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Thread: Historical question for research. Please help.

  1. #1
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    Question Historical question for research. Please help.

    I'm looking for information about the history of Commercialized Ghost Towns (a la Calico).
    Does anyone know the origin of, or any facts regarding authentic abandoned communities transformed into commercial tourist attractions? Thank you for any and all info.

  2. #2
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    Waltern Knott of Knott's Berry Farm acquired Calico. According to the little booklet "Calico" printed in 1952 by Knotts Berry Farm, Walter Knott's Uncle John C. King was the Sheriff of San Bernardino County from 1879-1882. He and two other prospectors grubstaked the richest of the Calico deposits. Waltern Knott purchased it in the early 1950's, and turned into a family attraction. In 1968, I believe it was, he turned it over to San Bernardino County.

    I wrote a history of Calico which may help you, also. Go to this link: http://explorehistoricalif.tripod.co...tcal/id53.html
    At the end of the story is a link to the official Calico Ghost Town website that has more info.

    Also, Cerro Gordo Ghost Town has been restored and is considered a "bed and cook your own breakfast". For info on it go to this brief history:http://explorehistoricalif.tripod.co...tcal/id55.html

    Basically, towns fade away as the mining plays out and are left to caretakers who pass the town on to someone else who has the money to turn the place into something. Often, as the case with Calico, and with Bodie, county or state park systems, or historical societies take over.
    Cecile
    ------------------------
    Well behaved women
    rarely make history -
    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
    www.explorehistoricalif.com
    www.cerrogordo.us

  3. #3
    Ghostdancer's Avatar
    Ghostdancer is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Default Ruby, Arizona

    Jack,

    While Ruby, Arizona may not fit the same category as Calico there is restoration in progress and a fee for access is required. This is a term paper that I wrote for a class:

    http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/rubypaper.html

    Tom
    "Here lies Lester Moore; four slugs from A-44. No Les no more." - Grave marker at Tombstone's Boothill Cemetary

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    Thank you Cecile and Ghostdancer! Much apprieciated. I'm writing a fictional story about the dwindling community of a played out mine who reinvent as the 1st "touristy" commercial Ghost Town. Willing to feed the world beyonds appetite for "Old West" nostalgia to save their home.

    I want to set it around 1911, do you think that would be too soon? I know Buff Bill was doing "Old West" as soon as like 1900...

  5. #5
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    Default Historical Question...........

    ...also Fredrick Remington was famous for painting "Old West" nostalgia in 1900, same with writing for Zane Grey. Do you think it's plausible that a commercial ghost town could have been in buisness by 1911? Any thoughts from you seasoned ghosttowners? Much obliged!

  6. #6
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    I suppose it would have been plausible for someone to take a waning mining town and turn it into a commercial entity in the early 1900's. Certainly by the late 1800's and early 1900's many towns had played out and populations were down to nothing. Although, many towns had a brief second boom when mining started up again for a short while.

    I would also keep in mind that anyone that wished to commercialize a ghost town in those days would have probably been someone from the east. Most westerners would have been hoping for that second mining boom.
    Cecile
    ------------------------
    Well behaved women
    rarely make history -
    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
    www.explorehistoricalif.com
    www.cerrogordo.us

  7. #7
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    Cool

    Thank you so much Cecile. Your input was very valuble. I suspect the first commercialized ventures probably weren't even thought of until after the appearance of Disneyland in the late 50's.
    The post war prosperity and increased mobility being what really opened the gates for domestic tourism.
    Good luck with all your future ghosttowning and writing projects. By the way, cute kitty!

  8. #8
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    Your welcome, Jack, and good luck with your writing venture as well.

    The kitty is Skinny Cat, my roommate when I stay up at Cerro Gordo Ghost Town. He's one of about a half a dozen resident cats up there.
    Cecile
    ------------------------
    Well behaved women
    rarely make history -
    Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
    www.explorehistoricalif.com
    www.cerrogordo.us

  9. #9
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    Default Commercial Ghost Towns

    Jack - You might try either Garnet, MT (garnetghosttown.org) or Buckskin Joe, CO. (bucskinjoe.com).

    I've never been to either one but having been doing research on the original Buckskin Joe. Buckskin Joe was originally a mining camp in the 1860's. A few of the buildings were moved to the present site, where many western movies have been made and it's now a tourist attraction. Several other buildings were moved to a nearby outdoor museum in Fairplay, CO called South Park City Museum (southparkcity.org/ghosttown_tour.htm)


    I also have an article called "LOOKING BACK AT "THE RUSH TO THE ROCKIES": PRESERVING FOUR 1860S GOLD CAMPS." It details the efforts to preserve Virginia City, Montana; Buckskin Joe, Colorado; South Pass City, Wyoming; and Walker, Arizona. It's in the Journal of the West from 1996, if you're interested. Hope this helps!

  10. #10
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    Smile

    Thanks Buckskin,
    Gosh, everyone is so helpful and friendly.
    Hope to run into y'all out there exploring someday!
    Keep History Alive!

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