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List of ghost towns in the United States

At one point, Animas Forks was the bustling home to saloons, assay offices, stores, boarding houses, a mill and several hundred residents who decamped each winter for less frigid Silverton and returned each spring. Fifty years later, it was all gone. Today, under the stewardship of the Bureau of Land Management, Animas Fork is just one of many spectacular sights — waterfalls, mountain meadows, bighorn sheep — along the Alpine Loop, an unpaved, mile backcountry byway much of which must be traversed in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Considered one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Montana, the gold rush boomtown of Bannack is popular with hikers, living history enthusiasts and paranormal researchers.

Yep, a ghost town believed to be swarming with ghosts. Established in along Grasshopper Creek, Bannack, now a state park listed as a National Historic Landmark, struggled with its fair share of chaos, corruption and cold-blooded murder. With the assistance of a ruthless gang of highwaymen, Plummer orchestrated hundreds of robberies and murders across his territory.

Plummer and his cronies, however, are thought to be still kicking around town. The apparition of a young drowning victim, Dorothy Dunn, has been spotted there on numerous occasions over the years. However, boosters of another ghost town, Calico, protested a bill that would have given all the glory to Bodie. In , both Bodie and Calico were named state ghost towns: Calico as the official state silver rush ghost town and Bodie as the official state gold rush ghost town. Everyone wins!

So what makes Bodie so special?


It just is. While Calico built itself up as a living history tourist attraction, Bodie went the opposite direction.

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It went nowhere. Rowdy, violent and bursting at the seams at its peak in the early s, Bodie was a stereotypical Old West town, complete with a red light district, a Chinatown , a saloon on every corner and a population of nearly 10, By the s, the population hovered around ; in , the post office closed and Bodie was abandoned.

Western United States

The town of Calico, California, has replica buildings along with restored original structures. The town was purchased in its entirely in the s by Walter Knott, who began building a replica ghost town at his family berry farm in Orange County, California, a decade earlier. That being said, although Calico is a California Historical Landmark, those seeking a more authentic California ghost town experience read: no pottery shops and saloons that serve pizza by the slice may prefer Bodie in Mono County.

Pro tip: Refrain from eating a buffalo cheeseburger immediately before descending into the mine. With populations rarely topping a couple hundred, most gold rush settlements went bust before they could truly get big. As many as 5, people, most working in the nearby Montgomery Shoshone Mine, resided in the now-forsaken town during its peak around to Aside from a relatively significant population, Rhyolite is also exceptional for the speed with which the bustling community heck, it even had an opera house went belly up.

In , only seven years after the town was established, the mine closed after a period of slow decline.

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The post office was shuttered a couple of years later; electricity was terminated a couple of years after that. By , the population hovered near zero. Some buildings were completely relocated.

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But Rhyolite never really died per se. In the s, the abandoned burg transitioned into a hotspot for movie productions; the town site is frequently used as a filming location to this day. Despite its remote desert locale, Rhyolite is hard to miss: Just keep an eye for this guy. Say what you will about Arizona, but the Grand Canyon State boasts remarkable variety in the ghost town department. Regarded as one of the best preserved ghost towns in Arizona, the once bustling mining camp of Ruby falls under that last category.

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About 70 miles southeast of Tucson near the Mexican border in the Coronado National Forest, Ruby was the site of a string of bloody double homicides in the early s. After several decades of prosperity, the town ceased to exist in Ruby was fenced off by private owners after its abandonment and made inaccessible to the public. In the late s, it was colonized by hippies. These days, the town is managed by the nonprofit Ruby Mines Restoration Project and can be explored during established visiting hours subject to an entry fee.

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  4. Atwood Carroll County - small town in Carroll County. Blowville Blue Ball Boston aka "Helltown" Claylick , Licking County Located at the intersection of Claylick and the Licking River, this was one of the largest towns to be destroyed and caused primarily by 2 floods 1 in and 1 in After the 2nd flood the Dillon Dam floodplain project destroyed this town. Main article: List of ghost towns in Oklahoma.

    Main article: List of ghost towns in Oregon. Main article: List of ghost towns in Pennsylvania. Main article: List of ghost towns in South Carolina. Main article: List of ghost towns in South Dakota.

    Alabama: Gulf Shores

    Main article: List of ghost towns in Texas. Main article: List of ghost towns in Utah. See also: Former counties, cities, and towns of Virginia. Main article: List of ghost towns in Washington. Main article: List of ghost towns in Wisconsin. United States portal Geography portal History portal. Nova Numismatics. Retrieved October 26, Retrieved 18 February Ghost Towns of the Northwest.

    Dodge City, Kansas

    List of ghost towns in the United States by state. List of ghost towns in North America. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Articles with short description Incomplete lists from August Articles needing additional references from December All articles needing additional references All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from July Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons.