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Thread: Would you consider Silverado, CA a ghost town?

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    Default Would you consider Silverado, CA a ghost town?

    Silverado, California was a silver boom town. Silver was first discovered there in 1877, and by 1878 a post office opened and it had two daily stages to Los Angeles and three to Santa Ana. That year it boasted 3 hotels, 3 stores, 2 blacksmith shops, and 7 saloons. I don't know of any exact population figure, but I've read it was "up to 1,500."

    Now it is a small community a few miles away from the suburbs. There are probably more people out there now than there used to be, but in 1883 (after the silver boom went bust) only 16 people were listed as residents.

    South of Silverado at the mouth of the canyon was another town named "Carbondale". At one time it had its own post office and was home to those who worked in and around a coal mine there. As the coal and silver played out, Carbondale's post office closed and it was absorbed into Silverado. Supposedly much of the area that made up Carbondale was wiped out in the great flood on 1969.

    Silverado still has a post office, a store, and a resturant, and it never completely went away. It has more residents in the area than it did in its silver boom period, but they are more widely dispersed than they used to be. Instead of a neat little town with a number of businesses and homes near each other, it is an unincorporated part of Orange County with homes spread here and there and only a few businesses.

    Does it count as a ghost town? If so, I'll do more research and submit it and Carbondale together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post
    Silverado, California was a silver boom town. Silver was first discovered there in 1877, and by 1878 a post office opened and it had two daily stages to Los Angeles and three to Santa Ana. That year it boasted 3 hotels, 3 stores, 2 blacksmith shops, and 7 saloons. I don't know of any exact population figure, but I've read it was "up to 1,500."

    Now it is a small community a few miles away from the suburbs. There are probably more people out there now than there used to be, but in 1883 (after the silver boom went bust) only 16 people were listed as residents.

    South of Silverado at the mouth of the canyon was another town named "Carbondale". At one time it had its own post office and was home to those who worked in and around a coal mine there. As the coal and silver played out, Carbondale's post office closed and it was absorbed into Silverado. Supposedly much of the area that made up Carbondale was wiped out in the great flood on 1969.

    Silverado still has a post office, a store, and a resturant, and it never completely went away. It has more residents in the area than it did in its silver boom period, but they are more widely dispersed than they used to be. Instead of a neat little town with a number of businesses and homes near each other, it is an unincorporated part of Orange County with homes spread here and there and only a few businesses.

    Does it count as a ghost town? If so, I'll do more research and submit it and Carbondale together.




    I'd say "they" absolutely do count.They're technically historic town(s) now, but the western 1/2 of the US is dotted with historic mining towns, which are also considered ghost towns.

    And huge cities such as LA, SF, San Diego, Denver have all swallowed up their historic "old towns", buried amongst the tall buildings and zillions of residents. But the everlasting historic value can never be mistaken.
    Last edited by bad bob; 08-24-2009 at 03:15 PM.

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    Shiro, do you have any recent photo's? I was looking in my Orange County Through Four Centuries by Leo F. Friis and he has a page or so of Silverado history. Unfortunately, I have loaned out my books on Madame Modjeska and Santiago Canyon. I do still have The Irvine Ranch of Orange County by Robert Glass Cleland. I'll join in and help where I can.

    I was born and raised in Orange County and my father was born and raised in Orange County. He was in Richard Nixon's chemistry class.

    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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    I'm afraid I don't have any good photos of Silverado. There's a book published by Arcadia Publishing entitled Silverado Canyon by Susan Deering.

    Here's a link:

    http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/mm5...w=&range_high=

    It has more photos on Silverado than I've seen in any other book. I was thinking of going out to the OC Library branch in Silverado to see if there are any public domain photos I could post here.

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    Don't know if you guys have tried but I've had good luck with the University of Southern California and the University of California, Riverside, with their historic photos sections. Tons of great photos to be had in both sites.
    Don Winslow
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    Ghost Town Web site:http://www.donwinslow.net/Ghost%20Towns.html

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    Silverado is definitely *NOT* a ghost town.
    It's just another small, unincorporated town outside of LA in the hills. Nothing remotely ghosty about it - lots of new, maintained homes, and several thousand full-time residents, store, gas station, etc.
    Nothing much without a "No Tresspassing" sign, either.

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    Here's also a bunch of links for history of the area: http://ochistorical.blogspot.com/200...ho-barnes.html
    Don Winslow
    Glendora, California
    Ghost Town Web site:http://www.donwinslow.net/Ghost%20Towns.html

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    It is always fascinating to me to compare old photo's with what exists today. I am sure that many of the buildings in Silverado can be seen in old photographs but now they have been remodeled, updated, and added on. One of the oldest buildings in Costa Mesa is still in use today as a store. You just wouldn't know it to look at the thing.

    Does that make it a ghost town---absolutely if you consider that the ghosts of those buildings live on and their history is all the more real because they are hiding out as modern stores and homes.

    NJ
    Last edited by Norman Johnson; 08-24-2009 at 06:49 PM.
    "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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    Well, by your definition NJ, anyplace and everyplace would be a ghost town

    I prefer the old school def: ghost town: a once-flourishing town wholly or nearly deserted usually as a result of the exhaustion of some natural resource.

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    Silverado is a former silver boom town that was nearly abandoned (population from around 1,500 to around 16) that has been reborn a couple of times for different reasons. Once it was reborn as a health resort, but that didn't succeed for too long. After that it became a country setting surrounded by cities and suburbs.

    Its mining days are long gone, and some buildings from the mining days that appeared in photos as late as 1980 are also gone. What remained of structures from the most successful mine were ordered destroyed in 1972 when the mine area was incorporated into the Cleveland National Forest.

    If we look at the current population and structures and don't consider so much about how the area has changed, we can say it doesn't qualify. We could also claim other towns currently classified as ghost towns don't qualify due to their current populations and businesses. It would be easier to call it one were there to be a number of structures left from the silver boom days of the late 1870s.

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