More than 300 of them still exist in some form or another today, and many are famous tourist attractions. These abandoned settlements are intriguing to explore, so we've compiled a list of the top 5 Must-See Ghost Towns in California, along with fantastic locations to camp nearby.
– Angel's Camp (San Mateo County)
This town was established by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1875. It was later expanded upon when the railroad decided to build a station here, thus making it officially part of San Mateo County. Today, only a few buildings remain from that time period, but they're enough to show how successful this settlement was back then.
– Ardenwood (Los Angeles County)
Ardenwood was founded in 1887 by Charles Fletcher Lummis who called it "The Garden City of Los Angeles". This small community lasted only eight years before it was destroyed by the earthquake of 1933. Only one building remains from that time period and it's now used for various purposes including a library and art gallery.
– Atwater (Merced County)
Atwater was built by the Atwater Township Company, a corporation formed by Thomas Francis Meagher, an Irish American military leader and politician.
Abandoned in America: 8 Must-See American Ghost Towns
There are five ghost town sites in all. One of them is actually two towns that merged in 1872: China and New Sweden.
China had about 150 people when it collapsed; New Sweden only about 30. They joined together to form a new town called Wilton, which is now part of Camden.
Four other towns have recently been listed as historic districts, but they're not yet fully functioning communities: Brooklin, Enfield, Graytown, and Westbrook.
Brooklin had a hotel, store, and church before it was abandoned. The buildings are now ruins inside the boundaries of Mount Desert Island National Seashore.
Enfield once had a school, store, and church. It's now part of the island's national seashore.
Graytown was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad before it opened up its first line to Bar Harbor. When that area started getting tourist traffic, the company decided to build another town near where the railroad crossed Little Cranberry River; this one would serve as a depot for both towns (which were then called Cranberry).
Previously vibrant towns have diminished over the years. Some towns died totally or were incorporated into other settlements, but many of these towns still survive, at least in part, providing us with glimpses of what these now-abandoned communities were like.
Ghost towns are places that have mostly disappeared without a trace, usually due to abandonment. These places often contain evidence that people once lived here, such as buildings and roads, but may also include only remnants of their former selves. Many ghost towns were founded by entrepreneurs who hoped to make a profit by supplying goods and services to miners working in remote areas. Others were created for defense purposes or because they were convenient stopping points on long road trips. Some were even planned cities that were never fully built up due to financial difficulties or changing priorities. No matter why they were formed, all ghost towns share a similar fate: they die hard.
In addition to being interesting places to visit, ghost towns can provide evidence of old ways of life and agriculture, which scientists use to learn more about the early history of our country. They can also help preserve important architectural treasures that would otherwise be destroyed by development.
People have been moving away from populated areas and building new ones far away for thousands of years. The Great Migration from Europe is one example of this; it's when populations moved away from the densely settled continent in search of land of their own.
Ghost towns aren't simply a Western occurrence (although some of the best preserved are found in the arid Southwest). These abandoned villages may be found all throughout the country, from Pennsylvania to Alaska, and from California to Alabama. Some are deserted islands in huge bodies of water (such as the Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana), while others remain inhabited but serve as vital connections for other communities (as does the case with Fort Worth's historic Stockyards).
Anyone can go on an expedition looking for hidden gold mines or ancient ruins, but only a few will also search out ghost towns when they have the opportunity. Traveling through ghost towns gives us insight into the past lives of our citizens, and helps us understand how people lived back then. It's also a great way to see what life was like hundreds of years ago.
Did you know that there are still several settlements in Texas that were founded by former slaves? Or that there are still many small towns across America that contain more than one black family? Slavery is something that has been ignored by most historians, but some researchers are working to change this situation. They're exploring slavery's impact on society then and now, and showing how it affected both black and white people alike back then and today.
In addition to teaching us about history, traveling through ghost towns allows us to experience life in another time.
Here are a few ghost towns to consider when planning your next road trip if you enjoy the creepy charm of ghost towns.
100 abandoned towns and cities cover the state of Utah. This is more than any other state except for Nevada.
The first people to settle in what would become Utah were members of a group of Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young. They arrived in 1847 and founded two cities that still exist today: Salt Lake City and Ogden.
After the discovery of gold in California, thousands of miners rushed into Utah looking for their own slices of fortune. Some found it quickly, others didn't. After spending their money on food, lodging, and entertainment, they would head back home. The gold rush ended up being only a brief fad but it had a lasting effect on Utah's economy. The mining industry collapsed, putting hundreds of men out of work. Many of them moved on to seek their fortunes elsewhere, leaving small towns and villages across the state. Today, these places are largely deserted with only a few remaining businesses catering to tourists who come to see the remains of these once-thriving communities.
In conclusion, there are 100 abandoned towns and cities in Utah.