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Ghost Town

The town citizens had an active social life including baseball games, dances, basket socials, whist parties, tennis, a symphony, Sunday school picnics, basketball games, Saturday night variety shows at the opera house, and pool tournaments. In 1906 Countess Morajeski opened the Alaska Glacier Ice Cream Parlor to the delight of the local citizenry. That same year an enterprising miner, Tom T. Kelly, built a Bottle House out of 50,000 beer and liquor bottles.

Ghost Town

The financial panic of 1907 took its toll on Rhyolite and was seen as the beginning of the end for the town. In the next few years mines started closing and banks failed. Newspapers went out of business, and by 1910 the production at the mill had slowed to $246,661 and there were only 611 residents in the town. On March 14, 1911 the directors voted to close down the Montgomery Shoshone mine and mill. In 1916 the light and power were finally turned off in the town.

Rhyolite is 35 miles from the Furnace Creek Visitor Center on the way to Beatty, Nevada. A paved road heading north (left) from Hwy. 374 will take you to the heart of the the town. The ghost town of Rhyolite is on a mixture of federal and private land. It is not within the boundary of Death Valley National Park.

Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town. Visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. The town is named for Waterman S. Body (William Bodey), who had discovered small amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed pay dirt, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown. Only a small part of the town survives, preserved in a state of "arrested decay." Interiors remain as they were left and stocked with goods. Designated as a National Historic Site and a State Historic Park in 1962, the remains of Bodie are being preserved in a state of "arrested decay". Today this once thriving mining camp is visited by tourists, howling winds and an occasional ghost.

Bodie is a ghost town. Today it looks much the same as it did over 50 years ago when the last residents left. To preserve the ghost town atmosphere, there are no commercial facilities at Bodie, such as food or gasoline. There is a bookstore inside the museum where you may also inquire about daily tours.

Typical of mining boom towns, the bust soon followed. Miners were lured away from Independence by the abundant work, good pay and milder climate of Aspen. The citizens of Independence could expect to be blanketed in snow from early October to late May. Daily life in a town at 10,900 feet was not easy!

Around 1975, Aspen Historical Society was granted a permit by the United States Forest Services to maintain and interpret the ghost town site, and it was also added to the National Register of Historical Places which helped protect the remaining structures under federal law. Soon after, AHS began staffing an intern at the site in partnership with the USFS. Preservation and reconstruction efforts began in earnest in the 1980s under the leadership of Ramona Markalunas.

There was a time, a hundred years ago, that Garnet was a thriving town, filled with gold miners and their families. Working hard to carve out a community in the heart of the Garnet Mountains. In 1898, somewhere around 1,000 people called Garnet their home.

Granite Ghost Town State Park showcases remnants of this once thriving 1890s silver boomtown that bears stark witness to Montana's boom-and-bust mining history. Hector Horton first discovered silver in the general area in 1865. In the autumn of 1872 the Granite mine was discovered by a prospector named Holland. The mine was relocated in 1875. This was the richest silver mine on the earth, and it might never have been discovered if a telegram from the east hadn't been delayed. The miner's backers thought the venture was hopeless and ordered an end to its operation, but since that message was delayed the miners worked on and the last blast on the last shift uncovered a bonanza, which yielded $40,000,000.In the silver panic of 1893, word came to shut the mine down. The mine was deserted for three years, never again would it reach the population it once had of 3,000 miners.Today there is no one living in the camp. The state park preserves the Granite Mine Superintendent's house and ruins of the old miners' Union Hall which have been included in the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Colorado ghost towns offer a peek in the foggy windows of a once-rowdy brothel, an ATV trek on roads no one bothered to pave on their way out of town and stories of intense standoffs in gulches will remind you why this was the Wild West.

Independence sits close to 11,000 feet on Independence Pass, a steep and nail-biting passage for stagecoach travelers headed to or from Leadville and Aspen in the 1800s. Just off Highway 82, the Aspen Historical Society gives tours of the short-lived town that was deserted by miners via wooden skis made from cabins in 1899.

Southeast of Walden in Colorado's North Park area, Teller City was a silver-mining camp set amid dense forests. The town was booming in the early 1880s with hundreds of log cabins and nearly 30 saloons, but was busted by 1902. Today, there's a three-quarter-mile loop trail that guides visitors through the scattered cabin remains and artifacts, as well as the surrounding peaceful scenery.

Several prime ghost towns lie northeast of Gunnison. From town, take U.S. 50 east to Parlin, where you'll take Quartz Creek Road north. First you'll come to Ohio City, where a few folks still live. It went boom and bust several times. Of the many remaining buildings, you'll find a city hall and a number of private homes.

Fifteen minutes west of La Veta between Walsenburg and Fort Garland, Uptop is a town that is ghostly, but not deserted. A railroad depot built in 1877 now houses a museum, and there's also a chapel, tavern, quilt museum and dance hall to tell the stories of this Sangre de Cristo mountain hideaway.

The only all-Black settlement in Colorado was situated on the eastern plains in the town of Dearfield, east of Greeley. More than 700 African Americans settled here in the early 1900s, but the town died during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years. Three buildings still stand: a gas station, a diner and the founder's home. Long neglected, attempts to preserve the site are now being undertaken by the Black American West Museum in Denver, with help from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the History Colorado Center. To get there, take CO 34 east of Greeley about 25 miles and watch for the sign.

In June, I accompanied a World Bank mission to Kunming, where the Bank is supporting the development of a new light rail system. Upon learning that two stations had already been built in Chenggong, my colleagues and I just had to go see for ourselves -- just what does a modern Chinese ghost town really look like? Well, here it is.

So, while the development pattern is typical, the unusual feature about Chenggong is the stalled occupation. It seems, according to one local, Kunming government officials, surprisingly, do not actually want to relocate to this empty suburban town, and there are rumors that the multiple blocks that comprise the new government center will be scrapped and sold to private entities. But these are just rumors. In reality and in all likelihood, after the light rail lines are completed, it will not be long before Chenggong bursts into life, giving this ghost town its chance to live.

Several years ago, a company from Hangzhou, China took me on a sightseeing trip to 1000 Island Lake, which is not far from Hangzhou. They showed me a residential development that looked every bit like it came from Southern California. It was in absolutely pristine condition in every way. The houses were fabulous. The view of the lake was magnificent. The odd thing was, there were no cars, no people anywhere. This beautiful town was built with the expectation by the individual owners of each property that they would sell their property in the future at a profit, but none of them wanted to live there themselves because it was too far from where business was conducted. So, it was pure speculation and investment risk. I have no idea if anyone moved into that town yet or not, but it would certainly be a nice place to retire to.

I think you have sidestepped the question. Why would the world bank fund projects for cities that are not even occupied or may not be occupied? You cited many requisites for projects in general and all have an element required in your criteria. People. Obviously if China can build ghost cities all over the place, then there is no need for cheap lending.

That said, there is no reason to doubt, yet, that this town won't burst to life, once municipal offices and university satellite campuses complete their transition. I know that I am full of anticipation for the final outcome of this venture...

Where do local mayors get the kind of capital needed to build new mini-cities. We had some experience with something similar here in Vancouver, with the building of the Athlete's Village, a multi-building residential complex. The pricetag for 11,000 residential units, plus restaurant and office space in approx. 11 buildings over an area of 600,000 square feet, was $1 billion. Admittedly construction costs are likely higher in Vancouver, but these things are relative. The cost of these ghost cities must be enormous.

Hope I could have read this post earlier.In November 2011, Kunming city formed a delegation group and toured several cities in US. We were able to meet with them and discussed about their Chenggong new town plan. It looks like in the current plan they are going to adopt the small street grid in Portland, at least in the plan they presented in the meeting. (I did not realize that something like this were already built during the meeting). This might be an encouraging development of this new town, at least for the part they are ready to build in the future. ( However, I heard also that the city government is facing oppositions to the small grid development from developers.)It would not be a surprise to me if actually your blog has made some impact here! Great job! 041b061a72


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