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The unincorporated town of Searchlight, in Clark County, Nevada, is the hometown of Nevada Senator Harry Reid, as well as William Harrell Nellis, a fighter pilot who flew seventy combat missions in World War II, and the man for whom Nellis Air Force Base is named. Tradition has it that Searchlight received its name when George Frederick Colton found gold there in 1897, after having stated that it would take a searchlight to find gold ore there. The town’s population declined after 1917, when its gold mines were depleted, dropping even further when US Highway 91 bypassed the town in 1927. Its last gold mine was closed in 1953. Searchlight is east of Nipton.



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