The Bodie Mining District was established in 1860 after the discovery of gold deposits in the area. Bodie's largest boom ended just over twenty years later, but the town survived into the twentieth century supported by a few small but steady mines. Mining ended with World War II. What remained of the town became a state park in 1964.
In Bodie's Gold, author Marguerite Sprague uncovers the original sources of information whenever possible, from the first mining claims to interviews with former Bodieites. Enhanced with numerous historic photographs and extracts from newspapers of that period, as well as by the reminiscences of former residents, the book offers a fascinating account of life in a Gold Rush boomtown. The book is now available in a new, easier-to-handle paperback edition that will make it more convenient for readers who want to carry if with them in a car or backpack.
The story of the American mining frontier can be traced through the ghost towns that dot the western landscape to this day, from the camps of California’s forty-niners to the twentieth-century ruins in the Nevada desert. These abandoned towns mark an epoch of high adventure, of quick wealth and quicker poverty, of gambling and gunslinging and hell-raising. Those who have seen the Old West movies sometimes think that the legends of the Wild West were invented by screenwriters. The ghost towns remain, and their battered ruins testify that the legends are true. Behind the tall tales is a history where a fortune could be made in a week and lost over the course of an evening.
With a historian’s attention to fact and a novelist’s gift for dramatic storytelling, celebrated science fiction author Robert Silverberg brings these adventures back to life in the rowdy splendor of their heyday in Ghost Towns of the American West. History and travelers’ tales are woven together with clarity and wit to create a lively account of a fascinating era in our history. Lorence Bjorklund’s illustrations, rich in detail, portray the ghost towns in their glory and in their dusty decline.
Since the second quarter of the nineteenth century, changing conditions have built and emptied small and large towns across the Colorado plain. At the time when Denver was little more than an overpopulated campsite along Cherry Creek there were numerous other settlements to the east and south, each with its own dreams of growth, gold or silver strikes, railroad connections, and rising influence over the surrounding territory. In Ghosts of the Colorado Plains, Eberhart traces some 150 of these ill-fated settlements, providing accounts of their birth, peak activity, and ultimate demise.
As early trapping, mining, cattle, farming, and transportation industries brought successive waves of “easterners” into the territory, they created some of the most colorful communities of their time. The trail towns Boston and Trail City were reputed to be two of the roughest towns in the entire west. Real estate schemers and promoters offered dreams of civilization and respectability in the “cow towns.” Elsewhere, the stage stations, side of the road settlements, and farm centers arose out of the basic necessities of commerce and from a simple desire of far-flung settlers, trappers, and others for a place to congregate, celebrate, trade, brawl, and receive news from the east. Though the personalities and events which animated these communities are all but forgotten, the towns themselves are the legacy of the competing forces that opened and developed the Colorado territory.
Readers of Guide to Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps will welcome Ghosts of the Colorado Plains as an extension of Eberhart’s colorful blend of history and on-site information to a larger and much neglected area of the state. Through historical records, vignettes of personalities, and over 250 photos and 80 maps, Eberhart provides ready access to the towns and settlment sites of eastern Colorado’s past. For travelers, Ghosts of the Colorado Plains offers numerous pleasant excursions and investigations; for those less inclined to take to the field in search of artifacts and sites, the book offers fascinating glimpses of Colorado’s disappearing past.
"This is not a history book. Rather it is a directory of towns, and compilation of known information about those towns. In undertaking the stud, I was amazed at the amount of legend and contradictory information Colorado history has collected in just one hundred years. Who was it that said: 'History is the perpetuation of saleable gossip'? (Perhaps, nobody has said it yet. In that case, it's mine, all mine.)
"As of this moment, this is the most complete compilation of Colorado mining towns—ghost or going—available.
"For the fourth edition, over 100 towns have been added. Also, I have included a new chapter (XXVI. Addendum, page 466), the first couple of pages of which can well be read as a second Preface to the book."
— Perry Eberhart, Preface, 1959 and 1969
Iron in the Pines
Pierce, Arthur Rutgers University Press, 1966 Library of Congress F142.W47P54 1984 | Dewey Decimal 974.9
Deep in the heart of southern New Jersey lies an area of some 96,000 acres of sprawling wilderness. It is the famous Wharton Tract which the state of New Jersey purchased in 1954 for a watershed, game preserve, and park. Many people know and love these wooded acres. Each year, people by the thousands visit Batsto Village, once the center of the iron industry that thrived on the tract more than a century ago.
With warmth and accuracy, Arthur D. Pierce tells the story of the years when iron was king, and around it rose a rustic feudal economy. There were glass factories, paper mills, cotton mills, and brickmaking establishments. Here, too, were men who made those years exciting: Benedict Arnold and his first step toward treason; Chrales Read, who dreamed of an empire and died in exile; Revolutionary heroes and heroines, privateers, and rogues. The author's vivid pictures of day-to-day life in the old iron communities are based upon careful research. This book proves that the human drama of documented history belies any notion that fiction is stranger than truth.
Elko County, in the old heart of Nevada, is rich in historic sites, many of them hitherto uncharted and some verging on disappearing. For the first time, historian Shawn Hall identifies and locates the ghost towns and old mining camps of Elko County and recounts their colorful histories. Following a guidebook format, Hall divides the county into five easily accessible regions, then lists the historic sites within each region and provides directions to reach them. He offers a brief history of each site as well as a description of its extant structures and their present condition. The result is a lively compilation of local history and mining and ranching lore that records the dramatic past of Nevada’s northeast corner, its pioneers and prospectors, its towns and mines, its outlaws, ranchers, merchants, mining concerns, and civic leaders. The book offers never-before available information about the old heart of Nevada and the people who settled there. It will be of enduring value to tourists and weekend explorers, historic preservationists, and all those interested in the history and artifacts of this region.
Nye County is Nevada’s largest and least populated county, but it is also the site of many of the state’s most colorful ghost towns and mining camps. The county’s economy throughout its history has been largely based on its mines--first, exploiting veins of gold and silver, and more recently deposits of raw materials for modern industry, such as molybdenum and barite. It was here that famous boomtowns like Tonopah and Rhyolite sprang up after the discovery of nearby lodes brought in rushes of prospectors and the merchants who supported them. But the county includes many smaller, shorter-lived camps and numerous abandoned stagecoach and railroad stops associated with defunct mining operations.This book offers a lively, informative record of Nevada’s isolated interior. Hall first published a guide to Nye County’s ghost towns in 1981. Since then, he has continued his research into the county’s past and has uncovered much new information and corrected some errors. To prepare this revised and greatly expanded edition, he revisited all 175 sites recorded earlier and has added more than 20 previously unlisted sites.
Drawing on county records, newspaper microfilm, personal interviews, and on-site investigation, Hall provides the reader with a history of 175 significant sites, rendering a treasury of interesting facts on every page. This book blends history and old photographs with an update on the present condition of each ghost town or landmark. The sites and towns are arranged alphabetically, county by county, for quick reference.
“Timberline Tailings is a follow-up volume which the author published in 1977, after years of receiving letters from people who related their own stories, directions and data about Colorado mining camps after reading Stampede to Timberline. — Sn3 Modeler