Originally posted by David A. Wright
: Collecting memoribilia of Western ghost towns has a large following, along with fierce competition among collectors on auction sites such as eBay.
: Among collectibles from ghost towns are post cards, post office canceled letters, stock certificates, personal or business checks, maps, photos, personal letters, billheads, receipts, etcetera. The rarer the town (or short lived), the higher the prices.
: Stock certificates are fairly plentiful, as during the first decade of the 20th century they were distributed in profusion. Many were bogus, as swindlers and promotors created millions of them for anything that might be a so-called "mine" in the desert. Some of the locations with such are: Rhyolite, NV; Greenwater, CA; Tonopah, NV; Goldfield, NV.
: Skidoo items are very difficult to find. The boom period in Skidoo was fairly short lived, before it settled down and became a company town. I have in my personal collection two letterheads and canceled envelopes from Skidoo, along with a billhead.
: eBay has a lot of memoribilia for auction, but beware of those who drive up the prices. Often I've seen items that you can get elsewhere for a few dollars get driven well over $100 in the last minute bidding frenzy. There are a number of people who "hang" around eBay and bid for the sake of bidding; then they dump the same items later for inflated beginning prices. There are also some very serious collectors (and fairly wealthy), who are very serious about their bidding tactics. But occassionally eBay turns up a gem for a couple of bucks that is overlooked because its subject line was vague and someone happened to stumble upon it.
: There are also a number of other places to find stocks and other memoribilia. Places such as Doug McDonald, Holabird (http://www.holabird.org/), as well as some antique shops, can turn up some interesting items. Also some private collectors usually are willing to barter if they have some extra items in their collections.
: It's a facinating hobby, it can be one the rest of your life.