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. 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. 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. Still-standing buildings include a jailhouse and a school. But for ghost town aficionados, historic preservation buffs and adventurous Instagrammers, Ruby is well worth the detour.
18 of the Spookiest Ghost Towns in America
Founded in as Forest City, St. Elmo began to fizzle in the early s. Area old-timers like to say that when the train made its last stop in , most of the remaining population of the once prosperous mining outpost hopped aboard and never looked back. Mail service was terminated in the early s because, well, the postmaster died. In , St. Today, a few businesses remain in the area, including a general store that sells snacks and assorted bric-a-brac to tourists and ATV enthusiasts.
Dirty Annie is still spotted lurking around on occasion, too. Before hitting up St. Elmo, visitors must stock up on sunflower seeds and prepare to distribute them liberally. That is, unless they want to incur the wrath of a small army of adorable striped rodents accustomed to being hand-fed and scampering up the arms of humans.
Like any decent ghost town, South Pass City is miles from civilization down a lonely dirt road. Founded in during a major gold rush at the nearby Carissa mine, South Pass City followed the classic 19th century boomtown trajectory.
It blew up quickly, fizzled hard and then experienced a series of minor booms in the next years, none big enough to restore the town to its former glory. Still, a small population remained. By the late s, the most dogged old-timers had decided to throw in their proverbial towels, pack their bags and leave for somewhere new — somewhere the weather was less harsh and the drinking less hard.
Despite its tiny size and transitory nature, South Pass City did manage to play a significant role in American history.
In , William H. Later that year, Wyoming became the first U. Just ask the roughly 1, happy folks who call it home. Leaving the ice cream parlors and old-timey photo joints of Tombstone behind, travel along a dirt road that winds through the southeast Arizona desert until you come across the crumbling remnants and handful of restored historic structures belonging the 19th century mining settlements of Courtland, Pearce and Gleeson.
Each of the three pit stops that constitute the Arizona Ghost Town Trail vary in degrees of ghost town.
Courtland is the most desolate and dilapidated; the other two towns are slightly more welcoming. Gleeson has an Instragram-perfect refurbished jail and Pearce is home to a general store and church that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hotel Meade in Bannack, Montana, is said to be haunted by a drowned girl. Most of these towns completely died when the ore played out and the mines closed.
Many were ruined with the devaluation of silver in Some settlements were dedicated purely to milling or smelting the ore. These also died when the mines played out. A few; however, never really died, as they turned their focus to other economic ventures, were located on major roads and took advantage of tourist opportunities.
These include towns like Leadville, Breckenridge, and Idaho Springs. Also included here are Colorado Forts. Most of these were established during the Indian Wars of the Old West and were abandoned when there was no longer a need. There are several which continue to display remains or reconstructions. Others have turned into entire towns. Of those that continue to survive, in any manner, they offer interesting peeks into history, a view of the Wild West, tales of legendary people and more.
Animas Forks — Favorite on the Alpine Loop. Mineral Point. Capitol City.
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Henson and the Ute-Ulay Mines. Lake City. Carson — Atop the Continental Divide. Burrows Park.
18 of the Spookiest Ghost Towns in America - Most Haunted Places
American Basin. Silverton Road to the Alpine Loop. Boggsville — On the Santa Fe Trail. Genoa and the Wonder Tower. Guffey, Colorado — Quirky Mining Town.
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- Friend Seeker (Perry County, Pennsylvania Frontier Series Book 1).
Colorado Ghost Towns Photo Gallery. Ludlow and the Colorado Coalfield War. Red Mountain Mining District. Chattanooga — Silent Today.