What is your favorite ghost town?

24 Feb

Last month this month I mentioned a couple projects I’ve started.  The first is a book I’m writing about Old West ghost towns, which will be out from Shire Books/Random House this fall.

This opportunity is a dream come true, and I’m amazed at how things fell into place.  I’ve been enamored– nay, obsessed– with ghost towns for well over a decade.  I’m excited to share this passion in book form.

I’ll post more about this in the coming weeks, but I wanted to take an opportunity to crowd-source a little.

For various reasons, I’ve narrowed the focus of this book to ghost towns from the Old West era.  The goal– to explore the concept in an Old West context: What are ghost towns?  How did they rise and why did they fall?  What’s the secret of their appeal?

To that end, the book profiles several key western ghost towns in detail and many others in partial detail.  It will include lists and as many photos as I can pack in.  The detailed profiles are done, but I have room for a few more mentions and thought I’d ask your opinion before finishing up.

So here are my questions to you:  If you were to list your favorite ghost towns, which would you include?  Why?  Is there a town you’ve been fascinated with but is virtually unknown or underrated?  What’s the most photogenic ghost town?  The most bizarre?  The most intact?

Feel free to comment here or email me at

I look forward to your replies!


Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Random Musings


9 responses to “What is your favorite ghost town?

  1. Michelle Powell

    February 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I really really like visiting the Mercur Cemetery, and Ophir. They are fascinating!

    Is this just in Utah, or all over the Western US? Have you been to Quake Lake up by West Yellowstone? LOVE it!

    • bonnevillemariner

      February 26, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Michelle, this covers the entire western U.S., so I’ve been careful not to be too Utah-centric. Never been to Quake Lake– I’ll have to check it out!

  2. Jenn

    April 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I’m fascinated with the Old West and Ghost Towns too – I’ll definitely be looking for your book when it comes out!

    My Grandmother was born in Jacks Creek NV – so that’s an obvious one for me, additionally there are several in Colorado that I’ve researched for various projects and that I think are fascinating. St. Elmo comes to mind, as do Crystal Mill, Vicksburg, the place where they tried to build the ice palace – can’t remember the name of it now, and then there was another ghost town in Nevada (I think) that had a house built out of glass bottles that was pretty neat – anyway – I’m sure your book will be great!

    • bonnevillemariner

      April 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      Jenn, great to hear from you! I believe the bottle house you mentioned is in Rhyolite, NV. Rhyolite is one of the towns I’m profiling.

      • Jenn

        April 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

        Hey Clint – I remember now that it was Rhyolite! I have stacks of research that I did for the Sunday School class when we gave a bit of Old West history along with the Biblical Truths… the kids enjoyed it and I did too – any excuse for learning more about a subject that fascinates me will work, right? 🙂 Now… to figure out how to be able to afford to road-trip and visit a bunch of those places while I’m still young enough to be able to physically enjoy it!

  3. carl reyes

    April 27, 2011 at 1:49 am

    i enjoy the adventure of it all! can you point me in the right direction to research and find the most unvisited and desolate ghosttowns in arizona? your assistanced is most appreciated! THANKS!

  4. Steve Garrard

    May 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Hey Clint! Long time man. I don’t have one, but I was talking to Leon over at RSE and he said you and he are planning a trip out to one and that I was welcome to join if I contacted you. Can I go, can I go??!! Let me know!

    • bonnevillemariner

      May 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      Heck yeah! I think we’re shooting for June at this point. I’ll let you know as soon as we nail down a date.

  5. danny

    May 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Monte Cristo, Washington is one of my favorites – it is a journey to get to it (5 mile hike after a 30 minute drive) and its magnificently beautiful! The history is fascinating – the city of Everett, Wa was founded so that there could be a shipping point for all the minerals coming out of Monte Cristo. + the story about the Navy Captain who grew up there (and planted a tree when he was a little boy that is indicated now by plaque) who ended up being a war hero and went down with his ship, giving his life jacket to his black steward and saving his life. Inspiring.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: