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The Ghost Town of Drawbridge: A Haunting Reminder of a Bygone Era

The small town of Drawbridge‚ formerly known as Saline City‚ was once a thriving community situated on an island in the salt marshes of south San Francisco Bay.​ Drawing visitors from all over the area‚ it was a popular destination for hunting‚ fishing‚ boating‚ and swimming in the early 1900s.​ Today‚ Drawbridge stands abandoned‚ slowly sinking back into the marshlands.

A Brief History

Drawbridge was established in 1876 by the South Pacific Coast Railroad Company‚ and over time‚ it became a vacation spot for people looking to escape the bustling city life.​ The town had a train station‚ making it easily accessible to visitors from the late 1800s through the late 1970s.​ At its peak in the 1920s‚ Drawbridge attracted up to 600 people on weekends seeking its rustic atmosphere and outdoor activities.​

A Rustic Escape

In its heyday‚ Drawbridge was known for its unique charm.​ The town consisted of wooden buildings and cottages‚ interconnected by a network of wooden sidewalks that floated above the high tide.​ Visitors enjoyed the natural beauty of the marshlands and participated in recreational activities such as duck hunting‚ fishing‚ and boating.​

The Decline and Abandonment

Over time‚ the appeal of Drawbridge waned‚ and residents and visitors began to move away.​ By 1979‚ the last resident left‚ leaving the town deserted. Today‚ the remaining structures stand as a haunting reminder of a once-thriving community.​ Drawbridge is now officially classified as a ghost town.​

Trespassing and Legal Restrictions

Although Drawbridge may pique the curiosity of adventurous explorers‚ it is important to note that the town is now part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is not open to the public. Trespassing on federally-managed land is illegal and can result in large fines.​ Visitors can catch a glimpse of Drawbridge from passing trains‚ such as the Altamont Commuter Express‚ Capitol Corridor‚ and Coast Starlight trains.​

The U.​S.​ Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a Drawbridge Van Excursion‚ led by long-time volunteer Ceal Craig‚ which goes to the closest spot from which one can legally view Drawbridge.​ This excursion allows visitors to appreciate the town’s unique history without endangering themselves or disturbing the protected environment.​

A Book to Preserve the Legacy

The San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society has published a book titled ″Sinking Underwater⁚ A Ghost Town’s Amazing Legacy″ written by Anita Goldwasser and Cecilia D.​ Craig‚ Ph.​D.​ This book provides insights into the history and legacy of Drawbridge.​ It is available for purchase online and in nature stores‚ with all proceeds going towards supporting the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society.​

Preserving Drawbridge’s Legacy

Drawbridge is a significant part of the San Francisco Bay’s rich cultural and historical heritage.​ Efforts are being made to preserve and protect the remains of this unique ghost town‚ ensuring that future generations can learn about its fascinating past.​

As Drawbridge continues to sink into the salt marshes‚ it remains a testament to a bygone era and a reminder of the ever-changing nature of our environment.​ While it may be inaccessible to the public‚ its story is one worth knowing and cherishing.​