Nevada gold mining 1905

Cross-dressing on the old frontier

As I was organizing shelves, this set of photos turned up in a box marked “miscellaneous.” Some guy took his Kodak Brownie on a gold mining adventure near Goldfield, Nevada — northwest of Las Vegas, about halfway to Reno.


In December 1902 gold was discovered in the hills south of Tonopah, Nevada… In no time, tents began to dot the barren hills in the mining district dubbed “Grandpa,” later named Goldfield.  Just a year later, only 36 people lived in the new town, but that was to quickly change as gold began to be mined… in larger and larger quantities…


By 1904, the town supported three saloons, a grocery store, and two feedlots, along with its area mining operations. In the spring of that same year, Virgil and Wyatt Earp arrived in Goldfield, once more chasing the prospect of easy riches. Though Virgil’s arm was atrophied from the bullet he had taken in Tombstone in 1881, he was soon sworn in as a deputy sheriff in Goldfield…

Goldfield: Queen of the Mining Camps*

Thanks to the Kodak, photography was now in the hands of amateurs who could record everyday life. This first group shows life in the mining camp (labeled “Nyman”[?] in one of the photos), plus a shot of a canoe on Lake Walker.

The next group is strange. Our protagonist is dressed as a woman and putting on some kind of drama with a couple women dressed as men.

Your guess is as good as mine… wine poured.

*Goldfield: Queen of the Mining Camps

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