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Thread: Can you pinpoint a thing or two that got you started in exploring ghost towns?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    South Central Orange County

    Default Can you pinpoint a thing or two that got you started in exploring ghost towns?

    I think it would be impossible for me to pinpoint only one thing that got me interested in ghost towns, but there are a few that stick out.

    Since the late 1960s my family would go up to Lone Pine and Bishop to see friends and family. On one occasion in the late 1970s we stopped by the museum in Independence, and I bought a book on the history of the Owens Valley. See photos of what it used to look like and reading stories of life in the late 19th/ early 20th century got my imagination going. Owens Lake was once full, and a steamer named the Bessie Brady operated on it? There used to be silver mines up and down the valley? The Owens River once watered farms all over? This fascinated me, and my interest only grew as I read about Cerro Gordo, Remi Nadeau and his mule teams, and the silver booms in eastern California.

    We also visited family in the Barstow area, and there my mom's cousin showed us sites related to Paiutes and miners. We ran across some mines, and that made me wonder what was mined, who worked them, etc.

    Since then my interest in ghost towns has only grown with readings about the Gold Rush, the Comstock bonanzas, and histories of the West.

    How about you? Was it reading a book? Seeing a film? Hearing stories? Visiting some old site? Living in a dwindling town?

  2. #2
    Vulture's Avatar
    Vulture is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Galeyville, AZ


    Since I was a kid I liked the old days more than the modern day. Grew up on a ranch in SE AZ. I think that gave me a connection to an earlier time. Mostly, I like the smell.
    "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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Valrico, FL


    I was in South Dakota with the In-Laws. I got bored after a while and picked up a book called "Black Hills Ghost Towns". I asked the propretor, where we were staying, if there were any ghost towns near us in Keystone, SD. He said yep, just a mile down the road. I have been hooked from that day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    Default How I got interested.........

    I was planning a trip to Arizona and came across information about Oatman, Arizona. I wondered if there might be OTHER ghost towns to see including some that were not tourist destinations but the real thing. I think that search led me to and thats where it all started. I love ghost towns, and that led to urban exploring.

  5. #5
    Darin's Avatar
    Darin is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Tacoma, WA.


    The wife and I were out in Montana visiting relatives who took us to see Galatin City and on our way back from vacation, the Better Half wanted to take a look at Virginia/Nevada Cities along with Robbers Roost. We decided we enjoyed it so much that we kept on with ghost towns in our own area.

    I personally wanted to, as a kid, buy my own ghost town, create a parking area about a mile or two from town, and people would have to rent horses and/or buggies to ride into town to visit, no motorized vehicles to preserve the ghost town streets, but that never happened. I guess I'm second generation ghost towner because that all came from my parents who took me to Molson to see what a ghost town was like...they were ghost towners too!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    North central Nevada


    Two things, primarily.

    A.) Growing up in the Mojave Desert in the 1950s and 1960s, my grandmother was instrumental in developing in me the love of history and exploration, as we'd bounce around the vast nearly empty desert north of Apple Valley and Lucerne Valley in her 1949 Chevrolet (population in the entire Victor Valley less than 7,500 in those years - GASP!).

    B.) My main source of pleasure during high school lunch breaks was spent in the library perusing Desert Magazine.

    By 1974 I was living in June Lake, California, with the entire Eastern Sierra and Nevada at my doorstep to explore. After 34 years living in the Eastern Sierra, Nevada is now my home. I continue to explore, enjoying a brisk late autumn day exploring Humboldt City ghost town not far from my home with my wife today.
    David A. Wright
    Quote: "Happy Trails To You, Until We Meet Again!"

  7. #7
    Tsarevna's Avatar
    Tsarevna is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    My parents were ghost towning in California (they would call it Sunday-driving) the day before I was born. Just after leaving a ghost town, my Mom went into labor with me. The labor lasted a long time and so I was born on the next day. So, you can say I was nearly born in a ghost town, and it's in my blood.

    I became fascinated as a child with historic places....mining camps and sites that my parents took me to. We would go boating on lakes in California, and even find ruins of drowned towns created when reservoirs filled up valleys when the water was low. Other times we'd pick them up on the fish-finder sonar. I feel lucky to have parents who instilled in me an appreciation for heritage and history.

    When I found this site is when it really all came together for me. Learning about the classification system made me realize that ghost towns are all around us. My hat's off to Gary B Speck for creating the ordered system, and his work of books.

    I can say my parents, Gary and this Site all came together and started it for me.

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