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Searchlight, Nevada is an unincorporated town in Clark County. There are a couple of stories about how the town got its name. Former Nevada Senator Harry Reid, whose hometown is Searchlight, has said that in 1897, when George Frederick Colton was in the area looking for a claim to stake, he was lamenting the fact that he could not find any gold there. He said that it would take a searchlight to find any gold ore there. Shortly thereafter, Colton did find gold, which led to a boom which made Searchlight more populated than Las Vegas. Between 1907 and 1910, the gold mines produced more than $7 million in gold and other minerals, and during that time the population of the town was approximately 1,500. Colton went on to start the Duplex Mine. In 1898, the Searchlight Mining District was founded and the first post office was established at the camp. Word of Colton's good fortune made its way to the outside world, and miners flooded into the area. The Quartette Mining Company was formed and was soon producing almost half of the areas total output. By 1902, there was a 16-mile narrow gauge railroad from the mines to the mill on the Colorado River. The town's population had swollen to more than 1,500 people, making it the largest town in the area. By 1907, the Barnwell and Searchlight Railroad, a 23-mile line, hooked up with the Santa Fe Railroad allowing the tow's reach to go all the way into Needles, California. But the amount of ore to mine was declining, as was its quality. The fortunes of the town declined after 1917, but because it was a stop on the Arrowhead Highway, there was still a bit if income from those who stopped there. By 1919, the mines were still in operation, but the yield had shrunk to the point that the train was only running twice a week. In the early autumn of 1923, a flood washed the tracks out, and train service was not restored. By 1927, there were only fifty or so people still living in Searchlight. That same year,  U.S. Highway 91 was built, and it bypassed the town entirely. The population plummeted to about fifty. In 1934, a new mill was constructed, but it was closed within a year because there simply was no ore forthcoming. With the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s and 1940s, construction workers brought their money to town to visit, among other places, the El Rey Bordello. That was brought to a screeching halt when the El Rey burned to the ground. In 1953, the last gold mine closed. According to the 2010 census, the population of Searchlight, Nevada was 539, the bulk of them being adults. There were only 61 people younger than 18 at that time. There are also may people who want to see what life was like at the mines and during the booms, and for them, there is the Searchlight Historic Museum and Historic Mining Park, which consists of several old buildings, mining remnants, head frames, and other relevant exhibits. 

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