Ghost Towns

One thing the Pacific Northwest, (also known as Cascadia in certain circles,) has an excess of is Ghost Towns and abandoned or lost cities and communities. Decades of exploration, gold strikes, construction projects, land speculation and homesteading have left abandoned names, mines, and towns across the Pacific Northwest and Cascadia states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, (Northern) California, and the Canadian Providence of British Columbia.

Some of these towns are still around and are populated, but many are a shadow of their former self. Most simply do not exist at all any longer as anything more then a wide spot along a road, a clearing in the woods, or if we’re lucky, a forlorn abandoned building or two. The listings below are by no extensive or complete and is always changing as research uncovers new locations. If you know of a specific town that is missing, please leave a comment below. If you have any information or recollections about a specific town, please leave it in the comments of that town.

House at ghost town of Susanville, Oregon

House at ghost town of Susanville, Oregon

British Columbia
Amazingly, British Columbia has a number of well preserved ghost towns. Part of this is due to the relative infantry of the timber and mining industries in the Providence. Many of these ghost towns aren’t as old as those in the rest of the Pacific Northwest. But, that does not mean they’re all new. There are a number of very old ghost towns in British Columbia, many left over from early exploration.

California (Northern California only)
I arbitrarily picked north of San Francisco to divide Pacific Northwest Ghost Towns. The actual line can be argued as closer to Redmond, but I wanted to grab the huge number of towns in the Plumas National Forest outside of Reno

Idaho
Idaho’s ghost towns are heavily clustered on the east side of the state. The state’s geography hides billions of tons of copper ore in highly inaccessible areas along with other rare minerals. Many ghost town sprung up to serve the workers at these mines before the bottom fell out of the market.

Nevada
For many, Nevada is the quintessential Ghost Town state. The dry environment and long distances between points of civilization has preserved many great towns. Among the states on this list, Nevada has the most towns with intact ruins.

Oregon
This is the map that started it all. An attempt to identify areas in Oregon that had gold mining activity led to my interest in ghost towns and the history behind them. So many places exist that are little more then names on a map these days. I hope to bring great stories to light.

Washington
Like the other states Washington has suffered a number of down turns over the years. These have led to numerous ghost towns scatted across the state. From coal mining to fishing, to early settlement, Washington has them all.

Other States
In my travels I’ve managed to visit a lot of states. I’ve also ended up finding ghost towns in a good number of them. Below is a list of Ghost Towns I’ve visited and documented that are outside of the Pacific Northwest.

Corona, New Mexico

Park Valley, Utah

Rossette, Utah

6 Responses to “Ghost Towns

  • It’s so weird to know that there are so many ghost towns, with all this talk of overcrowding that has been going on!

  • Unfortunately no one wants to live in most of these places. Some do have small populations, but the move is definitely towards more urban cities. Part of the problem is water rights and jobs. Between the two it can be hard to even live in some of these places.

  • why are there so many ghost towns my mom and me went exsploring and want to learn about bridel veil

  • Hello Sydney,

    There are a multitude of reasons why there are so many ghost towns. The invention of the car killed many towns when it became easier to drive to the next town for groceries instead of walking or waiting for the train. Many towns on these lists were mining towns or logging towns that died when the miners and loggers moved on.

    Everything I know about Bridal Veil is posted here.

    • Actually you are some what right about the logging and mining ghost towns, but it wasn’t because they decided to move on, especially because of cars and trucks. It was because Oregonians voted in Governor Ted Kulongoski for a term and then Governor John Kitzhaber for another 4 terms. Even though Governor Kits was corrupt as hell (http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-32673-fbi_is_investigating_oregon_first_lady_cylvia_hayes.html), the stupid libs still voted him back for a fourth term. After good old liberal Ted’s first term, he moved onto the houses of the Oregon Legislative tell 2011 to ensure he help Kits destroy Oregon. Between the combined 25 years of Governor. The great state of Oregon has more towns and Counties that are destroyed and Oregon is almost bankrupt.

      • Thank you for stopping by Mike and adding to the conversation. If you had read a good portion of the posts here you would have found that many of these towns died by the 1930s though. Well before Kulongoski was even born. To blame the number of ghost towns in Oregon on it’s current leadership is a red herring at best and totally ignores how much the automobile really changed not just Oregon, but the entire country.

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