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  #1  
Old 02-15-2008, 01:04 AM
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Ghost towns

Hello all,

I posted a similar thread in the Nor-Cal chapter, but also wanted to get input from the So-Cal folks. I would like to know how many, if any, ghost towns, everyone has been too.

Of course, I would imagine everyone has been to Calico at least once (I have been there twice) but has anyone gone to any other ghost towns? I have also been to Oatman in Arizona, on the old Route 66 highway, just south of Bullhead City.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:35 AM
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I've been to Calico, the ghost town at Knott's Berry Farm...which is basically a copy of Calico haha. Jerome Arizona is one huge unique ghost town in that it is famous for its ghosts...but I don't think it was ever really abandoned altogether at one time.

Driven through some ghost towns that weren't official tourist stops either. The type that you don't see on a map anywhere, yet still somehow run into them haha. Some of them out in the middle of the desert miles away from any other sign of civilization.

Thats about all I can think of at the moment,
-Chris
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:05 AM
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In 1961 when I was first there...Calico consisted of the bottle house and a coupla shacks...everything you see today besides those was brought in by Walter Knott. Most of what's there was bought by Knott from a former gold mining ghost town in Montana (I forget the name but it started with a B).

Bodie is prolly the best preserved ghost town in CA...most of the towns in the Mohave desert (Garlock, Ballarat, Atolia, etc.) and in the Owens Valley were stripped bare (mostly for firewood) in the 1930's. One entire town (Panamint..I think) was built of brick. There's little left today besides foundations. The bricks were hauled away in the 1930's, and can be found all over LA today.

Another famous well preserved ghost town is Shakespeare, located in southwest NM near Lordsburg. It's privately owned and shown only by appointment...for a fee.

Old Trail Town near Cody, Wyoming has been set up by artist, gun collector and western historian Bob Edgar. He went all over the west, hauling away fallen down shacks and reconstructing them. The entire town is preserved, it's not a commercial venture like Calico is. The buildings consist of, for example, the shack that was at Hole-in-the Wall, Butch and Sundance's hideout in Wyoming west of Kaycee. Another shack was the last home of Curley, one of the Crow Scouts under Custer's command at the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876. Old Trail Town is a must see if you are in the Cody area.

My first trip to Jerome, AZ was in 1959. There were about a dozen ppl living there then. Today, I hardly recognize the place...the hippies moved in around the early 1970's, and did a fair job of preserving what's left.

Anyone remember the TV show The Happy Wanderer? Sponsored by Ford, it ran on local LA TV in the 1960's. The host was Slim "ho-ho ho" Bernard. He went all over the west reporting on the history and what was left. His stories were also published in a newsletter that was given away by local SoCal Ford dealers.

I've visited at least 100 ghost towns in CA, AZ and NV. There's several well preserved towns on Highway 49. Columbia, for one...which is now a state park...rebuilt of brick after several fires burned the town down. In NV, are the remains of Rhyolite, near Beatty NV, and southwest of Virginia City is the remains of Gold Hill. The area around Tombstone, AZ has several remaining towns mostly consisting of fallen down shacks.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:26 AM
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Hey, I remember 'ol Slim - "Val-da-reee, val-de-raaaa! Used to watch that show with my Dad ,

Been to Bodie - It's a pretty amazing place. Also Rhyolite, Palmetto, Leadville (there's a couple of Leadvilles, this one is in Titus Canyon,D.V.), Old and New Dale which are only sites, really, Carrera, an old town which was where Marble was quarried, near Beatty, NV. Candelaria, Skidoo, and Ballarat to name a few more and, of course, Calico.

This is something that we plan on doing more of in the coming years.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:27 PM
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Yes, I plan on visting as many as I can get to. Georgetown and Bodie are the top two on my rapidly growing list. I also want to try and go to Yuma Arizona, but that one will have to wait until next winter, as I don't want to be there when it is 124 F in the shade.

There are enough ghost towns in CA, and the surrounding states to keep me busy for quite some time. Give me something to do besides sit in front of a computer 16 hours a day.
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Old 02-15-2008, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighteyez
Yes, I plan on visting as many as I can get to. Georgetown and Bodie are the top two on my rapidly growing list. I also want to try and go to Yuma Arizona, but that one will have to wait until next winter, as I don't want to be there when it is 124 F in the shade.

There are enough ghost towns in CA, and the surrounding states to keep me busy for quite some time. Give me something to do besides sit in front of a computer 16 hours a day.
A gal bought the old hotel in Georgetown and converted it to a B&B...nearby is the (much more interesting) ghost town of Volcano.

To get to Bodie, you have to travel over a rough gravel road....don't try it in the winter!

Along both sides of the Colorado River are several former settlements, including the one where the steamboats that used to ply the river docked.

Most interesting town on the AZ side NE of Blythe: Beautiful Downtown Bouse, at the foot of the Harqua Hala Range.

Wyatt Earp mined this entire area for many years (without much luck). There's a village named for him on the CA side...Earp.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:47 PM
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It is amazing the amount of knowledge in your head Numberdummy. I am indeed impressed. Thanks for all the info.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:31 AM
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If you like visiting ghost towns/sites and mines, you might be interested in books by this guy:

http://www.trackandtrailpublications.com/

I have two of them, both for the Sierra's along hwy 395. One covers Olancha north to about Bridgeport, on the west side, and the other covers the east side of the highway. They are broken down into day trips and he does a good job of helping you navigate and find the sites. You can usually find his books at visitor centers in the area which is how I found them. Or you can buy them directly from the author at the web site above.

Much of the sites are just rubble, not preserved like Bodie. But a heck of a lot of interesting stuff out there to see.

I think the ones I have are High Sierra SUV Trails volume 1, and Inyo-Mono SUV Trails.

Bill
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:50 AM
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Cool, thanks for the info.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:19 AM
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I'm resurrecting this old topic because I found an interesting web site about ghost towns. See:
Ghost Towns and History of the American West

The front page is clunky, but use the pull-down at the very top to select a state. Then you can click through maps down to the region that interests you. It's a pretty good overview what's out there.

Bill
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:19 AM
 
 
 
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