Searchlight: The Camp That Didn't Fail

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The desolate Mojave Desert in Nevada's extreme southern tip is one of the least hospitable environments in the United States. However, its rugged mountains concealed rich deposits of gold and silver that attracted miners from the time that Spanish explorers first discovered them in the eighteenth century. In the early years of this century, the area became the site of a small but profitable mining boom. At the center of the excitement was a camp called Searchlight. Nevada's U.S. Senator Harry Reid is a native of ...
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Overview

The desolate Mojave Desert in Nevada's extreme southern tip is one of the least hospitable environments in the United States. However, its rugged mountains concealed rich deposits of gold and silver that attracted miners from the time that Spanish explorers first discovered them in the eighteenth century. In the early years of this century, the area became the site of a small but profitable mining boom. At the center of the excitement was a camp called Searchlight. Nevada's U.S. Senator Harry Reid is a native of Searchlight, and in this book he recounts the colorful history of his hometown - the discovery of the ores that brought about the boom, the growth of the mines and of the town that served them, and the lives of the hardy, stubborn people who not only worked the mines but with their families built a town from a dusty mining camp. He also reveals to us how the railroad and other transportation came to Searchlight, how the availability of water helped the town and its surrounding ranches grow, and the roles played by famous, and infamous, residents - such as the renegade Paiute Queho, Hollywood royalty like Clara Bow and Rex Bell, and aviation pioneer John Macready.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is a detailed history of Searchlight, Nevada, located some 60 miles south of Las Vegas. Though Searchlight is a small town in the high Mojave Desert, it can serve as a metaphor for the modern West. Boom, bust, boom again typifies the West as we've known it in the 20th century. Searchlight started out a mining town, boomed with the construction of rail and highway routes, floundered when the mines ran out and the interstate bypassed it, and boomed again with legalized gambling, prostitution, population influx from Southern California, retirement housing and retirees, and a new road from Las Vegas to Laughlin. It never once failed, as the subtitle statesall because of the people who made up its soul, claims the author, a senator from Nevada. His affection for his birthplace is evident throughout, and he has managed to conduct and present scholarly research while serving as a full-time senator. Recommended for all Western history collections in academic and public libraries.Thomas K. Fry, Univ. of Denver
Booknews
The author, a US Senator from Nevada, recounts the past of his home town from its beginnings as a mining camp to its current status as an outpost town where the largest employer is a casino. Along the way he touches on everything from the world's oldest profession to the weather in the Mojave. Appends information on the region's mineral production and climatological data from 1949 to 1993. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874173109
  • Publisher: University of Nevada Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Pages: 233
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2003

    Senator Reid is a great Man!

    This book is quite educational and now a historic piece. Great for everyones collection!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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