History

Visit America’s Ghost Towns As you Drive Across America On This Unforgettable Road Trip

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What is it about ghost towns that draws people in from all over to peer into the past?  From the deserted desert towns that are left dusty and dry to the overgrown towns in the east each town has its own story of who lived there, what happened and why they stand desolate.

Join us on a road trip across America to visit some of these towns and hear some of their stories.

This trip takes us to the towns spanning across America in 25 different states including the East, South, Mid-West and West.  We tried to include the best ghost towns there are to make it worth your time.  IF you have others not included on this map we would love to hear about them!

First stop: Taconite Harbor, Minnesota

You will find this town up Minnesota’s North Shore.  This town came into existence more recently than others along this map, in the 1970’s and 1980’s it was home to thousands of mining employees and their families.  It was abandoned in 1990 but you can still explore the steel structures left behind.

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Fayette, Michigan

This coastal site still boasts a massive charcoal kiln, masonry shells of former buildings and some original wooden-frames buildings.  It is currently protected under the Fayette Historic State Park.

Scott Smithson

New York: Tahawus

Patrick Harris

Newcomb NY

Now fully abandoned Tawahus located in the village of Newcomb has skeletal remains of a bustling mining town.  You can still walk the old blast furnace in town.

Jay Parker

Maine: Flagstaff Village

As you stop here you will see a beautiful lake, Lake Flagstaff.  What you won’t see is the Flagstaff village that sits at the bottom of the lake.  During the construction of Long Falls Dam in 1950, it was drowned.

Graham Baker
Deadriverareahistory

Livermore, New Hampshire

Smallpox swept through this logging town making the people abandon it in 1946 after being populated since the mid1880’s.

ErinPaulDonovan

Dogtown, Massachusetts

This town is steeped in legends of witchcraft and the supernatural. Originally settled in 1693, the town was constantly under attack by pirates and hostile native peoples. After the main population moved away, vagrants and wild dogs moved in. The town includes a series of boulders carved with mysterious inspirational messages such as “HELP MOTHER” and “BE CLEAN.”

Massachusetts and witch trials, this town seethes of tales of the supernatural and witchcraft.  It was an early colonization town that was frequently attacked by hostile native peoples and even pirates.  Once the original populace moved from here vagrants and dogs became the residents.  Scattered through town are boulders with inspirational messages carved into them such as “BE CLEAN.”

goodmorninggloucester

Centralia, Pennsylvania

Leading to famous ghost town of Centralia is the colorful “graffiti Highway.”  This is a famous ghost town was a normal community until an underground coal vein opened and commenced burning uncontrollably until 1962.

Alexa Graham

New Jersey: Batso Village

This town offers a 32 room mansion in which you can explore and reenact historical events that took place here.  Originally founded in 1766 as a mining town, Batso is now owned by the state of New Jersey.

Batsto Citizens Committee / Historic Batsto Village

St. Mary’s College, Maryland

St. Mary’s College isn’t a ghost town per se, but it is an abandoned community with some fascinating stories.  It originally opened in 1862 as a religious school and seminary.  It was later closed in 1972 and attracted troublemakers and vandals alike.  It was Halloween night in 1997 when the main building burned down leaving only the “Hell House Altar” and beautiful winding steps behind.

Jack Says Relax

The Virginia Renaissance Faire, Virginia

You can now only access these abandoned fairgrounds if you have a hunting license and make the walk into the swampy area.  It was only in operation for 3 years between 1996 to 1999, it closed for reasons of weather and the fact it was built on a swamp.

Jack Says Relax

West Virginia: Thurmond

Imagine a 14 year long uninterrupted poker game, the world’s longest poker game.  That is what put this community on the map.  Dun Glen is the Hotel in which the game took place and is home to only 5 residents.

Trixie.in.Dixie

North Carolina: Henry River Mill Village

If you are a fan of “The Hunger Games” this might look familiar.  Henry River Mill Village was the location that they shot scenes for District 12.  It was a mill town in a beautiful scenic area that was abandoned in 1977.  It’s original wooden-frame homes still line the dirt road.

Brian Leon

Florida: Stiltsville

If you don’t want to obey the law, get around it….or at least that is what the builders of this bizarre group of homes did.  To avoid gambling laws of the community, they took to building in the ocean.  Located in Biscayne Bay,`off the shores of Florida is Stilstville.  These houses were built in the 50’s and 60’s and were a playground for the wealthy.  After a series of hurricanes they were left abandoned and are now preserved by the National Park Service.`

pwbaker
Ines Hegedus-Garcia

Rodney, Mississippi


All that stands today of this early American town is a single road dotted with abandoned buildings.  It was founded in 1763.  In the 1840’s the town was ravaged by and epidemic of Yellow Fever.  Following that other disasters hit; including fires and the Mississippi River shifting its course, Rodney was doomed.

Michael McCarthy

Terlingua, Texas

This is a strange little place to stop if you are driving through that part of Texas.  It was once a mining town like so many others, this time mining for mercury.  It was completely abandoned until recently it has become a popular stop for visitors to wander mine shafts, admire strange artwork among the buildings and even stay the night at the Perry Mansion.

groucho

Boston Mills, Ohio

Boston Mills is as mysterious as it is vacant.  All the residents of this town were evacuated by the U.S. government in the 1970’s.  No one knows why for sure; theories are perhaps a biological disaster and even possible mutations of citizens.

Andrew Borgen

Mogollon, New Mexico

Unlike other ghost towns, Mogollon still has a few original settlers you can visit with.  You would need to hike up to Graveyard Gulch but it is worth the stories of the old mining town.

Jayjay P
Don Barrett

St. Elmo, Colorado

St. Elmo is the epitome of the gold rush towns we visualize when reading about that time in history.  It is hidden away in the mountains of Chaffee County and was once a very lively place with growth between 1870 and 1925.  Like most gold rush towns once the gold was gone so were the people.  It is a great tourist stop where you can wander through the structures and buy a souvenir at a gift shop on your way out of town.

Darekk2
Jeffrey Beall

Two Guns, Arizona

Nothing leaves a town abandoned like multiple fires and a series of murders.  This town lives up to its “Wild West” name of Two Guns.  Being built along the Canyon Diablo all that remains are ruins and skeletal structures.  It was abandoned it the 1920’s.

Thomas Hawk
J Jakobson

Grafton, Utah

Towns are left desolate for various reasons, Grafton was rock slides.  In 1927 a series of rock slides left it desolated.  There are a few lumber cabins that remain in this Washington County town.

Sarah
Don Graham

Bodie, California

This is one stop you don’t want to miss!  Unlike most ghost towns these buildings are still fully furnished with interiors untouched.  You can get a feel for what life was like in the mid 1800’s.  In fact it is so well preserved people come from around the world to see this incredible ghost town.

Aidan Wakely-Mulroney
Nick
R3li3nt

Nevada, Metropolis

Metropolis is an actual place, not just in comic books.  Except this Metropolis is empty, only a few old buildings and stone memorials claim this place as home.  It was founded in 1910 to be part of a farming district but was subject to droughts and crickets that destroyed what little crop they could grow.

Famartin

Silver City, Idaho

As you can guess form the name of the town they mined silver here and it was a busy little settlement before the crash in the price of silver.  It was a beautiful little town complete with Our Lady of Tears church and a hotel.  Visitors can still stay in the restored hotel and stroll down the streets of empty wooden buildings.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM
Bureau of Land Management

Govan, Washington

Founded as a ranching community in the late 1800’s, Govan could have survived, but many residents left town following the brutal murders of a local Judge and his wife in 1902.  You can still see the school house and a few homes in the middle of vast empty land.

Andrew Filer

Bannack, Montana

Bannack is currently a state park, the last residents left in the 1970’s.  It was founded as another mining community on the coat tails of a gold discovery in 1892.  This is another must see ghost town as the buildings have been remarkably preserved.

Are you ready to take the ghost town road trip?  Do you know of ghost towns not on this map?  Let us know!

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Ernie Hathaway
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