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Exploring Ghost Towns in Southern California

California is not only known for its stunning beaches and bustling cities, but also for its rich history of mining and settlement in the 19th and early 20th centuries.​ Today, many of these mining towns have been abandoned, becoming eerie and intriguing ghost towns.​ Southern California is home to several of these ghost towns, each with its own unique story to tell.

1.​ Calico Ghost Town

Located in the southern California high desert, Calico Ghost Town was founded in 1881 during the silver mining boom.​ In its heyday, the town was home to over 500 mines and a population of 1,200 people.​ Today, visitors can explore the preserved buildings and learn about the town’s history at the Lucy Lane Museum.​ Calico Ghost Town offers a fascinating glimpse into the Wild West era of California.​

2.​ Bodie Ghost Town

If you’re looking for the ultimate ghost town experience in California, Bodie is a must-visit.​ Established in 1876 as a gold mining town٫ Bodie once had over 10٫000 residents. Today٫ it is preserved in a state of arrested decay٫ giving visitors a chance to step back in time and explore the preserved buildings٫ including homes٫ a schoolhouse٫ and a church.​ Bodie is considered one of the best-preserved ghost towns in the United States.​

Bodie: The ultimate western ghost town | CNHI | cnhinews.com

3.​ Cerro Gordo Ghost Town

Nestled in the Inyo Mountains, Cerro Gordo Ghost Town was once a thriving silver mining town.​ Established in 1865, it quickly grew in population, boasting a hotel, saloon, and post office. Today, visitors can explore the well-preserved buildings, including the American Hotel and the silver smelter.​ The town offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a fascinating glimpse into the boom and bust cycle of the mining industry.​

4.​ Randsburg Ghost Town

Randsburg is a unique ghost town in that it is still home to around 70 residents, making it a living ghost town.​ Located in the western part of San Bernardino County, Randsburg was once a bustling mining town. Today, visitors can explore the well-preserved buildings, including the White House Saloon and the General Store. Randsburg offers a rare opportunity to experience a ghost town that is still inhabited.​

Bodie - California ghost town

5.​ Leadfield Ghost Town

Leadfield Ghost Town, located in the southern Death Valley region, was once thought to be the next great mining town.​ In the 1920s, a fraudulent promotion campaign convinced people to invest in Leadfield, but the town quickly failed due to false claims of rich ore deposits.​ Visitors to Leadfield can explore the remnants of the town and uncover the story of its rise and fall.​

These are just a few of the ghost towns that can be found throughout southern California.​ Each town offers a unique glimpse into the region’s history and provides an opportunity for visitors to step back in time.​ Whether you’re interested in mining history or simply enjoy the eerie atmosphere of abandoned towns, exploring western ghost towns in southern California is sure to be an unforgettable experience.​

Going to Bodie: Visiting the ultimate Western ghost town | News | valdostadailytimes.com