Ghost towns

The Standard Mill, Bodie Ghost towns, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Scattered throughout the west, ghost towns are wonderful places to explore and learn about our forgotten recent history. Growing up exploring places like Bodie, my early explorations of other town sites was always a bit disappointing.

Early townsites throughout the south west are scattered in extreme heat, dry locations. People would move from town to town only long enough to learn the rumor’s which caused them to relocate were not true. Town were thrown up in days in a flurry of activity and desire to earn a living. Many ghost towns were grew from tent cities and buildings with no foundations or floors.

Old mining camps were developed around the location of ore, not other resources. The gold was in the ground, everything else needed to he hauled to the location. Wooded structures were not painted, hastily built and building codes simply did not exist at this time. Ghost towns like Bodie and Virginia City are very cool, however, my appreciation for the little towns that never made history, flashed and faded have our respect. And when you visit one of these quiet list islands of history, when you find anything left behind. It is a gift. Every one in a while, you might be surprised.

Atolia and mine in the Mojave Desert, circa 1908 postcard.

Atolia California – San Bernardino County Ghost Town

Atolia is a ghost town and tungsten mine located in the Mojave Desert in northwestern San Bernardino County, California. The town is located just off…
Aurora, NV Photograph by James L Rathbun

Aurora Nevada – Mineral County Ghost Town

Aurora, Nevada is a ghost town in Mineral County about twenty eight miles southwest of Hawthorne, near the California border. Aurora is often mentioned as…
Timothy H. O'Sullivan, Austin, Nevada, 1868, albumen silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment,

Austin Nevada – Lander County Ghost Town

Timothy H. O'Sullivan, Austin, Nevada, 1868, albumen silver print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Charles Isaacs Collection made possible in part by…
Ballarat, California - Marriedtofilm at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Malafaya using CommonsHelper.

Ballarat California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Ballarat, California Located in Inyo County, Ballarat California is a ghost town which supposedly has a few residents living their dream within the town. Ballarat…
Belmont in 1871

Belmont Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Following a silver strike and quartz vein by a Native American in the area, Belmont Nevada was founded in Nye County, Nevada. The silver boom…
Berlin Nevada - 1910

Berlin Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Berlin Nevada - 1910 Berlin Nevada is a ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada and found within the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park some 19 miles…
Located in Blair, Nevada the Pittsburg-Silver Peak Gold Mining Mill

Blair Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Blair Nevada is a ghost town and mine site located in Esmerelda County.   The town site is located a few miles north of Silver…
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Bodie California – Mono County Ghost Town

Bodie, California is the ghost town by which all others are judged.  Located at 8300 in the Bodie Hills above Mono Lake, Bodie is the…
The Bristol Mine near Bristol in Lincoln County Nevada

Bristol Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Also known as  National City, Bristol City and Tempest throughout its history, Bristol Nevada is a ghost town in Lincoln County, Nevada. Bristol is located about 14 miles…

Broken Hills Nevada – Mineral County Ghost Town

Broken Hills Nevada, c 1915. Ore sacks being loaded for shipment to the railroad at Fallon. Broken Hills, Nevada is more a descriptive term than…
One of the few remaining structures in Bullfrog, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun

Bullfrog Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

One of the few remaining structures in Bullfrog, Nevada - Photo by James L Rathbun Located at the northern end of Amargosa Desert, Bullfrog is…
Bullionville, Nevada, Horse-driven slip scrapers retrieve tailings to dump onto a conveyor and then dropped into a freight car. Before 1880

Bullionville Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Bullionville Nevada began early in 1870 when John H. Ely and W.H. Raymond removed their five-stamp mill at Hiko and placed it at this point.…
Calico California

Calico California – San Bernardino Count Ghost Town

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…
Call's Landing or Callville looking toward the west as it appeared in 1926 - Photo courtesy of R. F. Perkins

Callville Nevada – Colorado River Steamship Landing

Callville Nevada is a ghost town and Colorado River Steamboat port, which is now submerged below the waters of Lake Mead. Bishop Anson Call founded…
Candelaria, Nevada 1876

Candelaria Nevada – Mineral County Ghost Town

Candelaria was a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada located about 120 miles south of Falen. The location may be closed due to another local…

Carrara Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Cararra, NV as seen from US 95 south to Beatty, NV Carrara Ghost town is a small ghost town and marble mine located about ten…
Cerbat Arizona in 1870

Cerbat Arizona – Mohave County Ghost Town

Founded in 1870 Cerbat Arizona is a gold mine ghost town and former county seat for Mohave County, Arizona. The surrounding area started to attract…
Cerro Gordo overlooking the then full Owens Lake.

Cerro Gordo California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Located in the Inyo Mountains on the eastern side of Owens Valley, Cerro Gordo California is a currently a ghost town after almost 100 years…
Crowells Mill under construction in Chloride City, CA about 1915

Chloride City California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Chloride City California is located within Death Valley National Park and Inyo County, California. The town arose out of silver discoveries in nearby Chloride Cliff…
Columbia, Nevada - Paher

Columbia Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

The Columbia Nevada ghost town and mine site is location just one mile north of Goldfield in Esmeralda County Nevada. Originally named Stimler, the town…
Columbus Nevada Late 1870s

Columbus Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Downtown Columbus, Nevada, late 1870's. Spanish miners discovered silver in the area in 1863. A small mining camp was established in the area which became…

Darwin California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Darwin is a unincorporated community, gold mining town and ghost town located in Inyo County, California about 22 miles from Keeler. The town was named…
Delamar Nevada in the 1890's. Many of the buildings were transported from nearby Pioche on wagons. After the devastating fire in 1909, most of the remaining wooden buildings were transported back to Pioche.

Delamar Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Delamar Nevada in the 1890's. Many of the buildings were transported from nearby Pioche on wagons. After the devastating fire in 1909, most of the…
DiamondField Nevada - 1904 - Paher

Diamondfield Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Located just five miles north-northeast of Goldfield, Diamondfield is a ghost town and mine camp in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The camp was founded by Jackson…
Dinner Station, Elko County, Nevada

Dinner Station Nevada – Elko County Stage Stop

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…

Doble California – San Bernardino Ghost Town

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…
Chafey, Nevada. 1908. Prior site of Dun Glen, Nevada.

Dun Glen Nevada – Pershing County Ghost Town

Chafey, Nevada. 1908. Prior site of Dun Glen, Nevada. Dun Glen Nevada later known as Chafey Nevada is a ghost town and mine site located…

Nelson Nevada and Eldorado Canyon – Clark County Ghost Town

Rock spires carved by erosion located in Eldorado Canyon, Nelson, Nevada. The ghost town of Nelson, Nevada, which is located in Eldorado Canyon along Lake…
Fourth of July parade, Fairview, Nevada 1906. - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North, p96, Ashley Cook Collection, Theron Fox Collection

Fairview Nevada – Churchill County Ghost Town

Founded in 1905, Fairview Nevada is a ghost town and silver mining camp located in Churchill County, near the town of Fallon, Nevada. The towns…
Fay Nevada - 1910

Fay Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Fay Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Lincoln County Nevada near the border with western Utah. The townsite is located…
Galena Nevada in the 1960's - Paher

Galena Nevada – Lander County Ghost Town

Galena Nevada was a silver mining from 1869 to 1907 and currently a ghost town located just just a west of highway 305 south of…
Goffs, CA

Goffs California – San Bernardino County Ghost Town

Originally known as Blake, Goffs, California is a small unincorporated community located off of Route 66 in the Mojave desert near the Piute Mountains.  Originally…
Hornsilver / Gold Point Nevada in 1908

Gold Point Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Founded in 1860s, Gold Point, is a ghost time and silver mining camp located in Esmerelda County, Nevada. The townsite was known by three different…
The Pioneer Saloon located in Goodsprings, Nevada is still open and quite busy

Goodsprings Nevada – Clark County Ghost Town

Goodsprings, Nevada is locate about seven miles west of the I-15 near Jean, Nevada.  Mining activity in the area started in 1868 when a group…
Grantsville Nevada 1886

Grantsville Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Grantsville Nevada 1886 Named for Ulysses S. Grant, Grantsville Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Nye County Nevada. Initial prospecting…
Greenwater Mining District, CA 1906

Greenwater California – Inyo County Ghost Town

In 1904, a copper strike near Greenwater Spring and ensuing rush to profit caused the formation of Greenwater in Inyo County, California. Originally known by…
Cashier Mill ruin and Pete Aguereberry, 1916. From Dane Coolidge Collection,

Harrisburg California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Harrisburg California is a ghost town is located at 4987 feet above sea level in Inyo County and currently part of Death Valley National Park.…
[Circa 1905] Tumco Historic Mining Town, California - Hedges California

Hedges California – Imperial County Ghost Town

Previously known as Tumco, Hedges California is a ghost town and former mining town located in Imperial County, California along the Tumco Wash in the…
Mill of Hyko Silver Mining Co. in 1871 - Timothy H. O'Sullivan - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Hiko Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Hiko Nevada starts to see initial activity in 1853. Silver mines in the area are largely responsible for the people settling the area. Mill of…
Ione settlement, with Ione Valley in the background, c 1900

Ione Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Ione Nevada is a ghost town, which is located in Nye County, Nevada. In April 1863 a silver stike was made by P. A. Haven…
Ivanpah - Bidwell Mill

Ivanpah California – San Bernardino County Ghost Town

Not of be confused with two others sites of the same name, Ivanpah is a ghost town and mine site located along the Eastern edge…
Jackrabbit Nevada - (Theron Fox Photo) Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps

Jackrabbit Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Jackrabbit Nevada is a ghost town and silver mining camp located in Lincoln County Nevada. Local legend attributes the discovery to the locator picking up…

Jessup Nevada – Churchill County Ghost Town

Jessup Nevada is a ghost town and gold mining camp located in Churchill County, Nevada. The site was first discovered in February 1908 by Frank…
Placer mining, 1880s, in Gold Canyon. The original site of Johntown mining settlement , south of Silver, City Nevada - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, Howell North, 1970, p 70. courtesy of Nevada Historical Society

Johntown Nevada – Lyon County Ghost Town

Located in Gold Canyon between Silver City and Dayton, Johntown Nevada is the first ghost town in Lyon county. None of the buildings are currently…
This ten-stamp mill built in 1864 at the lower end of La Plata - Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps - Paher

La Plata Nevada – Churchill County Ghost Town

Following the discovery of silver in 1862, La Plata Nevada is a ghost town locate in and the second county seat of Churchill County, Nevada.…
Leadfield Sign, Death Valley, California

Leadfield California – A Death Valley Ghost Town

Leadfield California is a ghost town located in Inyo County and Death Valley National Park and found on the Titus Canyon Trail. The town boom…
Lida Tent City in 1905

Lida Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Now on private property, Lida Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp located in Esmeralda County, Nevada just off State Route 266. The area…
Water Rhyolites near Logan Springs, Nevada - NARA

Logan City Nevada – Lincoln County Ghost Town

Logan City Nevada, also known as Logan City, Logan Springs and Logans Springs, is a silver mining camp and ghost town located 12 miles north…
Manhattan Nevada 1906

Manhattan Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Manhattan Nevada 1906 Located about fifty miles north of Tonopah, Manhattan Nevada is ghost town located at the end of Nevada State Route 377 in…
Mazuma, Nevada - 1908

Mazuma Nevada – Pershing County Ghost Town

Mazuma, Nevada - 1908 Mazuma Nevada started its short life in 1907 when the Seven Troughs gold strike started attracting an influx of miners from…

Metropolis Nevada – Elko County Ghost Town

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…
Midas, 1908 - Stanley W. Parmer, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970), Howell North,

Midas Nevada – Elko County Ghost Town

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…
Mineral Park, Arizona @1880

Mineral Park Arizona – Mohave County Ghost Town

Mineral Park is a ghost town located in Mohave County Arizona founded in 1870. Once started, operations continued until 1912. The journey was tough just…
Nivloc mine and camp - Tonopah Times-Bonanza - Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps - Paher

Nivloc Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

In 1907, Gold was discovered at the town site which would be known as Nivloc Nevada by a Native American prospector. The town derived its…
Mines of the Oatman district; Up Gold Road Gulch, showing the surface relations of the Gold Road mine, right to left the following are identified; Gold Road Mill, No. 1 shaft, and No. 3 shaft. All the rock included in the view is the Gold Road latite. The generally easterly dip of the flows is distinctly shown. Mohave County, Arizona. 1921.

Oatman Arizona – Mohave County Ghost Town

Oatman Arizona is a small community with a rich history located in Black Mountains in Mohave County, Arizona. Located near Bullhead City, the town of…
Ophir Canyon in the mid 1880's

Ophir Canyon Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Ophir Canyon is a ghost town from the 1880s and located about 3.5 miles west of State Route 8A north of State Route 92, in…
Smelting Works. Oreana, Nevada. ca. 1857 by Timothy H. O'Sullivan - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Oreana Nevada – Pershing County Ghost Town

Oreana Nevada is a milling town which was active from 1865 - 1885 in Pershing County Nevada and home to the Montezuma Smelting Works. The…

Palmetto Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

Tent business in Palmetto, 1906 Palmetto Nevada is a ghost town located just off of highway 168 about 30 miles west of Lida, in Esmeralda…
Panamint City Stamp Mill

Panamint City California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Panamint City California - 1875 Panamint City California is a ghost town and silver mine site located in Inyo County. The town site was built…
Pine Grove, Nevada - 1880s

Pine Grove Nevada – Lyon County Ghost Town

One of the lesser known yet longest running gold mining camps is Pine Grove, Nevada.  Located in Lyon County, Nevada just East of the 338…
The Camp of Pioneer in July 1910 is partially rebuilt after the fire in 1909

Pioneer Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Beginning as a mining camp near the Mayflower, Pioneer Nevada is an old mining camp and ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. The Pioneer gold…
Potholes California is a Colorado River Steamship landing.

Potholes California – Colorado River Streamship Landing

Potholes is a former gold mining camp and ghost town located in Imperial County, California.
Potosi mine, south center of sec. 12, T. 23 S., R. 57 E., the mine workings explore a zone at the base of the Yellowpine limestone. Clark County, Nevada. Circa 1921. Plate 33-B in U.S. Geological Survey. Professional paper 162. 1931.

Potosi Nevada – Clark County Ghost Town

Potosi Nevada is the oldest lode mine in Nevada and the town site is located just off highway 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada.…
Rawhide, Nevada - 1915

Rawhide Nevada – Mineral County Ghost Town

Rawhide, Nevada. 1908. Rawhide Nevada was a mining town in Mineral County. The town site is located approximately 55 miles south of Fallon, and 22…
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

Rhyolite Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Rhyolite is a ghost town location just outside of the Eastern edge of Death Valley National monument in Nye country, Nevada.  Founded in 1904 by…
Rioville, Nevada also known as Bonelli's Landing, circa 1900

Rioville Nevada – Colorado Steamship Landing

Founded in 1865, Rioville, Nevada was founded by Daniel Bonelli at the confluence of the Virgin River and the Colorado River. Bonelli was a Mormon…
Upper Rochester, Nevada 1918

Rochester Nevada – Pershing County Ghost Town

Upper Rochester, Nevada 1918 In the 1860s, immigrants and prospectors from Rochester New York discovered gold in the nearby mounts and the silver mining town…
Seven Troughs Nevada 1907

Seven Troughs Nevada – Pershing County Ghost Town

Seven Troughs Nevada 1907 In 1894, Frank Ward a sheepman in the area, built seven water troughs to water his sheep. The name Seven Troughs…
Skidoo, CA 1907

Skidoo California – Inyo County Ghost Town

Skidoo California was famous in the first decade of the 20th century when gold had been found in Inyo County and the town established in…
The tallest building remains of St. Thomas, Nevada

St Thomas Nevada – Clark County Ghost Town

Founded in 1865 when Brigham Young sent settles to the confluence of the Virgin River and Muddy Rivers.  St Thomas Nevada remained a Mormon settlement until…

Troy Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

In May 1867, prospector Alexander Beatty worked the the Grant Mountain range when he discovered silver and founded the town site of Troy, in Nye…
Tybo, Nevada - 1881

Tybo Nevada – Nye County Ghost Town

Tybo Nevada - 1875 Tybo Nevada is a ghost town in Nye County located some 8 miles north west of U.S Route 6 and some…
A metal headframe marks a vertical shaft in the mining district outside of Vanderbilt California.

Vanderbilt California – San Bernardino County Ghost Town

A metal headframe marks a vertical shaft in the mining district outside of Vanderbilt California. Located in the New York Mountains, Vanderbilt California was an…
Tents and autos parked along side during during the goldrush of 1927 - Leonard Trayner Collection - Paher

Weepah Nevada – Esmeralda County Ghost Town

The site of the last major gold rush in 1927, Weepah Nevada is a ghost town and gold mine site located in Esmeralda County. Named…
Wonder Mine 1907 - Stanley W. Paher, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps, (1970) p 100

Wonder Nevada – Churchill County Ghost Town

Wonder Nevada is a ghost town and mining camp, which is located about 14 miles north of the US 50, in Churchill County, Nevada. In…

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