Newsletter & Events

Quarterly Newsletter

Newsletter 3rd Quarter 2023, Issue No. 45

I hope all is going well for you and welcome back. It’s been a cold, wet and somewhat destructive winter for most of the country. However, we are looking forward to more improvements on the High School, our boxcars and buildings around town.

Continue reading newsletter here…

Check out the past issues of our newsletter.


Goldfield Days August 4-6, 2023

The Society had a busy time of it during Goldfield Days this year.  Besides our popular Poker Walk, we had T-shirts, cups, license plate holders and commemorative coins for sale.  Our booth signed up folks for tours of the High School.  We Bragged about our restoration project, answered questions and supplied membership applications.  We love signing up new members!  We had a parade entry!      Here’s how is all went….

2023 Poker Walk Results

The Society is thrilled to report that our annual Poker Walk during Goldfield Days this year was a tremendous success.  Seventy-Five hopeful walkers anted up the cash to stroll around the town to the local businesses and collect their cards.  And since there were 12 stops… well that’s a lot of walking and a lot of cards.  Once they brought the back to the booth 0ur card sharks, Brenda Gleffe and “Texas” Ernie Ganem, opened the envelopes and helped each participant select their best hand.


The Best Hand in the event went to Goldfield resident, Delia Brown.  A beautiful Straight Flush…A2345 of Hearts – won her the top prize money of $300.  When she came to the booth to claim her prize, she was bubbling all over.  “I’ve never done this before,” she said, “It was a blast!”

Second Best Hand went to young, Tristan Fitch of Tonopah.  Interestingly, Tristan won second best in last year’s event.  This year, (and a foot taller)  he brought in Four of  Kind …Jacks with an Ace High.  Plenty good enough to win $150.  As you can see, he is smiling all over his face!

Third Best Hand was brought in by Kathleen Bernache with another Four of a Kind —10’s with a 9 High.  She gave young Tristen a run for his money and still took home $50.

Worst hand  this year went to long time Society member and part time resident Jim Price for Two Pair:   6,s and 5’s with a King High.   Well…. Not everybody can win.  However it was good enough for him to get his $15 ante back.  But, after accepting, Jim gave the cash back as a donation.  Society Treasurer, Edie Koepnick accepted the donation gratefully.  Thank you, Jim!

High School Tours

Steve Foutz, our Goldfield High School docent was kept busy providing in-depth guided tours of the High School again this year with his usual panache. Not only is Steve our High School expert, he also serves as Vice President of the Historical Society.

Parade Entry

Jim and Joan Price made sure the Society got a bit of attention in this year’s parade.  They were looking sharp in vintage dress marching down the street to show off our new banner.

The Goldfield Historical Society

Greatest Gold Camp Ever Known!

Thanks …..for a wonderful weekend

……. to all the folks who stopped by to play the game or just to chat. ….. to our volunteers who were there to set up and tear down the booth as well as working long, hot  hours to make our part of Goldfield Days a success: Brenda Gleffe and grandson Sheldon, “Texas” Ernie Ganem, Jim and Joan Price, Michelle Gillum, John Ekman and Edie Koepnick.

And most of all, grateful thanks  to our loyal sponsor  Best in the Desert Racing Association out of Las Vegas for their unwavering support.  They supplied banners, bumper stickers, signs, encouragement and cash for our event.  We could not hold this popular event without them!

Goldfield’s 119th Birthday

Mother Nature threw a temper tantrum on October 22, 2022 – the date set for the birthday party hosted by our Goldfield Historical Society. Our little piece of paradise is now officially 119 years old…and counting. That particular day, the weather turned unseasonably cold and windy. But, we marched on! And by the end of the day we even had a few chilling raindrops. The event was held in a historical building built in 1912. Back in the day it was the First Methodist Episcopal Church but currently serves as our Community Center. (Historical Marker #2)

We served free cake, punch and history. As you can see, it all went well! There were plenty of Walking Tours Booklets, T & T Railroad and Cemetery brochures available. We gained three new society members as well as generous donations to our High School Building Fund.

Faro exhibitionBill Beltz
Our special attraction this year was a Faro exhibition manned by Goldfielder, Bill Beltz (left) who brought his expertise and beautiful hand-built Faro setup for the event. Faro was a very popular gambling game back in the day. Bill taught anyone interested in how the game was played. There was a lot of laughing going on in the back of the room and no money lost (or won) since it was for fun. It was a taste of the past and the pastimes in the old west mining camps and a great success!

Jim Price and Joan Sieber

Jim Price and Joan Sieber

We do our best to coax people driving thru our town to stop and join us. Jim Price, Joan Sieber and Richard Koepnick braved the elements in period dress to encourage folks to stop for a piece of cake and a glass of punch. This year, along with loyal locals, we had travelers from Minnesota, New York and Oregon stop by to check us out. Not bad for a truly miserable day weather wise. Our worker bees worked extra hard (you know who you are!) “Painter Bob” brought a lovely bouquet of sunflowers and an anonymous person left a birthday card and a box of spuds on the steps for us all to share… The Society thanks you all!!

The Goldfield Historical Society’s mission with the Yearly Birthday Parties is to celebrate Goldfield’s existence… and its refusal to go quietly into the night.

Goldfield Historical Society Events Held during Goldfield Days

August 5-7 2022

Poker Walk

Despite one day of torrential rain, the 2022 Poker Walk held during Goldfield days was a tremendous success.  Thirteen intrepid gamblers signed up on Friday August 5th, the first day of the event, even though it poured rain most of the day.   Saturday, was a beautiful sunny day and hopeful poker players signed up in droves.  There were 12 card stops this year so our walkers were busy visiting the various stops, collecting cards and checking out the vendors.  When the dust settled the count was 59 hopefuls enjoying Goldfield Days!

Our winners: 

Goldfield resident Penny Hicks brought in the winning hand:  Five 5’s.  Hard to beat that one.  She walked away with the $300 best hand prize money along with bragging rights!

Interestingly, a mother/son team from Tonopah took second and third best hand.  The young gentleman pictured at right is Tristen Fitch who won with a straight flush with help from the ONLY joker out of 1600 cards.  Wow!  His mom, Elizabeth Fitch brought in four Queens with a King high.  Tristen took home $150 and his mom won $50.   Not bad for a fun time!

The worst hand went to Josh Johnston. (2 pair, 2’s and 3’s with a 4 high) Yikes!   And the plan was to return his ante.  Unfortunately, before we could notify Josh of this dubious honor he had already gone home.   When the Society called to make arrangements for the return his ante money, he generously donated it to the Society.  Thank you, Josh!

Our thanks to the worker bees at the booth, Edie Koepnick and Joan Sieber and especially our card sharks, Brenda Gleffe and “Texas Ernie” Ganem for opening countless envelopes, helping folks select their best hands and keeping things lively!  And of course, all the gentle people who came to visit and play the game.

Special Thanks to our sponsor BEST IN THE DESERT RACING for their unwavering support.  They bankroll this popular event.  The Society could not hold this event without their support.  They ROCK!

Our FIRST Parade Float

Goldfield owes its existence to GOLD discovered in 1902.  Our float was a shout-out to the prospectors and their animal companions who found and staked the claims.  The working mines that followed put us on the map and turned a cluster of tents into a flourishing city of 20,000 by 1907.


But that’s history and what the Goldfield Historical Society is all about.

Riding on the float is Joan Sieber and Andrea Lane the “candy ladies”, representing a growing sophisticated society.

The walkers:  Jim Price nearest the camera, is our expert Railroad guy, representing the all-important arrival of the railroad; Doug Hooper, on the far side represents the hardy prospectors and is a true friend of Goldfield as well as a mine owner.

Our tow guy, is Wyatt Ehrp.  (Yep) Wyatt Ehrp!  All the people involved with this float are true and valued members of the Society.

Our grateful thanks to members David and Karen Cullens who donated funds for the materials to make this possible!

Last but not Least – Goldfield High School Guided Tours

The Society is totally committed to the repair and preservation of the Goldfield High School on Euclid Avenue.  The past 14 years have been filled despair, frustration, emergency repairs, serious nail biting, applications for grants and progress one tiny step at a time.  It is a huge undertaking.  During Goldfield days, Steve Foutz, who is also Vice president of our Society, led guided tours of the building all three days during the celebration.   That’s dedication.   Thank you, Steve!

The 2021 Poker Walk held during Goldfield days August 6, 7 and 8 was a great success.  We had 48 gamblers roaming thru our town collecting cards and enjoying the events.  Our Winners:

Best Hand – Bill Klopping of Apple Valley, CA came in first place with the winning hand of Four Jacks, with a King high.  That hand won him the $300.

Second Best hand
went to Corissa Abbott and two handsome young fellows from Silver Peak, NV.  Four 9’s backed up with a Jack won her $150.

Third Best Hand
went to Derek Cornell (a new Goldfield resident) with Four 4’s and a King high for a prize of $50

The Society added a new wrinkle this year.  The WORST hand got their ante of $15 back just for playing the game!  That turned out to be Goldfielder Bret Lingenfelter.

Our thanks to all the players, all the wonderful folks who stopped by to just chat and to our card shark, Brenda Gleffe, who opened a LOT of envelopes!

Special thanks to our sponsor BEST IN THE DESERT RACING who generously bankrolled our event!  We could not hold this popular event without you!!

2020 Historical Society Events Cancelled

2020  was not a good year for the Society thanks to Covid-19.  Somehow, we did accomplish some amazing things on our main project – The Goldfield High School.  (see our High School Restoration page).  However, a number of things equally important to the Society had to be set aside.

Regular Meetings cancelled. The April thru October meetings were cancelled.  We hope to hold a meeting in November since it will be the last one for 2020.  (We do not hold a meeting in December because of the holidays and so many members either out of town or busy with family.)

Poker Walk Cancelled.  The highly popular Poker Walk held in August during Goldfield Days was another victim of the virus.   This event not only brings in funds to the society but encourages folks to walk about our town and visit businesses as well as historical sites in order to collect their poker cards.  The highest three hands win cash donated by The Best In The Desert Racing team.  But, there were no high hands this year!

Quilt Drawing Cancelled.  Our yearly quilt fundraiser is also a big draw as well as showcasing an example of creative needlework.  The tickets are usually sold for several months before the drawing during Goldfield Days.  Of course, with the country pretty much shut-down, the tickets and drawing didn’t happen.

Birthday Party Cancelled.  In October the Society had planned to host Goldfield’s 117th Birthday Party.  That’s when we put out signs on the highway and flyers everywhere we can think of to encourage locals as well as travelers to visit our community center (and our town) to celebrate Goldfield’s birthday with  free cake and punch.  It’s amazing how many out of state and out of country folks drop by.  Well, that didn’t happen either.

However, we are not discouraged and we are already planning bigger, better doings in 2021!

Poker Walk August 3 & 4, 2019 Hosted by The Goldfield Historical Society

This year’s poker walk, held during Goldfield Days, was a great success attracting 44 hopeful “gamblers” willing to ante up a donation of $15 to the Society to walk about the town visiting and enjoying the various events.  The weather was good and hopes were high.  Entrants had two days to collect their 10 poker cards and bring them back – unopened -to the Historical Society Booth.   Out of the ten cards, they picked the five best.  Alas, we can’t all win…but here are the results for the top three hands:

Whitney Phillips Best Poker Hand 2019

Whitney Phillips brought in the winning hand:  4 Kings with a Queen High which won her $300 in cash.

Laurie Sundeen was close behind the first place winner with 4 Kings with a 9 High for a second place win and $150 in prize money.   Laurie generously donated her winnings to the Goldfield High School building fund.   Thank you, Laurie!

Heather Smith 3rd Best Poker Hand 2019

The third place hand was 4 Queens with a 10 High brought in by Heather Smith and won her $50.

So many people to thank for our success!

Our “gamblers”….  so hopeful and so much fun.

All the Goldfield Businesses and historical places that cheerfully supplied poker cards and initialed entrant forms.

Our card-shark, Brenda Gleffe who opened a LOT of envelopes and helped players select their best hand.

Volunteers who helped man the  booth during the two day event:   Joan Sieber, Richard and Edie Koepnick, Sandy Beltz.

Steve Lauritzen who donated beautiful,  handmade  picture-boxes.   These charming boxes were given away as gifts to those generous folks who donated to our projects.

ALL the wonderful folks who stopped by to visit.

Our generous sponsor, BEST IN THE DESERT RACING ASSOCIATION, for donating the prize money.  We could not hold this popular event without them.

The Goldfield Historical Society thanks you ALL!

Goldfield’s 116th Birthday Party – October 19, 2019

Lots of sunshine, cake, punch and interested folks made this a wonderful social event held at the community center.

The Society served lots of decadent chocolate and lemon cake as well as cookies by the dozen along with our special once-a-year birthday punch.  All the goodies were donated and the Historical Society gives you all a huge shout-out. The cakes were works of art and the cookies delectable.


Signs on both ends of town invited travelers to stop for a while and enjoy cake and hospitality.  Volunteers came early to help set up the event.  Our visitors came from California, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, Utah, Canada, Australia and The Philippines as well as local folks and fellow Nevadans. In the afternoon we were surprised and thrilled by a visit from a Las Vegas Boy Scout Troop. They were such a charming, courteous group of young fellows.  We served a lot of cake.  It was a wonderful day and we thank everyone who helped make it happen.

Folks in period clothes strolled the sidewalk visiting with passersby.  A beautiful 1930 Pierce-Arrow was on display for all to admire courtesy of Society Members Ben and Juanita Colvin.

Our railroad conductor, Jim Price, checks the time on his pocket watch  for these visitors.

Past Events

Results of the two events hosted by the Goldfield Historical Society during Goldfield Days, 2018

The Poker Walk, hosted by the Society during Goldfield Days went very well.  The prize money was bankrolled by BEST IN THE DESERT RACING ASSOCIATION based in Las Vegas.  We can’t thank them enough for their generous donation to our event!  The booth was manned by volunteer Brenda Gleffe for two long, hot days with welcome breaks provided by Sandy Beltz. Thank you ladies!  Thirty two poker players signed up and they had their work cut out for them with twelve different stops around town for cards.  The players brought their sealed envelopes back to the booth and picked the best hand.  At the end of the two day event the results were in:

The Top Hand…  Deanna Robinson took home the top prize of  $300 with  5 of-a-kind… all 10’s!!!  Unfortunately she fled before we get a photo.

Second Best Hand…  Straight Flush 8, 9, 10, J, Q of Hearts brought in by Leroy Wood.  He collected $150.  Looking mighty happy in photo above…

Third Best Hand… Vicky Johnson (below) took away $50 with 4 of a kind … all 8’s with a Q High.

Now for The Rest of the Story…

Later in the day, after all was said, done and awarded we discovered, to our horror, that the third and fourth spots had been inadvertently switched.  The third highest hand was actually another straight flush…3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of Clubs brought in by Dan Sokera.  He was contacted. We explained the error and apologized (humbly) and requested an address to send his rightful winnings.  Mr. Sokera was forgiving and very gracious… said he had such a nice time during the walk that he would forego the cash and we could consider it a donation to our Society.  We thank him for his understanding, kindness and generosity!

Our second event, The White Elephant Hunt also went well.

Although we only sent out eight outback  adventures, our hardy participants reported they enjoyed the sun and dust as well as the hunt.   These are folks who love to load up their GPS  units and hit the back roads.  And, they all accepted their prizes with good humor!  White Elephant gifts are interesting to say the least.

Once again it was the Payne Family (photo at right) of Goldfield who spent quality time searching  thru the back county during the two day event.  Trekking the desert roads on their ATV’s is a way of life for this family!

The booth was staffed by Edie Koepnick with the help of members, Stewart Luce and Joan Sieber.   Stewart is a frequent contributor to this website, with interesting stories of Goldfield old-time movers and shakers.   But, Joan was definitely the best dressed.     We thank all our participants and the folks who just stopped by to visit for making our events a success.

The GPS Challenge for 2017, held in August during Goldfield Days, was well received. Read more here…

The 2016 GPS Challenge held during Goldfield days is over and the dust has settled. Check out how it all went here…

Goldfield’s Birthday Party a Success!

Saturday, October 20, 2018, turned out to be a gorgeous, warm autumn day – perfect for celebrating Goldfield’s 115th Birthday. Signs along the highway on both ends of town alerted travelers of free cake and punch up ahead!  Members John Ekman and Ruth Lee donned period dress and stood outside our community center waving cheerfully to drivers.

Inside, local folk and curious travelers were treated to cake and punch.  The cake was a beauty… three layers of scrumptious carrot cake created by Carolyn Dyson who also prepared two sugar-free lemon Bundt cakes for our folks that have to forego the sugar.  The punch was fruity with a nice fizz and was enjoyed to the last drop. According to the signatures in our Birthday Card, the Society served 80+ guests.

Our visiting travelers came from many places. We had folks from California, Utah, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Idaho as well as a twosome from Chile and a lovely young family from Paris, France.  We were thrilled to have them stop and join us.

Along with cake, we served up a bit of history as well.  In our exhibit, the photo on the left is Alva Myers who is considered “The Father of Goldfield”. The other photo shows Virgil Earp at far right supervising high stakes gaming in Goldfield in 1905.

The Goldfield Historical Society  | P.O. Box 393  |  Goldfield, Nevada 89013
Copyright (c) 2024 Goldfield Historical Society and its representatives. All rights reserved.
The Goldfield Historical Society, Goldfield, Nevada, is an IRS-approved 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization.  Your donation may be tax deductible.
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