Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Lets us define what a ghost town is.

  1. #1
    Vulture's Avatar
    Vulture is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Galeyville, AZ
    Posts
    1,109

    Default Lets us define what a ghost town is.

    This keeps coming up, everyone gots an opinion or relies on some former authority, but still we disagree.

    What defines "ghost town"?

    I dont expect to arrive at a universal agreement. But for purposes of this forum do we regular posters feel that a simple definition would be usefull as a standard?

    We might not reach an agreement, but the exercise might be fun & informative, & we might actually reach an agreement after all.

    I don't know how to set up a poll, if anybody that can do that & wants to help...help!

    Maybe this will start thing off,,,


    Defining a ghost town;

    1)Population changes.

    2)Building condition, complete ruin, still under roof...only foundations left?

    3) Original economic base vs current economic base, if any.

    4) If a still existing town is it based on the original economic boom or has it changed?

    So I propose we work up a definition of "Ghost Town"...

    Who better to do so?

    <
    Last edited by Vulture; 08-25-2009 at 06:46 PM.
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

  2. #2
    dwinslow's Avatar
    dwinslow is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Glendora, California
    Posts
    1,111

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulture View Post
    This keeps coming up, everyone gots an opinion or relies on some former authority, but still we disagree.

    <
    This is gonna be a tough one Vulture. So many towns that were true "ghost" are now starting to get populated again. For that reason, when I started my web page I included "Historic" in the title of the Ghost Town page. In the true sense of the word, I suppose that the town should be entirely empty of people but in this day, that's gonna be somewhat hard to find. Of course, states like Colorado still have some great ones but even those are starting to turn around if there's any standing buildings left. This is gonna be an interesting project.
    Don Winslow
    Glendora, California
    Ghost Town Web site:http://www.donwinslow.net/Ghost%20Towns.html

  3. #3
    Joel's Avatar
    Joel is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,369

    Default

    Doh! I just did my "Yadda yadda" spiel on another thread!

    Such a mess and I'm going to muddy the waters even more. As far as I am concerned, if folks are still living there, it is not a ghost. It's a site.

    My parents were married in Lowell, Arizona. It's not a ghost even these days by any standard, yet it's listed on the ghost page. I ain't that d*** old yet! And both of my parents are still breathing as well! It has history galore, but so does Tucson and NYC and neither are ghosts. If Lowell makes it as a ghost, then why not Tin-Town, Galena or Saginaw? Someone knew a bit of Bisbee history, I can kick that up a few notches myself.

    So, what is a ghost town? A place that you came across on the web or a book perhaps? Some place that may or may not have had a post office one? Maybe somewhere that man lived and left ruins that can still be found? I hate finding a ghost with no foundations myself. Ruins, structure and history are always nice. But I will take 2 out of the three above any day of the week!

    I really don't know if there is any right answer or wrong answer except by a case by case basis.









    I think it's one of those things that you know when it bites you in the butt! Over the years, I have learned that Mother Nature and history pulls no punches!


    You get to read it twice now! Hope that it doesn't put everyone to sleep!
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

  4. #4
    Joel's Avatar
    Joel is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,369

    Default

    Man! I think the Big Muddy is going over the eye brows on this one!
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    North central Nevada
    Posts
    364

    Default

    My personal scale of a ghost town is:

    * No inhabitants.

    * Remains can run the gammut: they be extensive, moderate, scant or completely erased (even if at first glance there appears to be "nothing," you can usally find cans, nails, rotted bits of wood, depressions, signs of earth movement, mine adits, metalic bric-a-brac).

    * Must have once had some form of functioning government - either local or by persons hired by the county; and had a post office during its history.

    Now for historic site:

    * Any current habitation would thus put it into historic site status in my scale. This would include such sites as Bodie. Though not populated by civilians, it is still populated - even in winter - by a few government employees. But even by my standards, Bodie is sort of stretching historic site vs. ghost town ... sort of like saying "tomAto" vs. "tomAHto."

    * Virginia City, Nevada would be an even better descriptive of historic site. Though nowhere the population figures of former times, it's still populated enough for local commerce, has a heavy tourism base, still a functioning seat of government.

    * There are many historic sites that were pretty extensive and populated. But they were not governed, nor had a post office. They were generally a large mining camp owned and operated by a company.

    * And in very rural areas, a ranch often served as the local post office. But a ranch isn't a town, so thus it goes on my historic site list.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Valley of the Sun
    Posts
    556

    Default Miriam Webster has it nailed

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Posts
    550

    Default

    Actually, while some mines ran out of ore, there were many that never had good ore in the first place and yet a town sprang up. There were many mines that never ran out of ore and still have ore to this day, but were over-capitalized and ran through the money before they even started producing.

    The history of mining in the west is a history of greed. The discoverers of the mines and the miners, themselves, were a hard working lot, however, the people who bought out the claims and then used those claims to swindle their way to wealth, they were as numerous as the hard working folk.

    Or they weren't swindlers but just foolish dreamers who sunk small fortunes into worthless claims in the hopes of striking it rich.

    The west has a million stories to tell, few the same, but most have a theme that hinges on the get rich quick formula. Surprisingly, many of the Mormon settlements in Utah were cooperative societies and succeeded in a place where no other form of settlement would.

    Which is why I love history. Never a dull moment, always something new even though it is old.

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Covington, WA
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeZona View Post
    ghost town: a once-flourishing town wholly or nearly deserted usually as a result of the exhaustion of some natural resource.
    The coal mining towns here still have plenty of coal left, but it's not economical to mine it, and when the town only existed to mine the coal, it became a ghost town when the industry pretty much died out, particularly the Company Towns. The towns that survived incorporated before the coal business died. (Roslyn, Black Diamond, Carbonado, and Wilkeson are good examples. Ronald isn't incorporated.)

    Coal mining at Franklin continued well after the town itself died. The easy access to Black Diamond killed the town once cars became common place and people could commute the three miles or so to Black Diamond. (It didn't help that much of the town burned a few years before the town was abandoned.)
    "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
    -Groucho Marx

    My Photos

    My Photo Blog

    Go Geocaching: www.geocaching.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    324

    Default Agree to disagree!

    Ghost town is a nice inclusive name for one of many historic sites that interest me. To be accurate I collect locales, I have almost 4,000 documented locales within the state of Nevada with as much history as I can garner on each. Some have literally moved miles for one reason or another. Some have disappeared and reappeared almost in the same spot with a new name. How do you distinguish between railroad siding that never had more than half dozen residents, none of which were permanent but had a post office and served an area of a fifty miles for 40 years, similarly a ranch house, at most, with perhaps a half dozen hired hands not related to the owners, living in a bunk house or a tent town that sprung up, lasted a year at most, never had a permanent building but at one time had over 800 residents, ten plotted streets. We call them all ghost towns. Many of these are Class A and Class B now. Some like Goldfield and Virginia City in Nevada still function as the county seats of their respective counties, hardly what I would call a ghost towns. Where do you draw the line? We come to this internet site called ghosttowns.com because we have an interest in the history of stuff and we may suffer the fools who seek the paranormal, not all of us enjoy the same thing. I am much more excited when I discover the speck of a foundation that makes what was a Class A site a Class B rubble, when I can GPS a location of a cabin by finding that square nails from the 1870s. Some of you love to explore mines and some love to find structures, I’m wary of structures, I do find them, I always fear hantavirus when me and the dog root through an old structure and yes, we get back place where old structures still have stuff on the floor or stuffed in the walls that date to turn of the last century. No, I don't usually share the location of those sites with anyone except the area BLM or USFS Archeologist.

    The point is I don’t think we will every agree on what an exclusive or inclusive definition of a ghost town is. We do seek ghost towns, locales, historic sites, and in finding our pasts, I guess we find a bit of ourselves. That, not defining what is a ghost town is, is what it is all about!
    Last edited by Bob; 08-27-2009 at 11:31 AM.
    Yet Another Bob

  10. #10
    GaryB's Avatar
    GaryB is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Caliente, NV
    Posts
    1,510

    Default

    Well if don't have at least one haunted house and a gravity hill, then it ain't a ghost town


    I'm along the lines with David. A true "ghost town" would be virtually uninhabited. I say virtually, as many have caretakers of some sort. Anything else, be it a mine, a pump house or a spot where some kind of historical issue happened is a "site".

    I'm not as eager to look for the minuscule stuff as Bob is, as I like to see some sort of remains. But I have been known to find a site on my GPS that was nearby, hike to it, figure out where what was and be happy to have seen what I saw, no matter how little was left.


    BTW, in my opinion, a GPS was the best tool I ever got in finding stuff. I drove by debris all the time wondering what it all was at one time. Naturally, I could have researched it the hard way, but 9 times out of 10 the GPS says what it was named and I come home, do a search and I usually get the info I was wondering about. That is if the name the GPS has doesn't tell me first.

    Also, I find stuff that has never been mapped, that's sometimes an incredible find, and the GPS helps me to remember where it was.

    Now if I can just remember where I put the GPS......
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

    http://community.webshots.com/user/GBodell

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Define "Ghost"
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum History of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-21-2002, 12:13 AM
  2. Ghost Town, a quarterly publication for lovers of ghost towns, restaraunt/saloon owners
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum History of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-05-2001, 10:49 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-03-2001, 12:35 PM
  4. buy ghost town or building in a town
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum For Sale/Want Ads
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-13-1999, 09:24 PM
  5. fremont calif lets explore
    By Ghosttowns.com in forum History of Ghost Towns and Historical Sites
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-08-1999, 10:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •