Calico California

Calico California is a ghost town located just outside of Barstow in Mojave desert of San Bernardino, California. The town began its like in 1881 when four miners from Grapevine Station (present day Barstow) began prospecting the “Calico Colored” mountains to the north east. The prospectors soon found the Silver King Mine, which was the largest producer of Silver in California in the 1880’s.

Calico California
Calico California

The prospectors were grubstaked by John C. King for whom the the Silver King Mine was named. John King also served as the San Bernardino County Sherriff from 1879 to 1882.  The post office is added to the town in 1882 along with the publishing on the newspaper the Calico Print which is published weekly. A typical assortment of business are started to support the mining efforts including three hotels, bars, brothels, boarding hoses, restaurants and a Wells Fargo office.

During the heyday, Calico boasted 500 mines, 3,500 townspeople, two constables, a deputy sheriff, two attorneys, two doctors and a boot hill cemetery. In 1890, the Silver Purchase Act drove down the price of silver and the decrease in profits made the town no longer economically viable. Future attempts at a rebirth and revival failed.

The town was purchase from Zenda Mining Company in 1951 by Walter Knot. It so happened, that Walter Knott was the nephew of John C. King and the founder of Knott’s Berry Farm. Mr. Knott invested over $700,000 restoring Calico in an attempt the create a road side attraction. Some of the original buildings are removed and replaced with facades similar in construction to a Hollywood set. Despite this fact, Calico played an important role and holds a special place in California history.

Calico Trail Map

Town Summary

NameCalico, California
LocationSan Bernardino County, California
Latitude, Longitude34.948889, -116.864167
Elevation2,285 feet
Post Office1882 – 1898
NewspaperCalico Print


Metropolis Nevada

Metropolis Nevada is a ghost town about 14 miles north west of Wells, Nevada and located in Elko County Nevada. The town was the brainchild of the Pacific Reclamation Company, which is based in New York. In 1909, the company envisioned build a city to host up to 7,500 people, which was surrounded by 40,000 acres of farm land.

Metropolis Nevada
The $75,000 brick Hotel in Metropolis Nevada

Pacific Reclamation Company opened an office in Salt Lake City beginning in 1910 to promotion the future site of Metropolis in the Nevadan desert. In 1911, streets, lots and even two public parks were staked out for development and the newspaper, the Metropolis Chronicle began publication in 1911. All of this promotion and interested boosted the cost of land from as low as $10 an acre to $75. Town lots ranged from $100 to $300 per lot.

The towns infrastructure was second to none in Nevada. There streets were graded and line with fire hydrants and street lights and a four block commercial district is established. Railroad tracked is connected to the townsite by the Southern Pacific, from Tulasco about eight miles away. A train depot is built to welcome new visitors who are greeted with a small tree lined park built by the railroad.

In 1912, a one hundred foot tall damn is built along with canals to distribute the water. As the reservoir filled, the town of Metropolis grew. Over 700 citizens called the town home, the majority being Mormon. To serve the population a Post Office is opened along with several business including a brick hotel, saloons and a wagon factory.

1912 also witnessed the demise of the town of Metropolis. Lovelock Valley filed suit with Pacific Reclamation Co. seeking an injunction from water utilization from the headwaters of Humboldt. The court ruled against the Pacific Reclamation Co, only allowing them to supply water to support 4,000 of the 40,000 planned acres of farmland. Following this ruling, the reclamation company went into receivership and the newspaper is closed in 1913.

The town continued but languished. By 1925, the town was in steady decline and the railroad abandoned its footprint in Metropolis. In 1936, the hotel is a victim of fire. In 1942 the post office is closed and in 1947 the school is closed.

Metropolis Trail Map

Town Summary

NameMetropolis Nevada
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.228056, -115.056111
Elevation5675 Feet
Post Office1912 – 1942
NewspaperMetropolis Chronicle Sept 15, 1911 – Apr 15, 1913


Dinner Station Nevada

Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada
Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada

Dinner Station is a ghost town and stage station located in Elko County, Nevada. The station started with a wood building in the 1860s or 1870s. The station served as a station and meal stop for passengers on the Tuscarora and Mountain City Stages Lines. This building was destroyed by a fire in 1884 and was replaced by a two story stone building and corral. Stage service picked up travelers from Elko destined for Tuscarora and stop for dinner, which was happily provided for fifty cents. The station was one of the more popular inns of the era.

By 1900 the station had a population of 40 inhabitants. The budding automobile industry caused the station to loose some of its importance and necessity. This fact spelled the end of Dinner as city and it became just a private residence.

A fire in 1991 destroyed the sole building, however the structure is rebuilt in 1996.

Dinner Station Trail Map

Site Summary

NameDinner Station
Also Known AsWeiland Station, Oldham’s Station
LocationElko County, Nevada
Latitude, Longitude41.0999142, -115.8661870
Elevation1817 meters / 5962 feet


Midas Nevada

Midas is a populated location and gold mining town located in Elko County, Nevada. The town is located in a valley along the Midas Creek on the south eastern slopes of the Owyhee Bluffs about 42 miles north east of Golconda, Nevada and 42 miles west of Tuscarora.

In 1907, the settlement of Midas, was called Gold Circle, because the mining area encircled the camp. - Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970)
In 1907, the settlement of Midas, was called Gold Circle, because the mining area encircled the camp. – Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970)
Continue Reading →

Doble California

Doble California is a gold mining town and ghost town which is located off the western shore of Lake Baldwin in San Bernardino, California. The town began life as Bairdstown in 1873 when the Carter brothers filed a gold mine claim. The original town was named for Samuel Baird who was instrumental in securing financing from San Francisco and the capital to establish larger scale mining operations. Baird purchased the two richest claims from the Carter brothers in December of 1873 for a sum of $30,000. This “buyout” served as an impressive buyout for the short run of the Carter brothers.

One of these capitol investors was Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin (April 3, 1828 – March 1, 1909)  and known as was “one of the greatest pioneers” of California business, an investor, and real estate speculator during the second half of the 19th century.

Baldwin moved to Virginia City during to rush on the Comstock Load. Opening a livery the savvy businessman soon acquired interests the Ophir Mine in the came from the Motherlode of Virginia City. Baldwin leveraged his profits from the Ophir Mine to acquire shares in the Hale & Norcross and Crown Point at the north end of the Comstock Lode.

Baldwin’s new company built a road from Cactus Flats to Big Bear. This new route allowed for the hauling in machinery and parts for the huge 40-stamp mill to process the ore from the mines. The town was establised on the valley floor almost directly below the new mill.  By September of 1874, the town boasts a blacksmith shop, a butcher, two boarding houses, and two saloons. Later, three general stores, two stables, three restaurants, two hotels, a bakery, a meat market, a Chinese wash house, tailor, shoemaker, and barber rounded our the businesses who serviced the miners and citizens of the small hamlet.

The mill was fired for the first time on March 6, 1875. The noise from the steam powered monster filled the valley of Big Bear as it processes 100 tons of ore per day. Despite this milestone, the town shutdown later in 1875 due to poor ore quality and the townsite is refereed to as Gold Mountain.

in 1894, Lucky’s son in-law, Budd Doble took invested $25,000 to reopen the mine and mill. The town was renamed in his honor and a small post office cemented this named into history. This town on Doble succumbed to poor profits and relegated to history in 1903

Doble Mine, San Bernardino County, 1930 - Photography by Adelbert Bartlett, UCLA Library Digital Collections
Doble Mine, San Bernardino County, 1930 – Photography by Adelbert Bartlett, UCLA Library Digital Collections

Doble Town Summary

NameDoble California
LocationBig Bear, San Bernarino, California
Also Known AsBairdstown, Gold Mountain
Latitude, Longitude34.2986169,-116.8216958

Doble Town Map