Prospectors found silver-lead ore here in 1868 and organized the New England district. Due to the silver content being too low to be worthwhile, the venture was largely abandoned. One prospector, a cattleman named Joseph Good, stayed for a while thereafter, and the springs where he camped were named Good's Springs in his honor.

By 1883, Joseph Yount, Hosea White, and Ben Hamilton located the Boss mine on the west slope of the Spring Mountains, and the Yellow Pine district was organized, supplanting the New England district. Three years later, prospectors from Utah led by A.G. Campbell arrived at Goodsprings searching for lead. They began extensive exploration and developments, leading to permanent settlement at the springs. In 1892, ore was assaying at over $1000/ton. This, coupled with the construction of the Nevada Southern Railroad to Manvel, California (45 miles south), led to the population's soaring to 200 by the end of the year. Samuel Yount opened a store, and the camp lasted until 1896 when mining declined, leaving only one resident for the next two years.

In 1898, the Mineral Union Co. took out a lease on the Boss and Columbia mines and built a small copper smelter southeast of Goodsprings, but it was a failure by the next year. Nevertheless, it provided new interest in the district, and even Yount returned to reopen his store. In 1901, the Yellow Pine Mining Company was incorporated and consolidated many of the area properties, but the long wagon haul prevented shipment of all but high-grade ores. In 1905, with the completion of the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad to a new shipping point - Jean - production quickly quadrupled. This was compounded by a discovery the same year; much of the waste rock that had been discarded after milling was actually high-grade zinc, worth more than the lead! This caused many of the older mines to be reopened and a renewed vigor swept over the district.

By 1910, the Yellow Pine Co. was making incredible, but steady progress. That year it purchased the old Mineral Union Co. smelter, enlarging it to a 75-ton concentrator which began operation the next year. In 1912, work began on the narrow-gauge Yellow Pine Railroad, connecting the mines to the concentrator and on to Jean for shipment. The new ease in transportation and the increased demand for lead and zinc during World War I led to a peak in mining activity from 1915-18. Goodsprings grew to about 800 people, with numerous businesses, stores, saloons, school, hospital, the fine Fayle Hotel, and weekly Gazette. After the war, though, demand fell, shuttering the mines, and paired with the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, Goodsprings quickly declined.

The Yellow Pine finally reopened in 1923, sparking a small revival which lasted through the end of the decade. Flooding and an accident which destroyed the locomotive hampered use of the narrow-gauge line, and the concentrator burned in 1929. In a last ditch effort, a 125-ton flotation mill was built in 1930, but operated for only a year when the Yellow Pine Company ceased operation and was sold off due to debt. Gold mining began in the district during that decade, but too came to an end at the beginning of World War II when gold mining was deemed unessential.

In the decades following World War II, some minor mining occured, but Goodsprings never again reached the prominence it had during the 1910s. The Fayle Hotel burned in 1966, and less than 200 people live in the town. Perhaps its greatest claim to fame today is as the home of the famed Pioneer Saloon🔗, southern Nevada's oldest saloon, which has been a fixture since 1913.