The 19th century saw a construction and population boom in North America, as a result of the California Gold Rush and the flourishing of the mining industry all over the United States, which drew new settlers from Europe, Latin America and Asia. Once the gold and coal resources dried up, many of these newly-found, remote towns emptied out, as its inhabitants moved to larger areas looking for new opportunities. These are some of the coolest ghost towns that still stand within American territory.
Number Seven: Bodie, California
Prospector W.S. Body founded Bodie in 1859 in California, close to the Nevada border, after finding gold reserves in the area. At the peak of the Gold Rush, Bodie had a population of 10,000. By 1950, the town was completely deserted. Nowadays, it remains a popular touristic attraction; around 200,000 people visit the historic landmark every year.
Number Six: Nevada City, Montana
Nevada City, close to the more famous near-ghost town of Virginia City, is one of Montana’s main touristic attractions. An old train connects both cities, where daily history shows are carried out for the audience’s viewing pleasure.
Number Five: St. Elmo, Colorado
St. Elmo was established in 1880 and barely lasted for 42 years. In 1922, the train service was discontinued, and all remaining inhabitants moved to bigger nearby cities during the following years. A fire burned down the town hall in 2002, but most other buildings remain intact.
Number Four: Bannack, Montana
Bannack, now a deserted town since the 1970s, was once home to some 10,000 people, and even served as the capital of Montana for a brief period of time. Today, Bannack is a public state park where several activities and events are held, such as ice skating, camping and staged history weekends.
Number Three: Rhyolite, Nevada
As in the previous cases, Rhyolite was also established as a mining camp during the Gold Rush. Rhyolite had everything a developed city needs: a city hall, a hospital, a school, an opera house, water mains and electricity. During the early ‘20s, everyone fled the town.
Number Two: One Or The Best Ghost Towns in US is Goldfield, Arizona
The once-thriving gold mining town died around 1989, only to reborn and die again a few times later. Goldfield, located against the dramatic Superstition Mountains, is one of the most scenic and cinematic Old West towns in the U.S. Year-round exhibits and re-enactments are offered to groups of visitors.
Number One: Calico, California
Calico is now the most popular ghost town in the United States. Located in the Mojave Desert, between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Calico is an abandoned Old West silver mining town founded around 1881. In the 1950s, the forsaken village was restored to look more like a prototypical Western-themed town, and was later named a California National Landmark. The park is open every day (except for Christmas day) and requires tourists to pay an entrance fee. Camping sites and rental cabins are also offered. Thanks for reading!