Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Nevada

Ghost Towns of the Mountain West: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Nevada

Philip Varney

Language: English

Pages: 203

ISBN: 2:00059337

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Rocky Mountain and Great Basin states are the heart of ghost-town country. Once-bustling pioneer outposts, mining camps, lumber towns, and railroad villages stand today as reminders of the glory days of gold rushes, industrial progress, and that pioneering spirit of the Old West. This book guides readers to the fascinating and scenic ghost towns of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Nevada. Varney highlights popular tourist destinations as well as out-of-the-way spots unfamiliar even to natives of the region. Maps, historical background, and stunning color photographs bring to life dozens of ghost towns and provide practical information for exploring this fascinating chapter of American history.

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1880. Seven working silver mines kept Crystal going, and a road built over Schofield Pass to Gothic and Crested Butte in 1883 helped get supplies in and ore out. A later road went to Carbondale via the route you take into town. By 1886, about four hundred people lived in the town, which had two newspapers (including one using a wonderful pun, the Crystal River Current), two hotels, saloons, a billiard parlor, a barbershop, and the men-only Crystal Club. The 1893 Silver Crash nearly emptied the

Delight, take Wyoming Highway 26 southwest 42 miles to Farson. From there, head 41 miles south on U.S. Highway 191 to Rock Springs and then 70 miles west on Interstate 80 to the town of Fort Bridger. PIEDMONT The westernmost and final site on your route along the historic trails across Wyoming is the ghost town of Piedmont. Although it’s a small town that can only be viewed from a road, not truly explored, I enjoyed Piedmont enormously. One reason I like Piedmont is its beehive charcoal

the 1870s and with enormous silver strikes in Leadville in 1877. All of the sites in this chapter offer excellent historic buildings and a genuine “touching-place” with Colorado’s past, none more so than Fairplay’s South Park City, one of the finest pioneer museums in the American West. CENTRAL CITY Central City and its next-door neighbor, Black Hawk, have been rivals since 1859. Their history and geography are so interconnected that it is impossible to write about one without including

slow path of decline, as other gold strikes eclipsed Montana’s first rush. Mining at Bannack was primarily of secondary deposits—the retrieval of gold from streams and riverbanks. This was done first by panning, then by hydraulic mining, and finally by dredging. Each technique is, in a way, a bit more desperate than the method before, since gold seekers are essentially going over the same area, with newer technology, trying to find the precious metal that the previous attempts missed. The easy

stands the 1908 John S. Cook Bank, one of the most photographed ghost town structures in the American West. (This is the same John S. Cook who also had a bank, still standing, in Goldfield [see page 279].) The jagged ruins have appeared in calendars, television shows, and movies. In its prime, the three-story building featured Italian marble floors, Honduran mahogany woodwork, and stained glass windows. The bank occupied the first floor, brokerage offices filled the upper floors, and the Rhyolite

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