………………..by: Susie Perrine
Lida country side offers the sereneness of a tranquil life while stepping back in time about 100 years. Artesian Spring Waters flow throughout the various springs in this area of Esmeralda County. It is most definitely a name you will hear a lot in the upcoming days in the world of the gold mining industry.
Lida Town Site was home to over 500 people in the early 1900's. Old Rosters of the area reflect about 30 various mining companies. YESTERYEAR... in the late 1800's and early 1900's Lida was a booming Gold Town. This townsite included a bank, saloon, post office, general store, school and other entities.
A major water source for Esmeralda County - a water company was formed with thousands of acre feet of water – Goldfield Consolidated Water Co. They supplied water all the way to Goldfield via pipelines for both residential and the mines in Goldfield and Lida areas. Said water company is no longer in business but, there is lots of water in the area.
Back in the days when Gold & Silver was sold for cents, not even dollars, a stagecoach ran daily from Lida to Goldfield which is about 40milesaway. Some of the old dirt backroads will lead you through the old mining areas where remnants of old mill sites and tailings remain.
Lida Ranch features approximately 2700 acres of non-contiguous parcels with springs. Part of this Ranch was once owned by the late Art Linkletter. Some of the surrounding areas are now owned by the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe. Today, only a few families live in the town site of Lida.
Some of the land and water rights in the Lida area were also owned by the late Floyd Lamb back in 1949. Many mines in this area were owned by the late Howard Hughes. Hughes used to frequent Lida Junction located on corner of Hwy 95 to Reno and Hwy 266 to Lida (19 miles to Lida from corner). There is a dirt airstrip behind the infamous COTTONTAIL RANCH brothel of which the building still remains, though closed – for now. The dirt airstrip is leased by Esmeralda County from BLM. Rumors were that Hughes used to frequent the brothel about three times a week. Mr. Hughes never rebutted these rumors as he was a very private man. So private in fact, that very few people knew that he owned, via his company names, many mines in the Lida Valley area of which he was more likely to have been visiting. That was still in the days when Gold and most minerals were far from the price range of today.
At one time Goldfield used to be the largest city in the State of Nevada with many famous names including Wyatt and Virgil Earp that have traveled the roads of both Goldfield and Lida. Lida Junction aka Cottontail Ranch sits on 4.13 acres with future plans for a service station, grocery, bar and/or motel on this major corner. It is also the only non BLM land in area at this time.
Lida will soon be A name on the Nevada map that you will long remember. Its picturesque scenery is ‘Just Like In the Movies’……… you’ll ‘Love Lida’. Please view the virtual tour http://www.lidaranch.com