10 Amazing Ghost Towns You Should Visit
Once thriving communities, ghost towns showcase the remnants of life that existed long ago. Many of these abandoned towns still have buildings that stand today for people to go and see. Whether you’re a history buff or a lover of all things haunted, the United States is crawling with ghost towns to check out.
Here are 10 amazing ghost towns you should visit:
St. Elmo, Colorado
Once a popular gold mining town on the Pacific Railroad, St. Elmo was a bustling town with over 2,000 residents until the Alpine Tunnel closed in 1910. Today, the town remains one of the most well-preserved ghost towns in the country and a top tourist destination.
Virginia City, Montana
Formerly the home of the famous Calamity Jane, this thriving gold mining town was once known for its high crime levels and gangs of outlaws. People moved on after the gold ran low, leaving the town frozen as a time capsule.
Many of the buildings have been restored and are now used to host popular music shows.
Kennecott was turned into a mining town in the early 1900s after two lucky miners stumbled upon $200 million worth of copper. At one point, the town was home to the world’s richest copper concentration.
Once the supply got too low, mines closed and people moved on, but the town remains a popular tourist attraction.
Having risen to immense popularity during the Gold Rush, Bodie is one of the largest and most famous ghost towns in America. It was established in 1859 and by 1880 had over 2,000 buildings and around 10,000 residents.
As the gold supply ran out, people moved away, resulting in the last mine being shut down in 1942.
Garnet was a bustling town from the 1860s until 1912, when a massive fire destroyed much of the town. By then the mines had just about dried up, so residents didn’t bother rebuilding.
Over 30 historic buildings still stand and are filled with furniture, dishes, and even clothes of former inhabitants.
At one point Rhyolite was the one of the most-populated cities in the state, hosting a wide range of businesses and even an infamous red-light district.
After being deserted only twelve years after it was founded, the town is now used as a backdrop in many old Western films.
Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina
Hunger Games fans, this one’s for you! Henry River gained its claim to fame by providing the backdrop for District 12 in the movies. Once a small textile village, the town had its own mill and water source.
People moved away after the mill shut down in the 1960s, leaving the town to serve as an eerie reminder of the industrial era.
Established in 1859 by a group of Mormons, the abandoned town of Grafton has some of the most well-preserved structures in the state.
Located on the outskirts of Zion National Park, Grafton is a popular tourist destination and provided the setting for a scene in the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”
Batsto Village, New Jersey
Founded in 1766, this town was once a company town that supplied materials to the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.
Many of Batsto Village’s original buildings remain for visitors to see, including a sawmill, Batsto mansion, a carriage house, and a general store.
The town of Cahawba served as Alabama’s capital from 1820 to 1825, but flooded so many times that the residents were forced to move away.
By the early 1900s, most of the buildings had been destroyed, but several still stand today for guests to explore.
We hope you enjoyed this list of Amazing USA Ghost Towns to Visit. If we have missed one off or have suggestions of other places we can check out, then let us know in the comments below.
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Dan has been working in the photography industry for over 20 years mostly in the commercial space. He re-focused in travel and travel content 5 years ago after a long career in commercial studio, interior and advertising content for industry leaders in many genres.
Published many times in print with Professional Photographer, Sony, Culture Trip, Countryside Magazine, NY Tourism Guide, New York Times, many real estate marketing magazines throughout the USA and many online publications. Dan has also co-authored “Creative Photography : The Professional Edge”.
Dan also runs yearly photography tours in Alaska at alaskabearcruise.com where he is the guide and company co-owner. He also runs a successful nationwide photography business.
Current principal sponsors include Think Tank Photo and Lumix, also a previous British Photography Awards Ambassador.