The Goldfield Historical Society (Society) has undertaken the stabilization and restoration of the building, with the intention of utilizing it to interpret the natural and cultural history of Esmeralda County and as a community center to support the cultural and educational needs of the community. Below is a timeline of our past efforts.

2005…Rain and snow infiltration through a failing roof results in collapse of the southeast wall.  Volunteers install a temporary foundation/retaining wall at the first floor and brace some of the more unstable masonry with posts and beams.

2006-2007…Volunteers continue emergency bracing, including the central skylight and begin patching the roof with donated materials.

2008…Building/land donated to a Nevada non-profit corporation for the benefit of the people of Goldfield and Esmeralda County.  During this time the Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, applies for and receives a $296,000 National Park Service Save America’s Treasures(SAT ) matching funds grant to go toward restoration.

2009…Fundraising and donation solicitations begun in earnest.  $10,272 in National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) funds and $10,678 in private donations used to match $20,950 in SAT funds for a total of $41,900 to continue emergency stabilization of the southeast part of the building, including the walls, floors and ceilings.

2010…$165,000 Nevada Commission for Cultural Affairs (CCA) grant funds awarded to match SAT funds.  These funds were never realized due to depressed state economy.

2011…$10,000 in NTHP funds and $1,000 in private donations used to match $11,000 in SAT funds for a total of $22,000 to conduct National Park Service required Interior Historic Structures Report (IHSR).

The report, compiled by IS Architecture and Melvin Green & Associates, Structural Engineer, is a comprehensive inspection of the interior of the building.  It contains over 200 pages of information and includes floor plans for each floor as well as detailed descriptions of every room, stairway and open area with supporting photos.

Images are examples from the Interior Historic Structures Report

2012…$1,000 in private donations used to match $1,000 in SAT funds for a total of $2000 for hydraulic lift rental to further patch the roof and brace the south side masonry.

2013…$5000 in NTHP funds and $5000 in private donations used to match $10,000 in SAT funds for a total of $20,000 to conduct National Park Service required Exterior Historic Structures Report ((EHSR).  Again, meticulously prepared by IS Architecture and Melvin Green & Associates, Structural Engineer.

The images below are examples from the Exterior Historic Structures Report. The report is 100 plus pages that documents the exterior of the building, supported by detailed descriptions and photos of the extensive damage as well as recommendations to begin the restoration of the exterior.

2014… Awarded $95,000 CCA grant. $10,000 in CCA funds used to match $10,000 in SAT funds for a total of $20,000 to develop plans/specifications to permanently rebuild the south wall per IHSR/EHSR recommendations. $35,000 in CCA funds used to match $35,000 in SAT funds for total of $90,000 to construct southeast exterior wall foundation.   A lot of work and expense with nothing that shows to you, the public.


Awarded additional $43,000 in CCA(now Commission for Cultural Centers and Historic Preservation-CCCHP) funds and, with remaining $50,000 in 2014 CCA funds and $2,000 in private donations, rebuilt interior masonry course of southeast exterior wall, foundation to roof, and replaced mortar on much of the exterior masonry.

The new wall is constructed of Concrete Masonry Units (CMU’s or concrete block to most of us) that are steel reinforced and fully grouted.

In preparation for the new inner wall, John Ekman and Dominic Pappalardo worked hard at jacking the three floors and ceiling back to their original position so that they could be attached to this wall.

At last we have a wall! 

This is a successful end to a long struggle to complete this phase of our project.  The work was done by A-1 Masonry of Las Vegas, and paid for with a Nevada  Commission for Cultural Centers and Historic Preservation (CCCHP) grant, fundraising income and private donation such as yours.  And last but not least, the window openings have been boarded up to further protect the building from the elements.

(Pictured below) During this phase of construction we were able to have much of the missing mortar replaced on the remainder of the building.  As you can see, the repointing of the missing mortar looks truly excellent.  The next step is to sort through the very large pile of stone for the proper facing stone to rebuild the outer wall.  Might be a rock sorting party in the near future.

2016 More Progress…

Rock sorting going on and exterior rock walls going up…

The mortar replacement (re-pointing) on the main entrance makes a world of difference and showcases how elegant and dramatic the entry was for this building in its heyday.

It’s wonderful to see progress. But, there’s still lots to be done.  And we NEED YOUR HELP.

Horseless Carriage Club of America tours Goldfield High School…

When the Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA) toured Central Nevada in late 2016,  one of their stops was Goldfield.  We were thrilled to have them park their beautiful vintage cars in front of the high school.  They toured our town as well as the school and surrounding mines.  Society volunteers manned the Community Center  which served as a relief station providing drinks, snacks and restrooms.

2017 was a year of planning, measuring, meetings and preparations

…to finally complete the stabilization/rebuild of the outer south wall in 2018.  $44,000 in grant money from the Nevada Commission for Cultural Centers and Historic Preservation and $10,000 in private donations are earmarked for this project and are ready for use when the contract is awarded in early 2018. The work includes new steel plate lintel supports/steel columns and replacing stone masonry.

A bit of roof repair…

Temporary roof repair is complete.  It looks a mite like a patchwork quilt but will do the job until money for a new roof is acquired. Inside, the south roof rafters were jacked back into their original position and secured in place on the new inner wall top plate.

Cleaning Up During 2017…

Volunteers cheerfully emptied buckets of collected rain water, pulled weeds and raked the grounds, as well as manning brooms inside.  Lots of smiles and LOTS of weeds and trash.

AND…  last but not least – some good news and super donations…

1.  We’ve heard from our craftsman in Iowa and been advised the new balusters for the front stairs are are well on their way.   Exciting news!  However, the new front stairs we had hoped to install is currently on hold until the work on the south wall is complete.

2.  KGFN radio station donated facing stones to the Society for the continuing work on the exterior rock walls and Central Nevada Hardware donated the necessary wool pallets to store the additional stones.

3.  The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) donated 20 original stone lintels – a real find!

4. The Society submitted a grant application for $85,000 to finish the outer east wall.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Make a Donation to Goldfield Building Restoration Fund

All contributions provide funding for the restoration of the Goldfield High School.  We need your support. Every dollar counts! Check out our Goldfield High School Restoration Project page to see our progress.

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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