View Full Version : Need lots of advice about ghost towns. Please help!

01-19-2006, 10:29 AM

I'm new to ghost towning. I live in Georgia and plan on taking a month long trip with my family out west this summer. I am an amateur photographer who loves to photograph old buildings and such. I am also a history buff who loves the old west. I want to visit some of these places before they completely vanish or people haul off everything. I think we should leave everything as is in these places for others to enjoy!!!!!! I would like to visit some ghost towns while out west. I plan on visiting Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana.

I don't know about out west but here in the south, you just don't go poking around in abandond buildings or you may end up being run off. Therefore, I'm a little leary of going to these ghost towns. I would like to know of ghost towns that are truely deserted. I also would like to visit ghost towns that aren't tourist attractions. I would like to see the real thing.

So, as you can see, I need lots of advice. I have read several books on this subject but I think personal experience would be much more valuable. So please advise me on where to go to see some great ghost towns. I would appreciate it greatly!

01-19-2006, 03:06 PM
I know little about Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana but I could point you toward all sorts of ghost towns you could poke around here in Nevada. Private property in these here parts is most likely posted as such and a good map showing what is public land (Poking about allowed) or private is essential. Active mining operations may occur on public land so a healthy respect for posted no trespassing signs is sage advice. Many of those sites can still be photographed from the road or the street. Hopefully someone with a good knowledge of the states you plan to visit will respond.

I have found doing the research before visitng can sometimes open doors. Imagine a conversation with a rancher that goes like this. Howdy, just admiring the old house near your stock water. I understand that land was first settled with the mine in 1897 but that the Hackett Family worked this place as a ranch until the late 1950s.

The crusty old cattleman replies Yeah, you know that family is buried up that way.

You reply "Yes, I know that, I try to swing by here every Memorial weekend to pluck weeds, clean up the site.

A Note: Two of the Hackett sons were killed in WWII and their military style headstones explain why there are no future generations of Hacketts. The family gravesite is not on the private land the cattleman now owns.

The cattleman, now assured you are genuine replies Yeah, do you know about the root cellar up behind house, I found some of the boys toys up by it a while ago. He replies that he has to be going and tells me feel free root around but please close the gates when I leave.

Have fun this summer.

old judge
01-22-2006, 12:53 PM
Dear Ghost: If I were just getting started doing what it sounds like you want to do, and as I've said many times, this site is a good place to start. There are a number of excellent reference books discussed relating to most states. I'm closer to Kansas than some, and excellent GTs are highlighted on this site. I would suggest you invest in a Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer for each state you serously want to visit and spend some time. Each one will set you back $20.00 or less. Then, become conversent with GNIS and Topozone. Put it all together and do some homework. Take the average site and some folks will spend a day in the area, while an hour is enough time for others. As I get older, for example, I tend to walk and hike less, particularly up and down, and will try to plan a two week trip to visit many more sites, and photograph each, than say Bob might. I am also a little more limited in what is accessible. You might plan say 3 or 4 sites in each state you really want to visit, and have a few backups along the way if you have more time. Good luck, and have fun. I've found that my wife and I can make a two week trip a 4 to 6 month adventure. It's all in enjoying the planning process. OLD JUDGE

01-23-2006, 07:55 PM
If you come out to Arizona there are many that you can visit with no problem. Generally speaking those sites that one may not visit are clearly posted against trespassing.

Perhaps the best area in this state is in Cochise County where Tombstone is located. The sites of Cochise, Pearce, Courtland and Gleeson are easily accessable and worth the time. Dos Cabezas is along the highway going from Wilcox.There are some other spots which require walking, but don't think you'd want to do so in the summer due to the heat.


01-24-2006, 07:57 AM
Speaking of Cochise County, how about Brunckow's Cabin and the ol' Clanton Ranch of OK Corral fame?

01-24-2006, 08:02 AM
Speaking of Cochise County, how about Brunckow's Cabin and the ol' Clanton Ranch of OK Corral fame?
And Charleston, Milleville and the pictographs just north of Charleston and the Charleston cemetary. But as I say this might not be so desirable in summer as those are accessable only by foot.

01-24-2006, 07:25 PM
Ghostdancer...............We just took the old railroad grade past Ed Scheiffelin's monument, the old Boquillas store, and into Fairbanks. Nice trip, and the weather is great, although we could sure use some rain. We even got to "chase" what we think was a group of Mexican illegals who probably thought our Jeep was one of the Border Patrols Rubicons. A guy has to have some fun. ya know. We'll try to hit Charleston next trip. We always have a great time when we go to Cochise County..........

01-25-2006, 05:16 AM
Boquillas - That brick structure was a store? I hiked there with two friends back in 1990. We had guessed it to be a railway depot since it is so close to the tracks.

Are we talking about the same place? this was going on that trail that goes to Contention towards the San Pedro, but following the railroad tracks north upon coming to them.