Goodsprings, Nevada is a community located seven miles northwest of Jean via Highway 161. It is an old mining town that has natural springs. The springs were first used by Ancient Pueubloans and then the Paiute Indians until western settlers discovered them in 1830.
The town was founded after Joseph Good, who owned cattle that drank from the springs. He discovered silver in the area in 1861. Between 1868 and 1882 lead and gold were also discovered in Goodsprings.
Goodsprings was finally platted in 1904 by Salt Lake City mining interests. In 1911, a railroad line was completed between Goodsprings and Jean, making transport of the precious metals much easier. The town grew quickly therafter.
In the early twentieth century, Goodsprings was one of the most productive mining areas in all of Southern Nevada. Large amounts of lead, silver, copper, zinc, and gold were mined from the area.
The Yellow Pine mining District earned more than $30 million dollars from sales of precious metals. However, as the mines were depleted the towns population decreased.
In 1913, the Pioneer Saloon opened and still operated today. It is one of the oldest saloons in all of Nevada.
In 1913, a permanent school was built in Goodsprings and is still in use today. The building is on the list of National Register of Historic Places. Goodsprings reached its peak population of 1,000 residents in 1915. However, following the demand for lead and zinc in World War I, mine production in Goodsprings began to decrease.
By 1930, the railroad line between Goodsprings and Jean ceased operation and four years later the tracks were dismantled.
In January 1942, the Pioneer Saloon became the center of operations for the search of TWA Flight 3. The plane, which carried twenty–three people, crashed into the side of a cliff on nearby Potosi Mountain killing all aboard. The crash was determined to be be caused by pilot error as the plane crashed into a sheer rock wall of 8,517 Potosi Moutain.
Movie star Carol Lombard, who was married to Clark Gable, was onboard and died in the crash along. The saloon still has a small memorial to both Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.
Unlike some other old mining towns in the southwest, Goodsprings is not a ghost town. It is a census–designed place that currently has a population of about two–hundred people.
The town is rich in history. Several of its buildings are near 100 years old and still operating. Some say the Pioneer Saloon is "haunted" as it houses a bullet hole from a fatal shooting that once occurred there. The coroner's letter describing the cause of death is still on the wall of the saloon.
Several of its famous old residents still have headstones in the Goodsprings cemetery, which is located just east of town along the north side of Highway 161.
Goodsprings is 900 feet higher in altitude than Jean in the southeastern foothills of the Spring Mountains. Goodsprings is in Clark County, and lies at an elevation of 3,707 feet. Some residents commute to Las Vegas for work, which is about 40 minutes away.