Ghost Town Archives | HistoryNet MENU

Ghost Town

  • 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...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Alta, Colorado

    Pat Cullen, Frank Dimik and Thomas Knott discovered the Alta vein in Gold King Basin in 1877, and Jack Mann hit the Gold King the next year. The mines yielded gold, silver, copper and lead— seasonally at first due to heavy snow at their...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Ruby, Arizona

    In the early 1850s, American prospectors found the ruins of old Mexican mining camps in what became the Oro Blanco (“white gold”) Mining District in southernmost central Arizona. In the early years, Apache attacks were frequent and...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Towns: Schellbourne, Nevada

    In 1859 the Pony Express built a station on Schell Creek in central Utah Territory (present-day Nevada). In June 1860, after raiding Paiute Indians killed the stationmaster and two attendants, the Army established a post (later named Fort...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Harshaw to Lochiel, Arizona

    In 1539 Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza set out to explore the region north of Sonora, Mexico, fabled to contain untold riches. Fray Marcos found no gold, but he is credited with being the first European to set foot on U.S. soil west of...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Shakespeare, New Mexico

    A spring in an arroyo near New Mexico’s Pyramid Mountains brought Apaches, Mexicans and Americans to what would become Shakespeare. Dubbed Mexican Spring by whites, in 1856 it became a stop on an alternate route of the early San Antonio...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Silver Reef, Utah

    One night in 1866, the story goes, prospector John Kemple sought shelter with a Mormon family in Leeds, southwest Utah Territory. Sitting by the evening fire, he noticed a metallic liquid dripping from a hot rock in the fireplace....

  • Wild West Magazine

    Ghost Town: Ashcroft, Colorado

    Prospectors Charles B. Culver and Amos Kindt spent the winter of 1879– 80 at the forks of Castle Creek, 12 miles south of Aspen in central Colorado’s Elk Mountains. In May 1880 Culver and William F. Coxhead filed claims in the area,...