website is dedicated to two of the best kept secrets in Nevada - The
historical mining town of Searchlight and the serenely beautiful Cottonwood
Cove Resort (on scenic Lake Mohave and the Colorado River).
background midi music on this page is the SEARCHLIGHT RAG written by
This historic and
picturesque mining town sits
just fourteen miles up the hill from beautiful Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave. Tell the
truth ... did you know there was a breathtaking, clear lake out in the middle of the desert between
Las Vegas and
Laughlin? In fact, did you know the Colorado River forms this lake? Hmmmm...
I didn't think you did.
are looking for a picturesque, peaceful and serene place to visit, or live,
trust me... there is no hustle, bustle in the streets of Searchlight ... I
think that might be because we don't have many streets. :=) But we do have
big-horn sheep, coyotes, desert tortoise, roadrunners, deer, jack rabbits,
wild burros (do NOT try to pet them), hot springs, beautiful cactus, wild
flowers, clear blue skies, scenic trails through magnificent mountains
passes and some of the most exquisite sunrises and sunsets that God has ever
created - on a daily basis. Oh yes, and did I mention the desert flowers?
the hot springs? the quiet coves? the waterfalls? the canyons? the big horn
sheep? the fascinating history of the region?
Searchlight is situated in the Colorado River Basin in
Clark County, Nevada. Located on U.S. 95 and State Route 164, midway between Las Vegas and
Laughlin. Elevation is 3,540 feet
A BRIEF HISTORY OF
Searchlight has a most interesting and intriguing history that includes many
famous names: Clara Bow, Rex Bell, Edith Head, Louis Meyer, LT William Nellis, U.S.
Senator Harry Reid, John Macready, James Cashman, and an endless list of colorful and
fascinating characters that are fodder for the legends of the old west.
Scott Joplin, who never lived in
Searchlight, was so intrigued by the stories of his composer friend, Tom Turpin - who had
spent time in Searchlight in his youth - that he composed the Searchlight Rag.
of predominately gold ore were first made at this location on May 6, 1897. G. F. Colton
filed the first claim, later to become the Duplex Mine.
The Searchlight Mining District was founded July 20, 1898. The
Quartette Mining Company, formed in 1900, became the mainstay of the Searchlight District,
producing almost half of the area's total output. In May, 1902, a 16-mile narrow-gauge
railroad was built down the hill to the company's mill on the Colorado River.
The Searchlight Post Office was established in October 1898.
Searchlight began to boom in 1902 and reached its peak year in 1907. Up to 1940 total
production amounted to $4.5 million. On March 31, 1907, the 23.22-mile Barnwell and
Searchlight Railroad connected the town with the then main Santa Fe line from Needles to
Mojave. By 1919 trains were operating over the B and S Railroad only twice a week. A
severe washout on September 23, 1923, halted traffic completely. Train service was never
In the 1900's, Searchlight was a typical busy mining town of a reported
1,500 people. At this time, they were larger than Las Vegas. There were many gold and
silver mines that were good producers in the Searchlight mining district. The "Mines
of Searchlight" map dated October 1906, shows that there were well over 300 mining
claims in the area at that time. Eventually, the gold and silver production cost went up
and the grade of ore went down, so people started to move on. By 1927, there were about 50
people left in Searchlight.
Searchlight community has approximately 800 residents and about 50% of them are retired.
The other 50% are an eclectic mix of miners, ranchers, small business owners and artists.
Searchlight has the Harry Reid Elementary School (named in honor of the
US Senator) which serves grades 1 through 5. Searchlight also has a sub-station under the
jurisdiction of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, with two full-time officers
who reside in Searchlight and two Nevada Highway Patrolmen serve the Searchlight area.
There is a Justice of the Peace, The Honorable Judge Wendell Turner, and a State Fish
& Game Warden to serve the community.
Searchlight has a volunteer fire and ambulance service. There are two
fire trucks that can respond to an area of 20 miles in all directions and there is also an
ambulance which is manned by certified volunteers.
The Searchlight Community Center was dedicated in October 1989. The
center houses the Medical Clinic, a branch of the Las Vegas/Clark Country Library, the
Searchlight Historic Museum, office of Clark County Parks and Recreation Representative,
meeting rooms, multi-purpose rooms and a kitchen.
There are two churches, a full service post office and a senior
citizens center. The center offers a TV, ceramic kiln, pool table, card tables, classes in
ceramics, sewing and quilting. Porcelain and painting classes are also offered. Bingo and
cards games are held once a week. The seniors support their building expenses with bake
sales, rummage sales, and raffles.
There are several clubs and organizations available in the community.
AMVETS, Roadrunners, Shriners, Ladies Club, Senior Citizens Club, VFW, Art & Craft
Guild and the Museum Guild.
Searchlight is the Gateway to Lake Mohave. Only fourteen miles down
the hill is beautiful Cottonwood Cove, one of the best Large Mouth Bass fisheries in the
West. The Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina is located inside Lake Mead National
Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service. Campgrounds, fuel, a cafe',
marina store and motel are available. Searchlight and it's surrounding areas are appealing
to those who love nature and the outdoors. The quaint and peaceful desert community of
Searchlight - just minutes away from beautiful Cottonwood Cove on Lake Mohave, definitely
IS one of the best kept secrets in Nevada.
While you are in the Searchlight area, be sure to stop by and meet Jack
Collins (left); the owner of Jack's Trading Post. You can't miss his place, he is
located right on the highway; next door to the Searchlight Nugget Casino. Jack has a
wonderful assortment of authentic Indian jewelry and artifacts in addition to a great
selection of moccasins of all kinds. He also keeps well stocked shelves of the
unique "Leaning Tree" greeting cards. Come to think of it, he has way too
much stuff for me to list here ... so you will just have to stop by and see for yourself.
I can promise that you won't be disappointed.
If you have an RV and are
looking for peaceful places to camp. You can contact Cree's Trailer Park
in Searchlight, by phone at 702-297-1532 or by
Email - just click here. They have full setups for short term and long term parking
If camping next to a beautiful lake, along the magnificent Colorado River, in
the midst of magnificent mountains (in either an RV or tent) is more to your liking, you
might consider Cottonwood Cove which is 14 miles east of (and downhill from) Searchlight.
Their phone number is 702-297-1464 and you will find a link to their site on the "Nevada" page.
If you are
interested in moving to Searchlight or investing in some property in the area, you can
contact Diane; she is a life-long resident of Searchlight and a licensed
You can contact Diane
Kendall by E-Mail
Phone: (702) 297-1750
Cell Phone: (702) 279-9928
Fax: (702) 297-1745
Tell her Cheryl
sent you. :=)
The Searchlight Museum Guild is always seeking donations of old
photos, items of clothing, or any memorabilia that relates to Searchlight and the
surrounding area. Cash donations are also appreciated. Jane is the founder of the
Searchlight Historic Museum, Searchlight Mining Park and Searchlight Museum
Guild. For additional
information, you can contact her by
or at this address:
SEARCHLIGHT MUSEUM GUILD
ATTN: Jane Bunker Overy
P.O. BOX 36
SEARCHLIGHT, NV 89046
Mine in Searchlight
Unique gifts, collectibles, paintings, rocks and MUCH more!
Cottonwood Lake Homes
There's more than
Vegas in Nevada
a US Army Family
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created and maintained by
Cheryl Harvey Hill & CW4 Christopher Hill ©1996