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.
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 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.
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!