports and presented their information during an April 30, 1964, program. This celebration included a rhythm band, Nevada piano selections, and crowning the School Centennial Queen, Joan Smith. Mamie Hanrahan was superintendent and supervisor of the centennial program. Lyal W. Burkholder, director of area zone schools, also participated. Ms. Hanrahan was well known because she would sometimes make unscheduled stops at the school and take over a lesson or two.
Another story tells of 3 boys who climbed into the attic without permission just to look around. They lit matches to see their way which also helped destroy the cobwebs that were in their path. When 2 of them fell through the ceiling and were caught, they all received 10 swats from a teacher's paddle and no recess for a week.
During recess and after school students could get their exercise. The softball team continued to play teams such as Mountain Pass and Blue Diamond. During the years 1965-1967 the team was very good. Their star hitter was a girl! New bleachers were built on the baseball field. A man from the community made new bases and repaired the backstop. In the schoolyard former students also remember the merry-go-round, teeter-totter, and monkey bars. Marbles had become a favorite game among the boys.
In the 60s the Sandy Valley area was growing. Those children were bused to Goodsprings for school; therefore, some years 2 teachers were needed, sometimes 3. Out of the 14 different teachers during that decade, 10 were married couples. But all of them continued to ring the bell on the roof to start the school day.
Goodsprings School: the First 100 years: Orders will be taken for the second edition
Our thanks to the following groups whose participation helped make our centennial celebrations special: Principal Jerry Cornell and Sandy Valley students, Pat Pinkerton and his auction crew, and Model T Club of Southern Nevada.
Wanted: "Dog Tags" from students who watched the atomic bombs being tested. The National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas would love to borrow or be given one or more of these tags to display in their museum. Please contact Bobbie Poole.
Memorials: It is with great sadness that that the Goodsprings Historical Society reports the loss of Goodsprings old-timer Stella Reed, Joe Beatty from Sandy Valley, and GHS member Dr. Joe Lapan. Please inform us of anyone we may have missed.
Election: Our thanks to All: and recognition to Gold Members: Bob Beers, James and Linda Crouse, Donn & Mary Blake, Carolyn Edwards, Bill and Frances Hamilton, Sam McCool, Ron Mayo, Bob and Ann Osburn, Bobbie Poole, Claude and Liz Warren
Lead/Zinc Members: Russiano Decaro, Steve Fleming, James Neubauer, James & Faye Osburn, George & Carolyn(Pack) Patchin, Barbara Schwartz, Peter Simon, Bob Stodal
Membership Dues: (check one) Individual_______$5.00; Gold Member__________$50.00; Family__________$10.00; Lead/Zinc Member____$100.00; Name______________________________ Amount___________ Address_______________________________________________ Email_________________________________________________ Send to: Goodsprings Historical Society, Box 603, Goodsprings, NV 89019
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