"The sentimentality in Goodsprings, though, is formidable. Perhaps because it is so close to Las Vegas, where old structures are famously imploded and replaced rather than preserved, the county's oldest operating school represents an unusually durable tie to regional history.
The town itself, an 1829 stop along the original Old Spanish Trail, boomed in the early 20th century as miners extracted zinc and lead from the hills. When the school was built in 1913, the population of Goodsprings was about 800. (Fewer than 2,000 people lived in Las Vegas.)
A post-World War II mining bust led many residents to leave; today the town has only 200 people and two businesses - a saloon and a general store - so most residents work in Las Vegas.
But the school, put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, remains central to local life. Gone are its potbellied stove, water pump and wooden outhouses, and a 1996 renovation brought computers and new flooring, but the bell Briana rang is the original and students still perform a Christmas pageant every year."