Gold Point Ghost Town

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The Esmeralda County mining camp of Gold Point might not exist if it weren’t for Las Vegas wallpaper hanger Herb Robbins who, with partner Walt Kremin, owns most of the town’s buildings. On weekends, Herb assumes the role of Sheriff Stone (he’s also the fire chief) and opens restored miners’ cabins to paying guests.

Gold Point, south and west of Goldfield, was founded as Lime Point in 1868 and called Hornsilver until 1932. When Herb and his friend Chuck Kremin discovered Gold Point in 1978, it had only a few residents and dozens of deteriorating wooden buildings. They heard that lots were for sale, and Herb bought two and Chuck bought one.

In 1981, Chuck’s brother Walt joined them to buy the Post Office, General Store, and the home of Senator Harry Wiley and his wife Ora Mae, complete with furnishings. Over the next 10 years Herb and Walt bought all the buildings that came available and are restoring them. Friends help with repairing roofs and finishing the interiors, leaving the weather-beaten exteriors intact.

Guests can experience a slice of the past in the simple but comfortable cabins. Most have free WiFi and all have TV-VCR combos. On Saturday evenings, you can have a drink in the saloon and a steak dinner in Herb’s house. Breakfast on Sunday can include pancakes made from 100-year-old sourdough starter, followed by a tour of the town and a peek at the owl’s nest at the mine building. Then, you can kick back and listen to some of Herb’s stories or explore the backcountry.

Gold Point caters to large groups, which either camp or stay in the cabins and the RV park. All proceeds go to restoration. The main fund-raiser, the Memorial Day Weekend Chili and Dutch Oven Cook-off, includes breakfast and dinners for upwards of 300. Country-western, bluegrass and classic rock bands play all day and into the night. If he didn’t earn another nickel from renting cabins and catering parties, Herb would still preserve Gold Point buildings. “I don’t want this town to disappear,” the Sheriff says.

Gold Point is approximately 296 miles south of Reno and 175 miles north of Las Vegas off U.S. 95, S.R. 266 and S.R. 774.

Fast Facts:

  • Some overnight guests in Gold Point report having seen “other visitors” in their cabins.
  • When guests get up in the morning, jackrabbits are the first things they’re likely to see out the front door.
  • Visitors can shoot pool on a 1909 Brunswick pool table or browse though more than 7,000 photos of Nevada mining camps. Herb’s photo album weighs 101 pounds.
  • Ora Mae Wiley was postmistress in Gold Point from 1940 to 1964. She died in 1980 at age 83.

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