Searchlight, Nevada
Established 1898

This 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).

The background midi music on this page is the SEARCHLIGHT RAG written by Scott Joplin.

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.

If you 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? map

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


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.

Initial discoveries 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 restored.

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.


Today the 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 for RV's.

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 realtor.

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 E-MAIL or at this address:  

ATTN: Jane Bunker Overy
P.O. BOX 36

KMillion Gold Mine in Searchlight
Unique gifts, collectibles, paintings, rocks and MUCH more!

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Website designed, created and maintained by Cheryl Harvey Hill & CW4 Christopher Hill 1996 - 2008