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Ghost Towns in California

Daisy Mariposa, a travel agent for several years, has occupational certificates in Travel Management and International Business.

Bodie, California was photographed by Jon Sullivan on September 6, 2004. This ghost town is located in Mono County.

Bodie, California was photographed by Jon Sullivan on September 6, 2004. This ghost town is located in Mono County.

What is a ghost town?

There are many resources online and many printed texts which explain what a ghost town is. In the context of this article, I consider a ghost town—many of which are located in the western part of the United States— to be a town which was once thriving due to its natural resources, but which is now deserted—or nearly deserted—because those resources have been depleted. In the case of California, the resources were gold, silver, and oil.

In this article, you'll view photographs and learn the history of some of these California ghost towns.

How many ghost towns are there in California?

There are more than 150 ghost towns in the state. Some towns have been reduced to being just a sign, as in the case of North Bloomfield (formerly Humbug) in Nevada County. Some towns are disintegrating, sinking into San Francisco Bay, and being allowed to die, as in the case of Drawbridge in Alameda County.

Bodie in Mono County has been designated the Official State Gold Rush Ghost Town and Calico in San Bernardino County has been designated the Official State Silver Rush Ghost Town.

Justin Smith took this photograph on October 8, 2008 of the area where North Bloomfield was located. The town was formerly called Humbug.

Justin Smith took this photograph on October 8, 2008 of the area where North Bloomfield was located. The town was formerly called Humbug.

COUNTYGHOST TOWNS

Alameda

Drawbridge

Amador

Drytown

Butte

Cherokee, Hamilton

Calaveras

Antelope House, Balaklava Hill, Blue Mountain, Brownsville, Buckeye Hill, Camanche, Camp Spirito, Carson Hill, Chichi, El Dorado Bar, Fremont Valley, Greasertown, Hodson, Independence Flat, Lower Calaveritas, Mammoth Cave, McLeans Bar, McLeans Ferry, Melones, Mill Valley, North American House, Norval, Oregon Bar, Pattees Ranch, Sandy Bar, Spanish Bar, Stony Bar, Stoutenburg, Taylors Bar, Tremont House, Yaqui Camp

Contra Costa

Nortonville, Port Chicago

Imperial

Picacho, Tumco

Inyo

Ballarat, Bend City, Cerro Gordo, Chloride City, Chrysopolis, Coso, Darwin, Dunmovin, Greenwater, Haiwee, Kearsarge, Keeler, Leadfield, Lookout City, Owensville, Panamint City, San Carlos, Skidoo, Swansea, White Mountain City, Zurich

Kern

Freeman Junction, Garlock, Goler Heights, Hatfields Camp, Lee Camp, Randsburg

Kings

Kingston

Los Angeles

Eldoradoville, Llano Del Rio, Mentryville

Madera

Grub Gulch

Marin

Dogtown

Mariposa

Agua Fria, Indian Gulch, Mount Ophir

Merced

Merced Falls

Mono

Bennettville, Benton, Bodie, Dechambeau Ranch, Halfway Camp, Mammoth City, Masonic

Monterey

Manchester

Nevada

North Bloomfield, You Bet

Placer

Deadwod, Iowa Hill, Westville

Plumas

Seneca

Riverside

Eagle Mountain, Midland, Temescal, Terra Cotta

San Benito

New Idria

San Bernardino

Agua Mensa, Amboy, Atolia, Bagdad, Calico, Chambless, Essex, Goffs, Hart, Kelso, Ludlow, Providence, Red Mountain, Rice, Rincon (Prado), Siberia, Silver Lake, Trona, Valley Wells, Vanderbilt

San Joaquin

Banta, Carnegie, San Joaquin City

San Mateo

Purissima

Santa Clara

Alma, Coyota, Holy City, Lexington, New Almaden, Patchen, Wrights

Shasta

Shasta

Sierra

Gibsonville, Port Wine, St. Louis

Siskiyou

Bestville, Guillion Bar, Negro Flat

Sonoma

Wingo

Trinity

Denny

Tuolumne

Chinese Camp

Yolo

Wycoff

Yuba

Timbuctoo

Bodie State Historic Park (SHP)

Bodie is both a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park.

It is open all year, but is only accessible by skis, snowshoes, or snowmobiles in the winter.

Hour of Operation
9:00 am to 6:00 pm
May 15 to October 31
******************************
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
November 1 to May 14

Bodie: Official State Gold Rush Ghost Town

Gold and silver were both discovered in 1859—gold near what was to become the town of Bodie, and silver near the towns of Aurora and Virginia City in Nevada. The Nevada towns flourished, but Bodie didn’t become much more than a mining camp.

The situation changed in 1876, when a large deposit of gold-bearing ore was discovered. Bodie went from being a mining camp where a few prospectors lived to a boomtown. Another deposit of gold-bearing ore was discovered in 1878.

By 1879, Bodie had a population of 5000 to 7000 people and nearly 2000 buildings. Among the buildings in Bodie were 65 saloons, a Wells Fargo Bank, and a jail. There were four volunteer fire companies, a brass band, several daily newspapers, and two union halls, one for miners and one for mechanics. There was also a mortuary, a cemetery, and several opium dens.

Bodie flourished as a boomtown from 1877 to mid-1880. In 1880, single miners with no ties to the town were lured away by mining booms in Utah; Butte, Montana; and Tombstone, Arizona. Bodie changed from being a wild town with barroom brawls, stagecoach robberies, and shootouts on Main Street to a family town. A Methodist church and Roman Catholic church were both built in 1882. A Taoist temple was built for the Chinese laborers who resided in the town.

This 1937 Chevrolet coupe was photographed in Bodie on August 1, 2008 by Chris Willis.

This 1937 Chevrolet coupe was photographed in Bodie on August 1, 2008 by Chris Willis.

The 1880 population of Bodie dropped to 2712. Even though the population of Bodie declined greatly, gold ore production in 1881 is listed as being $3.1 million. By 1910, the population of Bodie was down to 698. In 1912, the last of the daily newspapers ceased publication. In 1913, a major mine closed. In 1914, the profit from gold ore production was only $6,821.

The population in 1940 was only 90. The last mine closed in 1942. The population of Bodie in 1943 was 3. In 1961, the town was named a National Historic Landmark. In 1962, the town was named a State Historic Park (SHP).

The State of California maintains Bodie in what they term a state of arrested decay. This means that whatever buildings in Bodie were standing when the town became an SHP will be maintained to the extent that they will not be permitted to fall down. Construction projects may include a new roof or glass in the windows—work which stops the decay of the buildings and prevents damage from the elements. The buildings will not be modernized in any way. They will look the way they looked in 1962.

The first five photographs of Bodie are in the public domain in the United States because they were taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.

Bodie State Historic Park

Calico Ghost Town Regional Park

36600 Ghost Town Road
Yermo, CA 92398

800-86-CALICO

I-15 at the Ghost Town Road Exit

Open daily, except Christmas Day, from 9:00 am to 5:00pm

Calico: Official State Silver Rush Ghost Town

In 1881, four prospectors discovered silver in the mountains near Barstow, California. They called their mine Silver King. The mountains had a multi-colored look, so the mountain range and the town which was constructed near the mine were both named Calico.

In 1882, a post office was established and a weekly newspaper began publishing. The town had a Wells Fargo office, telephone and telegraph service, three hotels, several bars and brothels, five general stores, a meat market, three restaurants, and many boarding houses. There was a deputy sheriff, two constables, two lawyers, a justice of the peace, five commissioners, and two doctors. San Bernardino County, the largest county by area in the United States, established a voting precinct and a school district. All of this infrastructure and amenities was for a population of only 1200 people.

Jan Kronsell photographed the entrance to Calico Ghost Town Regional Park on July 5, 2010.

Jan Kronsell photographed the entrance to Calico Ghost Town Regional Park on July 5, 2010.

By 1890, the population of Calico had grown to 3500 people. On July 14, 1890, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act became federal law. This act drove down the price of silver. In 1896, the price of silver was only $.57 per troy ounce. The miners could no longer afford to work their mines since they were being paid less per troy ounce for the silver than what it cost them to mine it. The post office ceased operating in 1898, and the school closed soon after the post office. In 1907, the last residents of Calico left. Many of the buildings in the town were moved to Barstow.

In 1951, Walter and Cordelia Knott, founders of Knott’s Berry Farm, purchased Calico, and using old photographs, restored the town to what it looked like in its silver rush days. Very few of the original buildings remained in Calico, so the Knotts had buildings constructed which they felt looked like what tourists would expect to see in a silver rush ghost town. In 1966, Walter Knott donated Calico to San Bernardino County. The county designated Calico as a County Regional Park.

Calico Ghost Town Regional Partk

saying-i-love-you-in-165-languages

Comments

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 19, 2015:

peachpurple,

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. The first paragraph in my Hub explains what a ghost town is.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 19, 2015:

Margaret (ArtDiva),

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I appreciate your sharing the information about Locke.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 19, 2015:

Audrey,

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. You're correct about the sadness of ghost towns. There's also something fascinating about them, too.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 19, 2015:

ezzly,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. It's sad when once-thriving towns become ghost towns due to the economy, isn't it?

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 19, 2015:

Chris (cam8510),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. If you bookmark my Hub, you'll have a handy reference tool for locating the ghost towns.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 19, 2015:

Audrey (vocalcoach),

Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub. How exciting that you've visited some of the ghost towns! Bodie is the one that really interests me.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on February 18, 2015:

Why are these places called ghost town? Abandoned or really ghist exist~

ArtDiva on February 18, 2015:

How does Locke, the only rural Chinese village remaining outside of SF, fit into this list? The buildings are propped up with 2 x 4's for the most part. Amazing history as a "pleasure" town. There are still a few Chinese families there, at least when I was last up there. I've been to several in the Gold Country. Dogtown in Marin is a surprise, living there for 30 years and never heard of it. All very interesting to explore.

Audrey Howitt from California on February 18, 2015:

Interesting hub Daisy! Ghostowns always feel sad to me--

ezzly on February 18, 2015:

This resonated with me, we have many ghost towns in ireland, because there was an economic boom, many houses built but no one to live there when it all collapsed , what once was a cosy village became an isolated ghost town for residents

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on February 18, 2015:

I enjoyed your article. If I'm ever in California for an extended time, which could happen since I do contract work on the road, I'll be sure to watch for these ghost towns. Great job, thanks for sharing this with us.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on February 18, 2015:

Visiting ghost towns is one of my most favorite things to do. While living in the Sacramento area a few years ago I took many trips to the gold-mining towns and areas. Visiting Calico Ghost Town was great. My imagination ran wild with possible stories of the gold rush.

This hub is just fantastic Daisy! Really enjoyed the magnificent photos too. Voted up, UABI and will be sharing.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on May 23, 2014:

John (Jodah),

Thanks for visiting again. A Hub about Coolgardie would be a great idea.

One about the underground houses would be especially interesting. I don't think information about those is common knowledge.

I bought several opals in Surfers Paradise when I was in Australia. I had the black ironstone matrix opal made into a ring.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 23, 2014:

Yes there are a few ex gold mining towns in Western Australia and South Australia, like Coolgardie that are now ghost towns. Some, if they aren't too remote, are still going even though gold mining stopped many years ago such as Mt Morgan in Queensland. Most opal mining towns are still operating with many houses underground. Maybe I should research and write a hub on them.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on May 23, 2014:

John (Jodah),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I'm fascinated by the town of Bodie. I'd love to visit there some day.

What about Australia? Aren't there any ghost towns? In the opal mining areas in Queensland, perhaps? Or in the Northern Territory?

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 23, 2014:

Wonderful hub Daisy. I find ghost towns of great interest. Loved all the great pics of the buildings too. Voted up.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on April 21, 2014:

TotalHealth,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your anecdote about the ghost town in British Columbia.

Bodie is the ghost town in California which interests me the most. It's on my bucket list of places to visit within the state.

TotalHealth from Hermosa Beach, CA on April 20, 2014:

Ghost towns are cool from a historical perspective, but eerie for the same reason. The last ghost town I visited is located in British Columbia near Kootenay Lake. Lots of historical details were posted about the original settlers, who's primary source of income was mining. To say the least, back in the 1800's mining was a treacherous job at best. The stories documented were fascinating yet sad at the same time. I look forward to visiting some of ghost towns in California, particularly Bodie.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on April 19, 2014:

travmaj,

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and for posting your anecdote about visiting the Australian gold rush town of Walhalla.

I'm interested in visiting the town of Bodie in California because it has preserved rather than restored. One gets a better feel for how life in the town was when miners lived there. Having the buildings restored doesn't give visitors a true picture.

travmaj from australia on April 18, 2014:

Great hub and most interesting especially to know there are so many. I visited Walhalla recently (Victoria Australia) This isolated place was also a thriving community in the gold rush days. How resourceful the settlers were, it is intriguing to know how they coped, raised families etc.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on April 18, 2014:

Nithya (Vellur),

Thanks for returning to read my article another time. I appreciate your support of my writing. This was such a fun Hub to write.

I'm especially interested in visiting the town of Bodie. The concept of "arrested decay" is a great idea, a terrific way of helping to preserve the past.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 18, 2014:

Great hub, came back to read again.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on September 16, 2013:

Romeo's Quill,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. Wikimedia Commons is a great source for legally-attributable photographs for Hubs.

Romeos Quill from Lincolnshire, England on September 15, 2013:

So many! A great article, and educational on how so many towns were built upon the promise of fleeting wealth. The photos you chose look like they wouldn't be out of place in a Clint Eastwood movie - must have been interesting times to live in. Thank you ma'am.

Best Wishes,

Romeo's Quill

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on March 25, 2013:

Michelle (midget38),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. It's a shame that many of the towns became ghost towns, but I can understand why it happened. When the gold and silver ore ran out, the miners and business people in the towns moved to potentially more profitable locations.

When I decide to write an article for HubPages, I always check Wikimedia Commons for images at the beginning of the process. That site is my best photo resource.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on March 25, 2013:

Ghost towns are truly important parts of history...they are reminders of what truly was at the time. To me, it is a true pity that many are deserted. When I get the chance to, I'd like to pay them a visit. Thanks for sharing, Daisy, and the photos are awesome!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on March 18, 2013:

Dolores,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

I'm very interesting in seeing the *arrested decay* in the town of Bodie. One can get a good idea of what life was like when the town was alive and well.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on March 18, 2013:

Linda (Sunshine625),

Thanks for visiting again. Thanks, too, for the birthday greetings.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 18, 2013:

I certainly enjoyed reading about the ghost towns of California. They are such a unique historical attraction and it's good to see some are being preserved. They are so sad, beautiful. Voted up and awesome!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on March 18, 2013:

Happy Birthday Daisy!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on March 17, 2013:

Torri Lynn,

Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

Bodie is a State Historic Park which has been kept in its naturally decaying state.

Calico is a County Regional Park, which is much more commercialized. It's close to being a mini-theme park.

torrilynn on March 17, 2013:

Hey daisy,

I think that ghost towns are really cool

they are quite creepy

but people could use it as a tourist attraction

in order to make some money. just a though.

Voted up and sharing.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on March 17, 2013:

Jeannie (Jeannieinabottle),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

If it weren't for the Gold Rush, there wouldn't be so many ghost towns in California. When the gold ran out, the miners left, and the quickly-built towns deteriorated.

Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on March 17, 2013:

I never realized there were so many ghost towns in California. We don't have any of those in Maryland (not that I know of) so the concept is all new to me. Thanks for sharing this information!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 04, 2013:

Mike,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for your very kind words. I appreciate your support of my writing.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 04, 2013:

Ashley (wallflowereyes),

Welcome to HubPages! It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I hope you get to travel to California some day.

Mike Robbers from London on February 04, 2013:

I will never get bored of reading extremely interesting and insightful hubs from you Daisy. Congrats for this wonderful hub :)

wallflowereyes from New York on February 04, 2013:

What an interesting hub. Thanks for being so detailed. I will defnitely use this information as a guide if I ever want to go exploring out West. Thanks again!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 04, 2013:

Ed (ahorseback),

Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. Some of the ghost towns in California are not much more than points on a map today. Do your research before you go exploring them.

ahorseback on February 04, 2013:

Daisy , I could spend my last few years just exploring ghost towns .....wanna go ? lol......Ed Awesome!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 02, 2013:

jblais,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I appreciate your very kind words.

Bodie has been on my "to visit" list for quite some time. Considering that I live in California, I'll hopefully get to see it some day.

jblais1122@aol from Kansas City, Missouri, USA on February 02, 2013:

I love this hub. I have been to several of the towns mentioned, from the arrested decay of Bodie to the foundations and bits and pieces at Panamint. Loved visiting them and reading about them here. Very good job on this piece of Western History.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on February 01, 2013:

Jim (xstatic),

It's nice to "see"you again. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

I like what the State of California did with the town of Bodie...arrested decay ...whatever buildings in Bodie were standing when the town became a state historic park are being maintained to the extent that they will not be permitted to fall down.

By doing this, we can get an idea of what the town was like when it was flourishing. All it takes is a little bit of imagination.

Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on February 01, 2013:

These old ghost towns are fascinating. When you think of what lively places they once were, and then fade to near oblivion, it makes for an interesting story.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on January 14, 2013:

Rosemary (Rosemay50),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and viewing the photographs. I hope you get to travel to California and visit some of the ghost towns. It would be a wonderful holiday.

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on January 14, 2013:

I enjoyed reading this interesting hub. I would love to visit some of these ghost towns, they look fascinating. Great photos

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on December 08, 2012:

Stephanie,

Thanks for reading my article, commenting in it, and sharing it. I would really love to see Bodie, but it's more difficult for me to get to than Calico. Calico is very accessible while on our drives to Las Vegas to visit relatives, but it seems so commercial, so we've always passed up the opportunity.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on December 08, 2012:

I'd love to visit some of the ghost towns you described in your article! You've made them sound so interesting and full of history. I love the photographs! We have visited some ghost towns in Nevada and Arizona in our travels, and they've been fascinating places. I can see where someone might get hooked on seeking out and visiting ghost towns of the west. Voted up and shared!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on December 03, 2012:

Adama,

Thanks for visiting again. I'm familiar with the part of New Jersey in which you live. Many people from the east coast visit California during the winter and wind up moving here the following spring...it might happen to you, too!

Adama Gidado on December 02, 2012:

I live in Jersey City, which is not as cold as many other parts of the state but still way colder than California. I have been to San Francisco once on a school trip and it was so beautiful. Cali is just one of those states on my list to visit. I know it'll be worth it.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on December 02, 2012:

Adama,

It's nice to "see" you again. One of the reasons I moved from New Jersey to California was because of the weather. May I ask in what part of the state you live?

Adama Gidado on December 02, 2012:

I live in Jersey, so I know exactly what you mean. It's freezing as we speak.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 25, 2012:

Adama,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I hope you do get to travel to California some day.

I'm so glad I moved here from the east coast. I prefer the weather in California to that in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Adama Gidado on November 25, 2012:

Great hub. I love the pictures. I do want to visit the state in the future. Thanks for sharing.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 24, 2012:

Rebecca (miss1magination),

It's nice to "see" you again. I would love to visit some of the California ghost towns. Perhaps the next time I drive to Las Vegas to see my relatives, I'll stop at some of the ghost towns in San Bernardino County.

I'm glad you like the photographs. I found all of them on Wikimedia Commons.

miss1magination on November 24, 2012:

So many ghost towns still waiting for all to visit - I hope one day I do. Great pictures.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 24, 2012:

Kymberly (nifwlseirff),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting.

In Germany, according to Wikipedia, many small towns and villages were completely destroyed by Allied forces during World War II. They're considered ghost towns, but not because the gold and silver ore in the mines ran out.

Kymberly Fergusson from Germany on November 24, 2012:

A surprising number of ghost towns! Thinking about the places I've lived, I know Australia has a few, also from the Gold Rush days; of course Japan does since the tsunami and power plant disaster; but I haven't heard of any in Germany though!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 21, 2012:

Cyndi (cclitgirl),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting. I'll be writing another ghost towns article, but I haven't decided which state I'm going to discuss.

I have a list containing nearly all of the ghost towns in the United States. Not all states have ghost towns. In addition, the residents of what are considered ghost town in some states left because the town was going to be flooded due to the construction of a dam or canal, not because a resource such as gold or silver was no longer being mined.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on November 21, 2012:

What a comprehensive hub on ghost towns. Very detailed with cool facts. I had no idea how many ghost towns there are in California. It makes me wonder how many there are in each state. Awesome!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 21, 2012:

Dianna (teaches12345),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Mining camps developed where gold was discovered. If the gold strike was large enough, the mining camp grew into a town.

A lot of gold was discovered during the California Gold Rush period. That's why there are so many ghost towns. When the gold ore ran out, the town failed.

Some of the old western movies were actually filmed in the ghost towns, or movie sets were built which resembled the western towns.

Dianna Mendez on November 20, 2012:

I would not have imagined 150 ghost towns in this state alone. The photos remind me of the towns featured in old western movies. Very interesting and educational hub post.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 19, 2012:

Rich (rcrumple),

Thanks for reading my article, commenting, and asking your interesting question. As always, I appreciate your support of my work.

The type of architecture you described is referred to as "false front." (Note my comments for the first two Bodie pictures.) I've seen it used in a number of Wild West buildings, but I don't know why.

If I learn the reason, I'll add a paragraph or two to the Bodie section and send you a Facebook message to tell you about the revision to my Hub.

Rich from Kentucky on November 19, 2012:

Daisy, Another great hub. Ghost towns amaze me as once booming communities are suddenly no more. Bode looks like great place to hunt rattlesnakes as the country around it is perfect habitat (which has absolutely nothing to do with the hub, sorry). One question, maybe you'll know and maybe you won't. Many of the buildings have the typical angled roof we'd expect. But the faces are square all the way up and beyond the standard roof. I see that would assist in painting a sign on the face, but is there any other reason they didn't conform it more to the roof shape? Just thought I'd ask. Great job!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 19, 2012:

Tina (thoughtforce),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment.

It's sad to see deserted towns with possessions left behind. Perhaps the residents had accumulated more items than they could take with them when they left.

The buildings and objects left by the residents are the ghosts, not the residents themselves...although, I did read while doing my research that there are a few ghost towns in California in which ghosts of the former occupants have been seen.

Christina Lornemark from Sweden on November 19, 2012:

When I see the photos I can imagine how it must have been there when people lived there. It is both sad and interesting at the same time. There is nothing as deserted as a town without people, so incomplete. But this hub is all but incomplete! Very interesting and the photos are intriguing. I had no idea there was so many ghost towns.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 19, 2012:

Glimmer Twin Fan,

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it.

Due to the discovery of gold and silver in California, many of the mining camps developed into towns. Not all of them had sizable populatons.

Claudia Mitchell on November 19, 2012:

Wow - who knew there were so many ghost towns in California. I've been to one in Colorado and it was so interesting I would love to see more. Maybe one day...... Nice photos.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 19, 2012:

Linda (Sunshine625),

Thanks for reading my article and commenting. What I find to be eerie is that there are some ghost towns which still have people living in them. Darwin, for example, the first town picured in the "Other California Ghost Towns" section, still has some people living in it.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 19, 2012:

Nithya (Vellur),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub on Google+.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading my Hub. Have you started a list of places you would like to see in the United States?

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 19, 2012:

I'll take ghost towns in movies anytime over a real one. They are interesting though. Eerie, yet excellent hub!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 19, 2012:

I sure would love to visit a ghost town after reading your interesting hub. Great write and enjoyed reading.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Pavlo,

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading and commenting in my article. I think I'll do a bit of research regarding ghost towns in Europe to see if there are any in some countries.

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on November 18, 2012:

I doubt if there are so many ghost towns in Europe. Probably not. There was no processes like gold rush which could cause a rapid growth of the towns with their further "fading" . In Ukraine we rather have ghost villages which deisappeared due to migration of people from villages to cities. Interesting hub!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Rick (Poetic Fool),

Thanks for reading and commenting in my article. You're the first person to comment who has been to both Bodie and Calico.

From what I learned in my research, Calico really does sound like a theme park. The Knotts (Knotts Berry Farm) had buildings constructed which resembled ones they thought tourists would expect to see in a Wild West town.

I like the approach with Bodie...keeping the town in a state of arrested decay. That seems to be the more honest thing to do.

Poetic Fool on November 18, 2012:

Great hub, Daisy! I love ghost towns and have had the privilege of visiting both Bodie and Calico. Of the two, I prefer Bodie as Calico has become so commercialized. It almost feels like a them park! I've visited a few others in California but had no idea there were so many. I'll have to bookmark this hub so I can visit any nearby ghost towns in my travels throughout California. Thanks for sharing this fun and interesting hub!

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Aurelio (alocsin),

Thanks for reading and commenting in my Hub. Bodie is the most well-known and well-preserved ghost town, but there are many other locations worth investigating.

Don't you love the term "arrested decay"?

Have you ever driven from Orange County to Las Vegas via the 241 Tollroad and I-15? Half the drive is through San Bernardino County. If you look very carefully, you can see wagon tracks, paths, and abandoned mines...areas that don't even qualify as ghost mining camps today.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on November 18, 2012:

Wow, and I thought Bodie was the only one. It was definitely worth the visit. The nearest ones to me are in Riverside, so I'll be checking those names out. Voting this Up and Useful.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Jasmine (vox vocis),

Thanks for visiting again. I appreciate your support of my writing.

Jasmine on November 18, 2012:

I'll be happy to read it. After all, no matter their location, ghost towns have a soul that doesn't want to be forgotten.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Jasmine (vox vocis),

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and commenting.

Bodie appeals to me more than does Calico, since it's in a state of *arrested decay* rather than having restored buildings or ones that are replicas as in Calico.

I'll be writing another ghost town article, but I haven't decided which state I'll choose.

Jasmine on November 18, 2012:

Amazing stuff! Although these towns are ghost towns now, I can almost feel the life imprinted in the remaining buildings and furniture. Great info and wonderful photos! Voted up :) I'd love to read about those New York State ghost towns.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Audra,

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Gold and silver mining towns failed because their source of income...the gold and silver...was either depleted, or it became too expensive to mine it.

I don't know why there were so many mines in Calaveras County. I've never been to that county. I'll have to do some research.

There are ghost towns in New York State, but only seven of them.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Julie (Jools99),

Thanks for reading my Hub and adding your comment. I appreciate your continued support of my writing.

The gold and silver rushes in California didn't last for very many years. The ore was soon deleted, and the miners moved on. This is what caused so many towns to fail.

Bodie is a National Historic Landmark and State Historic Park, so nothing in it can be touched. The only restoration that is done to the original buildings is stabilize them...new roofs, glass in the windows, etc.

Everything looks like it did when they people moved out. For some reason, the owner of the car left it. Now, nothing can be done to restore it.

AudraLeigh on November 18, 2012:

What is going on in the county of Calaveras? Lots of ghost towns there! I wonder if we have any in NY for any reason. I like the history lesson today too!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on November 18, 2012:

Diasy, very interesting hub. I would love to visit these old ghost towns. I think it is difficult to imagine what they must have been like with people walking down the streets. The gold/silver etc must not have lasted long? The old car in the field is a treasure I think, shame someone didn't want to take it on as a project.

Daisy Mariposa (author) from Orange County (Southern California) on November 18, 2012:

Sherry,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Thanks, too, for being the first person to comment in my Hub.

I wanted to visit Bodie the last time I stayed in Yosemite National Park, but I just couldn't fit it into my schedule. Bodie interests me much more than does Calico.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on November 18, 2012:

I really enjoyed this hub, love the photos. I've been up to North Bloomfield, it's only a few mile from my house. I'd love to see Bodie. Voted up and shared.