View Full Version : Geeking on disappeared towns

06-27-2006, 04:22 PM
I found this site through one of the two ghost town sites I run across when searching for used-to-be towns in my area. (I'm not an organized ghost town hunter, I just get an occasional zing of curiosity for something or some location.)

Today I was looking at old maps because of a project I'm doing on northeastern Nebraska, and I found a load of towns I had never heard of before, both in the county of concern and the surrounding counties, the county of my hometown and the counties of my forebears (... who were not bears, BTW.) ... Dang it's interesting!!! I had a very good day!

I used to be an obituary writer, too, and folks would cite being from, say, Monterey, or Swaburg, town which are no longer going concerns. One lady at one of the funeral homes graciously answered my questions and I learned a lot about local history during those years. She is a wonderful person. (Rock on, Elaine B.!)

A question I have is this: Do y'all consider a town a ghost town if there is commerce in it? The town I currently live in still has a post office, a bar, and ostensibly, a sign shop and a *cough*art gallery*cough* The last one Never has business and the previous one rarely.

Back in the 40s, however, there was a car dealership, two grocery stores, two restaurants, a bank, a school, and I can't even remember what-all.

What say ye?

Fun site!

06-27-2006, 04:46 PM
Good question, looks like it's still open for discussion........

Define "Ghost" - Ghosttowns.com Forums (http://forums.ghosttowns.com/showthread.php?t=5207&highlight=definition+of+ghost+town)

bad bob
06-27-2006, 05:30 PM
The standard definition of a ghost town, which goes back as far as I can remember:

"A town which is a shadow of its former self". The term "shadow" is somewhat vague, leaving room for much debate. I read today the following, which could lead to an extension to this definition. It said.. "a town where most, or all of its residents have departed". But I believe only "some" of the residents departed could still be defined as "shadow" of its former self".

Many mining towns and camps, predominately in the western U.S., are routinely considered ghost towns, even though, they are still productive places with full-time residents.

So, to sort of separate the issue, ghosttowners have broken them down into 3 groups(Unless I forgot one).
They are: Tourist, Semi, and True Ghost Towns. I would answer the question as, absolutely commerce could still exist in a ghost town.

06-27-2006, 05:41 PM
I figure:

ghost town - An abandoned town.

A living ghost town - A shadow of it's former self, yet still occupied, business, etc.

Really I could careless as I'm not that ****. But listing a semi or living ghost towns is still a good idea as this site is supposed to cover Western American History. It's nice to know if there's something worth checking out while out and about.

High Desert Drifter
06-27-2006, 08:14 PM
wow, this subject comes up about every 7 or 8 months.. and there are probably as many opinions.

My 2.5 cents on towns with history;
Abandoned (no legal residents or commerce) = Ghost Town
Occupied (with legal residents and commerce) = Historic Town
Boarded up (recently occupied by drug users) = Crack House

ok, totally uncalled for... See what happens when you stare at the same map for to long!

06-28-2006, 05:39 AM
I believe that the definition which sounds like it includes your hometown is by Lambert Florin: Towns like Goldfield, Nevada is considered "...A shadowy semblance of a former self..." even though it is still the county seat of Esmeralda County, Nevada is referred to as a ghosttown. The other extreme in your area might be a crossroads where nothing remains but once was a town. This is the other extreme embraced by the collective ghost-town definition. I tend to get excited about the later, searching for the meager evidence with a passion. Documenting and sharing can be lot's of fun.

06-28-2006, 11:19 AM
Are there any good ghost towns around the Omaha area? Please let me know, I'm going there in four days. Thanks!

Rachel in Utah ghost_town_huntress@yahoo.com