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Thread: Ghost Town & Historical reference books

  1. #21
    Joel's Avatar
    Joel is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    "Shoe buttons?" Oh my!
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

  2. #22
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    Joel, following your mention of 'Ghosts and Ghost Towns' by W.J.Jack Way, I tried Alibris.com and managed to get a second printing of the book for $2.75. As you said, the photos make you cry for what was there in the 60's and what little there is now. I took a photo of the school house arch in Gleeson, years ago and that's gone now.

  3. #23
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    Joel is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Yes, they seem to be coming down quickly these days. It's very painfull to see the comparisions between then and now.
    Of course, with the economy going the way it is, we might be having a new bumper crop of ghost towns soon.
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

  4. #24
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    Default California GT's

    I just want to mention a few but need to preface this with the understanding that there are two kinds of GT's in eastern CA.---those associated with mines and those associated with a route to get to the coast.
    Southern California's Best Ghost Towns, by Philip Varney; Death Valley and the Amargosa, by Lingenfelter; Death Valley to Yosemite: Frontier Mining Camps and Ghost Towns, by Belden and DeDecker, Searchlight, by Harry Reid (yes, that Harry Reid); The Rhyolite Hearld Pictorial Supplement; China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, Sixty Years of protecting Our Heritage Resources --18 month calendar--July 2004-Dec 2005; Mojave Road Guide, by Casebier; Mines of the High Desert, by R. D. Miller; Mines of Death Valley, by L. B. Beldon;Mines of the Mojave, by Ron and Peggy Miller; Mines of the San Bernardinos, by John Robinson; Mines of the San Gabriels, by same; California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 47, #1, Jan. 1951; and The Human Journey & Ancient Life in California's Deserts. I could go on and on. But the other half of the equation is the story of the people and the individuals that came through, populated, stirred up and destroyed, and then the people who rediscovered those historical towns and places. Yes, we are part of the equation whether we understand it or not. NJ
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  5. #25
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Default The Shirley Letters - free ebook

    "Dame Shirley" was a woman in the northern California gold rush. Her husband was a doctor who treated the miners in the Feather River Canyon area.

    She describes riding on a donkey to reach the canyon, the people working the river placer deposits, and various buildings and miniature towns that sprang up during the gold rush boom.

    Her stories are colorful and never boring. Various medical tragedies are described, as well as the stories of the diverse group of people who tried to make a living in the wild-west.

    She describes the ghost town of Rich Bar (near Belden.) The river has reclaimed the town, but a historic plaque marks the spot today. Various other northern California ghost towns are mentioned, such as Bidwell's Bar.

    The book is free online, as it is old enough to be without copyright.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/23280

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23280...-h/23280-h.htm

    It can also be purchased in print from places like Amazon.com, as newer editions contain enlightening forwards and notations.

    http://www.amazon.com/Shirley-Letter...5151312&sr=8-1

    The exact title of the book is
    The Shirley Letters from
    California Mines
    In 1851-52

    Except from the 23rd letter:

    November 21, 1852.

    To our unbounded surprise, we found, on our return from the American Valley, that nearly all the fluming companies had failed. Contrary to every expectation, on arriving at the bed-rock no gold made its appearance. But a short history of the rise, progress, and final fate of one of these associations, given me in writing by its own secretary, conveys a pretty correct idea of the result of the majority of the remainder.
    "The thirteen men, of which the American Fluming Company consisted, commenced getting out timber in February. On the 5th of July they began to lay the flume. A thousand dollars were paid for lumber which they were compelled to buy. They built a dam six feet high and three hundred feet in length, upon which thirty men labored nine days and a half. The cost of said dam was estimated at two thousand dollars. This company left off working on the twenty-fourth day of September, having taken out, in all, gold-dust to the amount of forty-one dollars and seventy cents! Their lumber and tools, sold at auction, brought about two hundred dollars."

    A very small amount of arithmetical knowledge will enable one to figure up what the American Fluming Company made by their summer's work. This result was by no means a singular one. Nearly every person on the river received the same stepmother's treatment from Dame Nature in this her mountain workshop.
    Of course the whole world (our world) was, to use a phrase much in vogue here, "dead broke." The shopkeepers, restaurants, and gambling-houses, with an amiable confidingness peculiar to such people, had trusted the miners to that degree that they themselves were in the same moneyless condition. Such a batch of woeful faces was never seen before, not the least elongated of which was F.'s, to whom nearly all the companies owed large sums.
    Of course with the failure of the golden harvest Othello's occupation was gone. The mass of the unfortunates laid down the shovel and the hoe, and left the river in crowds. It is said that there are not twenty men remaining on Indian Bar, although two months ago you could count them up by hundreds.

  6. #26
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    I know some of you are always looking for good reference books to help in your search for Ghost towns. I recently worked with a couple of very nice ladies that took upon the task of updating and publishing some materials that were out of print. They bought the inventory of John Aldrich and are in the process of publishing all of his books and maps that are out of print. For those of you that are not aware John K. Aldrich did much research on the state of Colorado and then in the early 1980’s he published a series of books covering the state. A total of 15 books and a topo map for each one. Go to the web site and take a look. http://columbineink.com/ For all of you interested in Ghost Towns and especially Colorado Ghost towns these are must get books.
    I have spoken to John on several occasions and I have used his books for reference for 20 years. He did a great job. To see the books come back to print is a great thing. Mine are getting pretty tattered.
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

    No Sales pitch just plenty of photos and stories.

    "I led a quieter life before I got hearing aids." Mike

    Rocky

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryB View Post
    Nell Murbarger is considered by many as the creator of "Ghost Towning". Her pictures and stories got a lot of people interested in going to these places, as well as motivating many to help preserve them. Anything you can find by her is worth the effort IMO.
    Ghosts of Glory Trail Murbarger, Nell 1956 Ghost Towns - Nevada/California/Utah
    Sovereigns of the Sage Murbarger, Nell 1958 Ghost Towns - Nevada/California/Utah

    About eight years ago I was in Dawson's Books in Portland, Oregon and found a hardbound first edition of the Ghosts of the Glory Trail, complete with a page long, hand written note by Murbarger to the first owner of the book. I paid $5. I've had a paperback version of the book since the 1980s and have read it several times over.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  8. #28
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    I was at the local Borders today and saw a book titled "This was mining in the west" by David pearson

    http://www.amazon.com/This-Was-Minin...=2N62MYKN3RPBV

    Unfortunately I had already picked up two other books "When Silver was King" By jack San Felice about the Silver king Mine in Arizona and "Ghost Towns and Historical Haunts in Arizona" by Thelma Heatwole (rather dated and it's hard to tell when it was written but it's an interesting read, kind of a personal travelogue)

    I didn't have any money to spare but I plan on "This was mining" for my next purchase. It's packed full of photos both B&W and a few color and it covers what mining was like, clothes, tools, etc.

  9. #29
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    Default Out of print and now back

    Loyal visitors to the site,

    I know some of you are always looking for good reference books to help in your search for Colorado Ghost towns. I recently worked with a couple of very nice ladies that took upon the task of updating and publishing some materials that were out of print. They bought the inventory of John Aldrich and are in the process of publishing all of his books and maps. For those of you that are not aware John K. Aldrich did much research on the state of Colorado and then in the early 1980’s he published a series of books covering the state. A total of 15 books and a topo map for each one. I have spoken to John on several occasions and I have used his books for reference for 20 years. He did a great job. To see the books come back to print is a great thing. Mine are getting pretty tattered. For all of you interested in Ghost Towns and especially Colorado Ghost towns these are must get books.

    Make sure to use the code “FAIRPLAY” to get your discount as a visitor from the Rocky Mountain Profiles web site. Go to their web site and take a look. http://columbineink.com/ and to place your order.
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

    No Sales pitch just plenty of photos and stories.

    "I led a quieter life before I got hearing aids." Mike

    Rocky

  10. #30
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    Default Great Salt Desert

    I just finished reading Salt Desert Trails by Charles Kelly. It is a re-publish of his 1930 book on the emmigrant trains that crossed the Great Salt desert southwest of the Great Salt Lake, Utah. He has quotes (some extensive) from a number of journals and letters written by the people who took the "Hastings Cutoff" in the late 1840's and early 1850's including the Donner party. It is a good read and can be found at ABE Books.

    For the California people, The White Heart of the Mojave, Edna Brush Perkin's 1922 book on her trip to Death Valley is excellent. Also These Canyons are Full of Ghosts, by Emmett C. Harder is a great story of the Manley Peak-- Butte valley region during the early 60's including his brush with the Manson family and Charley. Cerro Gordo fans can learn all about that ghost town by reading From this Mountain---Cerro Gordo, by Robert C. Likes and Glenn R. Day.

    The Murbarger books are really good and they have many refrences to other books and literature that one can then track down and read.

    NJ
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

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