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The Searchlight Post Office was established in October 1898. Searchlight began to boom in 1902 and reached its peak in 1907. As a typical mining town, it had a reported population of 1,500 people. In fact, at the time it was larger than Las Vegas, NV.
In May of 1902, a 16 mile narrow-gauge railroad was built down the hill to the company’s mill on the Colorado River. There were many gold and silver mines that were excellent producers in the Searchlight Mining District. According to Geological Survey Paper 610, most of the Searchlight District’s gold and silver production came from the Duplex and Quartette Mines. The greatest activity was between 1902 thru 1916. A reported 246,997 ounces of gold were produced from the lode mines and 26 ounces from placer workings from 1902 to 1959.
The "Mines of Searchlight" map dated 1906 reports over 300 mining claims in the area. With all the mining activity, you can imagine what a busy place Searchlight was; the town supported multiple stores, hotels, boarding houses and saloons, and two hospitals. When gold and silver mining production costs went up and the grade of the ore went down, people started to move on to the next boomtown. By 1927 the town’s population had dwindled to approximately 50 people.