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Ghost Town

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Grafton, Utah

    In 1849 Elder Parley P. Pratt, the great-great-grandfather of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, led the first Mormons into southwestern Utah, describing it as “a country…turned inside out, upside down, by terrible convulsions in some...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: St. Elmo, Colorado

    In 1875 prospector Dr. Abner Ellis Wright struck gold in Colorado’s remote Chalk Creek Canyon, discovering the vein that would yield the Mary Murphy Mine and support St. Elmo for 50 years. In spring 1880, Griffith Evans and several...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Wild West Book Review: Ghost Towns and Mining Districts

    Ghost Towns and Mining Districts of Montana by Terry Halden, Old Butte Publishing, Butte, Mont., 2007, $24.95. A native Montanan with a smile as large as the Big Sky once took me into the hills of Granite County to show me the goldmining...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Garnet, Montana

    Lode mines were discovered at the 6,500-foot level in the Garnet Mountains as early as 1867, when prospectors from Bear Gulch, 2,000 feet below, wandered up First Chance Creek looking for the source of their placer gold. But the area was...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Animas Forks, Colorado

    Prospectors first discovered silver in 1873 and settled where several streams met to form the Animas River, 12 miles northeast of present-day Silverton, in Colorado’s San Juan County. Originally called Three Forks of the Animas, the...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Chloride, New Mexico

    In 1879 Englishman Harry Pye hid in a gulch from Apaches while transporting freight via an Army mule train to Camp Ojo Caliente in the Black Range of southwestern New Mexico Territory. The site contained a rich vein of silver chloride. The...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Elkhorn, Montana

    In 1870 Swiss immigrant Peter Wys, prospecting for gold in the Elkhorn Mountains, northeast of Boulder, Montana Territory, discovered silver galena ore. Development didn’t begin until after Wys died in 1872 and Anton M. Holter acquired...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Tuscarora, Nevada

    In 1867 a prospecting party including brothers Steve and John Beard discovered gold 6,200 feet above sea level in the Goose Creek range of northeastern Nevada. Placer mining for gold on Beard Hill—to the tune of $12 per miner per...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: South Pass City, Wyoming

    Prospectors were panning gold from the Sweetwater near South Pass (in present-day Wyoming) as early as 1842, but the first real rush came in 1865 when a detachment from Fort Bridger discovered gold in the Wind River Range. One soldier...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Ironton, Colorado

    In August 1882, prospector John Robinson was hunting game on Red Mountain, Colo., to feed his partners when he found a large chunk of lead and silver ore. The partners’ subsequent Yankee Girl, Orphan Boy and Robinson claims, coupled with...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Tinton, South Dakota

    Tinton is tucked in the rugged recesses of Spearfish Canyon, 13 miles due east of Deadwood. Its crumbling edifices belie a remarkably resilient mining town. Edgar St. John discovered ore there during the mid-1870s Black Hills Gold Rush....

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Canyon Diablo, Arizona

    In 1880 the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad began constructing a bridge over 250-foot-deep Canyon Diablo, midway between Winslow and Flagstaff. Financial difficulties halted the project, leaving an incomplete span at rail’s end. A town...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Old Hachita, New Mexico

    Indians mined turquoise for centuries in the mountains in extreme southwestern New Mexico; the small knives and hatchets they left behind prompted the Spanish to name the range Hachita. American prospectors explored the area around 1875,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Castle, Montana

    In 1882 prospector Hanson H. Barnes found outcrops of silver and lead while roaming the southern flank of the Castle Mountains in Meagher County, Montana Territory. Two years later Barnes got around to recording his remote discoveries,...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Mondak, Montana/North Dakota

    Most Western boomtowns depended on mining, but Mondak—platted in 1903 on the border between “dry” North Dakota and “wet” Montana—was a liquor town. Its Montana saloons existed to separate booze-thirsty North Dakotans from their...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Tybo, Nevada

    Tybo sits on the eastern slope of the Hot Creek Range in Nye County, Nevada. Shoshone Indians alerted whites to canyon-side silver veins in 1866. In 1870 James W. Gally and M.V.B. Gillett claimed the main silver lode, which became the...