May, 2014–Goldfield, Nevada
Goldfield, Nevada, is an old mining town and the county seat of Esmeralda County. Gold was discovered here in 1902. By 1904 there were 20,000 people living in Goldfield, and the district had produced $2,300,000 in gold ore.
The boom didn’t last long. The 1910 US Census showed 4,838 people living in Goldfield.
The 2000 Census counted 440.
You can drive through town in a few short minutes, as we did several times on our way to Death Valley.
We blew through Goldfield without noticing the main attraction that lies just outside of town: The International Car Forest of the Last Church.
Part art, part whacky–the Car Forest was created by Michael “Mark” Rippie and Chad Sorg. It’s a collection of old cars, planted and painted, in the desert.
The name of the place is odd. One of the creators, Mark Rippie explains that he “came up with The Last Church as representation of the last church being inside each of us, meaning that we should pass knowledge to each other from one heart to another about two things: unconditional love and compassion.” http://www.hcn.org/issues/46.6/international-car-forest-of-the-last-church
The other creator, Chad Sorg, further explains that “to call it an International Forest was my idea as a sort of spoof on ‘national forest’ and because people from all over the world visit Goldfield. Highway 95 gets large amounts of tourists wanting to experience the Old West.”