There are abandoned towns all over the world, and they are usually very intriguing and interesting, but there is something special about American ghost towns.
Some of them came into existence in the 19th century in the Old West, and when there wasn’t any more treasure or minerals to dig out, and no money left, the residents picked up their things and went away, leaving their homes, restaurants and other facilities abandoned. There were other things that made people leave these towns, such as unfertile soils, lack of production or wars.
Anyhow, here are some of America’s most amazing ghost towns:
1. Bodie, California
This town was founded in 1859 by prospector W.S. Body during the gold rush. There were precious metals being dug up here, and while the town was successful there were around 10 thousand people living here. In the early 20th century the amounts of metal started decreasing and mining wasn’t as successful, so the city started shutting down, only to become completely abandoned by the 1940s.
This town, which got the name Bodie thanks to a painter’s spelling mistake, was left just the way it was in 1962 when it became a historical landmark, so you can peak through the windows of stores, houses and buildings to see the interiors. You can’t get inside, but seeing it from the outside is special as well. All the products sold in the stores are still standing on the shelves, so you can basically see what those people ate and drank. However, don’t try to take a souvenir as there are stories about a curse that overcomes a person who steals anything. True or not, why risk it.
2. Thurmond, West Virginia
Thurmond was a classic successful Appalachian town where there was enough coal to make its citizens very rich. The banks thrived, people could afford staying at hotels and going to the theater regularly and splurge, until the coal dried out. Currently, according to the most recently published census, this town has a population of five, and the National Park Service holds most of its property. Recently they started repairing the old buildings and making this town a visiting place for tourists.
3. Elmo, Colorado
This town was always pretty much small, inhabited by less than two thousand people who lived there for the purpose of digging gold and silver from the town’s mines. It was inhabited for not much longer than 40 years, since it was founded in 1880 and left in the 20s. Even though not many people lived there, it was a very lively place and there were dance halls for people’s entertainment, a school, a hotel, and other wooden structures that are now abandoned.
Today, this town offers accommodation in wooden cabins where you have to bring your own linens and have no housekeeping – but you do have a real ghost town experience.
4. Rhyolite, Nevada
This town got its name from a volcanic rock found in the area, but the former fame and fortune came from gold. When people heard about gold being discovered in the area in the 1900s, they rushed here with the help of Charles M. Schwab who provided the funds for installing electricity, building a railroad and bringing water to the new town. Rhyolite soon developed into a cozy town with a soul, but as the gold mines stopped producing, and with no other sources of financing in this town, in 1907 people started looking for better places to move.
Today, this ghost town has no residents but it has become a sort of a museum that you can visit.
5. Garnet, Montana
Garnet had around 1,000 residents while it was at its best, but as the gold started running out in 1905, the population started decreasing. Some of the people stayed in the town until WWII ended, but today there are no actual residents and the buildings remain just the way they were left. The Bureau of Land Management now owns the town and is working towards reinforcing the buildings so they could be preserved for a long time.
This is one of America’s most intact ghost towns, and it would be amazing to visit it, experience the past through it and explore just how the former residents lived their lives back in the 1900s.