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Image of an old, abandoned car in front of a ghost town.
Come learn about the fascinating history of ghost towns, mines, and old-timey railroads at Fresno Flats' Friday Night Lecture series, presented by Ed Marsh. It's going to be a great time, so we'll see you there!

Friday Night Lectures: Ghost Towns, Mines, and Railroads

OAKHURST — Join Ed Marsh from the Fresno County Archaeological Society as he presents on the history of Nevada and Colorado’s ghost towns, mines, and railroads at Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park.

Image of the Fresno Flats logo.The lecture will include a slideshow of photos and historical records documenting the colorful, ethnographic stories of the people of such towns as Goldfield, Tonopah, Ely, and more. Come to learn about the economic rise and falls of these historic gems.

Date & Time: Friday, April 14, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30.

For more information, please visit Fresno Flats on Facebook or e-mail them at fresnoflatsmuseum@gmail.com.

To learn about other upcoming events, please visit our Events Calendar!

Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park
49777 School Road
Oakhurst, CA 93644

A Short History of Ghost Towns in the United States
Image of Calico, CA.

Calico, CA.

Ghost towns, also known as abandoned towns or lost cities, are remnants of the past that have been left to decay and become ruins. They are often associated with the American West and are a popular tourist attraction for those interested in history and the paranormal. Ghost towns have a fascinating history, dating back to the early days of the United States.

The origins of ghost towns can be traced back to the Gold Rush of the 1800s. Many towns were founded in the West during this time, as prospectors flocked to the region in search of gold and other precious metals. Some of these towns became prosperous, while others were abandoned as quickly as they were founded.

Image of the ghost town of Bodie, CA.

Bodie, CA.

One of the most famous ghost towns is Bodie, California. It was founded in 1859, after gold was discovered in the area. By the 1880s, Bodie had become a bustling town, with over 10,000 residents and a reputation for lawlessness. However, by the early 1900s, the mines had been depleted, and the town began to decline. By the 1940s, Bodie had become a ghost town, with only a handful of residents remaining.

Another famous ghost town is Centralia, Pennsylvania. It was founded in the 1840s as a coal-mining town, and by the 1960s, it had a population of over 1,000 people. However, in 1962, a fire broke out in the town’s underground coal mines, and it has been burning ever since. The fire forced the residents to evacuate, and the town has been abandoned ever since. Today, Centralia is a popular tourist destination for those interested in the paranormal.

Image of the ghost town of Elizabeth Town, New Mexico.

Elizabeth Town, NM.

Ghost towns can also be found in other parts of the world. In Australia, for example, there are several abandoned towns that were once home to gold miners. One of the most famous is Gwalia, which was founded in the late 1800s and had a population of over 1,000 people. However, by the 1960s, the mines had been depleted, and the town was abandoned.

The reasons for the abandonment of these towns vary. In some cases, the towns were abandoned because the natural resources had been depleted. In other cases, they were abandoned due to natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes. Some towns were abandoned due to economic changes, such as the decline of the mining industry.

Image of the ghost town of Deadman Ranch.

Deadman Ranch ghost town.

Today, many ghost towns have been preserved as historical sites and tourist attractions. They provide a window into the past and offer a glimpse of what life was like in the early days of the United States.

Some ghost towns have been restored and turned into museums, while others have been left to decay. They are a fascinating part of American history and represent a time when the West was still wild and untamed, and the prospect of striking it rich drew people from all over the world. Today, they serve as a reminder of the fragility of human settlements and the importance of preserving our history and culture. While they may be eerie and haunting, they are also a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and our ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Check out this short video about the ghost town of Goldfield, Colorado!

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