Historical: The Searchlight Mining District was founded on July 20, 1898. The Quartette Mining Co., formed in 1900 and became the mainstay of the Searchlight District.
Searchlight has a most interesting and intriguing history that includes many famous names, such as: Clara Bow, Rex Bell, Edith Head, Louis Meyer, Lt. William Nellis, 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". Initial discoveries of predominately "gold" ore were first made in this area on May 6, 1897. G.F. Colton filed the first claim, later to become the Duplex Mine. The Searchlight Mining District was founded on July 20, 1898. The Quartette Mining Co., formed in 1900 and became the mainstay of the Searchlight District, producing almost half of the total output of ore. In May of 1902, a 16 mile narrow gauge railroad was built to the company's mill located on the Colorado River.
The Searchlight Post Office was established in October of 1898. Searchlight began to "boom" in 1902 and reached its peak in 1907; Up to 1940, the total ore production amounted to approximately $4.5 Million Dollars. On March 31, 1907 the 23 mile long "Barnwell and Searchlight" Railroad, connected to the "Santa Fe" Rail main line from Needles, Arizona to Mojave. By 1919, trains were operating over the "Barnwell and Searchlight" Rails two times a week. A severe storm washout on September 23, 1903, completely halted train traffic and was never restored, this ended train service to Searchlight.
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. If you can dream it, you can do it. Do it now, not tomorrow. Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it. We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - but never blame yourself
In the 1900's Searchlight was a typical "busy" mining town of a reported 1,500 people. At this time, Searchlight was larger in population than Las Vegas, Nevada. There were many gold and silver mines that were "good" producers of ore in the Searchlight Mining District. The "Mines of Searchlight" map, dated October 1906, shows that there were over 300 mining claims in the area. Eventually, the gold and silver production costs increased, and the quality of ore decreased, people began to leave Searchlight. By 1927, the population in Searchlight dwindled to about 50 people.