The desolate Mojave Desert in Nevada's extreme southern tip is one of the least hospitable environments in the United States. However, its rugged mountains concealed rich deposits of gold and silver that attracted miners from the time that Spanish explorers first discovered them in the eighteenth century. In the early years of this century, the area became the site of a small but profitable mining boom. At the center of the excitement was a camp called Searchlight. Nevada's U.S. Senator Harry Reid is a native of Searchlight, and in this book he recounts the colorful history of his hometown - the discovery of the ores that brought about the boom, the growth of the mines and of the town that served them, and the lives of the hardy, stubborn people who not only worked the mines but with their families built a town from a dusty mining camp. He also reveals to us how the railroad and other transportation came to Searchlight, how the availability of water helped the town and its surrounding ranches grow, and the roles played by famous, and infamous, residents - such as the renegade Paiute Queho, Hollywood royalty like Clara Bow and Rex Bell, and aviation pioneer John Macready.