American Ghost Towns-Are They Haunted?

American ghost towns are spread throughout North America. As the coal, gold, silver, and copper mines have closed due to fluctuations in the marketplace, or an end to the supply within the mines, towns across America and Canada have been abandoned to the spiders and rodents. These ghost towns are seen by some people to be beautiful and seen by others to be downright spooky.

The emptiness is palpable and the only sounds are creaking doors that shift in the wind. I love the juxtaposition of the eeriness of the buildings and the quality of craftsmanship that built the now vacant homes and buildings. The chances to capture some of that beauty through photographs is an appealing thought that pulls me to explore ghost towns. I want to give you a list of places you can check out if so inclined.

Virginia City and Nevada City, Montana

Imagine the history that you can experience by walking through the gold-rush ghost towns of Virginia City and Nevada City in Montana. Did you know that “Calamity” Jane once lived in Virginia City? How cool is that? The two towns are connected by a tourist train as they are only a mile apart from each other. The towns were alive during the time of gunslingers and working cowboys. The streets were lined with saloons, hotels, and stables. All of the buildings are wooden structures and the weather-beaten boards make for an authentic backdrop for anything from a wedding to family photos.

American Ghost Towns

There is an outdoor museum in Nevada City with a large collection of Old West artifacts and one hundred buildings that date back to the years between 1863 and 1900. The museum is open to the public beginning in May through the summer months.

The entire town of Virginia City is considered a museum. Check out an Old West Opera House, and move along the wooden sidewalks of Main Street. Keep exploring until you come to The Hangman’s Beam where the story goes that five men were hung until they died on one night. Talk about an evening of “entertainment.”

Swan Island, Maine

Swan Island, Maine is an island located in the Kennebec River by Richmond. The island can be reached by ferry and it has five old homesteads that date back to the 1700s. There is also a cemetery on the island. You may encounter a ghost or two or at the very least see a bald eagle or some deer. The island has a spooky vibe but if like that feeling you can camp out for the night.

Terlingua, Texas

Terlingua, Texas is a former mercury-mining town located in the remote Big Bend area of west Texas. It is a ghost town that taken on a second life as an odd tourist attraction. The buildings were abandoned but now some colourfull characters inhabit them. Others live there and sleep in tents. You will soon discover that the “happening” hang out is the Starlight Theatre that has become a restaurant and bar. I love it that people have become interested in the area again enough to bring back some life the old town.

American Ghost Towns

These are just a sampling of the numerous ghost towns throughout North America. I look forward to letting you know more about them in the future.

Happy ghost hunting!

Val

 

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Ghost Towns-Three Valley Lake Chateau

The Three Valley Lake Chateau Ghost Town is located a quick 15-minute drive west of Revelstoke, BC. Nestled among the mountains it is next door to the Three Valley Lake Chateau.

Three Valley Lake Chateau

History

There is so much history gathered together at the Three Valley Lake Chateau Ghost Town. The founder of the place was Gordon Bell who delighted in preserving antiques of western Canada. Gordon and his wife Ethel purchased the land in 1961 and filled in the swamp with around 25,000 truckloads of rock and fill. The buildings located now at 3VG came from various places in western Canada. Most were originally constructed in the late 1800’s.

What You Will Discover

The entrance to the ghost town is made through the theatre which contains a mining museum and some very freaky looking mannequins. Upon exiting the theatre you fall through time into the early 1900’s and find yourself surrounded by interesting buildings. The buildings range from a church with a graveyard, to a drugstore, a hotel, and even a jail. Mr. Bell made sure that there was at least one of everything a real town would need. It is a well thought out ghost town that is interesting and educational. There is a candy store where you can stop for an ice cream or a cold drink to help you make it through the heat of the day.

Antique Cars

By crossing the covered bridge you will arrive at the display of antique cars. The cars date between 1902 and 1929 and have been beautifully preserved. A car lover will find this collection worth the admission price alone.

ghost town book
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Railway Roundhouse

Further along your walk, you will discover the huge 3 Valley Railway Roundhouse that has a variety of railroad displays. There you will find a railway Business Car, a Governor General’s Coach, and a 2-6-2 Locomotive. You cannot help but notice the huge 100,000 square foot red roof that covers the turntable as well as the roundhouse back shop, the coach repair shop, and the pattern shop. It is amazing.

Ghost Town Pricing & Hours

18+ Adults = $12

65+ Seniors = $10

12-17-year-old Youth = $7

6-11-year-old Children = $5

5 years & under + Free

Family Rate = $30

When you stay at the Three Valley Lake Chateau you can enter the ghost town for half the price.

9 am to 5 pm mid-April to May 31 & September 7 to early October

8 am to 8 pm June 1 to September 6

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Three Valley Lake Chateau

The Three Valley Lake Chateau is located next door to the 3VG Ghost Town. It has the same type of red roof and therefore the whole area seems to flow together. The Chateau is nestled in the Monashee Mountains and has 200 rooms. It is an interesting hotel with many amenities including a pool (with a mural of the Titanic), pool table, ping pong table, floor checkers board, arcade games, a library, and an indoor garden area. The Chateau has a private beach where you can swim in the mountain water, rent a kayak, or soak up some sun. There are extensive outdoor gardens and even a small playground for the kids.

You will not go hungry with four different dining areas to choose from. Make sure to save some time for exploring this hotel. It is the strangest and coolest place we have ever stayed. The hallways seem to go on forever and the roof line begins to impede on the space in the hallways on the upper floors.  There are doors everywhere and a heavy wooden slotted door behind which you can catch a slight glimpse of antiques in a dark room. There is a honeymoon suite called the cave that has a rock ceiling and is furnished with antiques. They also have a honeymoon suite that is called the Eagle’s Nest. It is found at the top of a private staircase where hopefully the groom does not attempt to carry the bride over the threshold for the sake of safety. The rooms are dated and could use a remodel but we embraced the retro ambience and enjoyed the uniqueness of the Chateau. After all, it is not an adventure if you do not leave your comfort zone.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

 

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