Behind the Lens: Subways in the Desert
Photos and musings from our photographer David Kidd.
One hundred and ten years ago, the town of Goldfield, Nev., was booming.
It was the biggest and richest city in the state, boasting 22 hotels, 49 saloons, 27 restaurants, 15 barbershops and everything a modern city of the turn of the 20th century could need.
One thing the town didn't need, though, was an underground transit system.
How then to explain this pair of subway entrances sitting in a field just off the main street in this remote desert town? No one can quite recall. They seem too sturdy to be Hollywood movie props. More likely they were trucked here from someplace back East.
The demise of gold mining and a terrible fire in 1923 decimated most of Goldfield. The population dwindled from 20,000 to fewer than 300 today. But enough of the town survives to preserve a sense of its past. A beautiful high school is being restored and a grand hotel still stands, although its last guest checked out in 1947.
It’s easy to imagine someone parking one of the rusty autos that litter the town and walking away, or a jobless miner closing the door on one of the remaining little wooden houses, never to return.
But the pair of subway entrances remains a mystery.