ghost town

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ghost town,

term for any once flourishing American community that has been abandoned, generally for economic reasons. While most of the towns have little or no population, they often contain old buildings, which may serve as tourist attractions. Many, such as Virginia City, Nev., were gold-mining towns hastily built during a boom. When the gold strike ended, the itinerant prospectors left. Ranking with the largest and most interesting Western ghost towns are Silver City, Idaho; Elkhorn, Mont.; Bodie, Calif.; and St. Elmo, Colo. Other ghost towns were former milling centers, railroad connections, or oil-well communities. In Texas several ghost towns were originally settled by European exiles who emigrated to the United States following the 1848 revolutions. Some, such as Burning Bush, Tex., were religious havens. Many deserted areas of towns have been restored to their original appearance; notable examples are Denver, Colo., Mystic, Conn., Williamsburg, Va., and Harpers Ferry, W.Va.


See D. King, Ghost Towns of Texas (1953); F. S. Blanchard, Ghost Towns of New England (1960); L. Florin, Western Ghost Towns (1961); R. Silverberg, Ghost Towns of the American West (1968).

Ghost town

A town, especially a boom town of the American old West, that has been completely abandoned. Once-living places like Madrid, NM, or Bodie, CA, were abandoned as quickly as they were built, leaving only an empty shell, oftentimes with the contents still intact.

ghost town

town left vacant after gold strike; common during frontier days. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1080]
References in periodicals archive ?
Cedi, or more correctly, Gede, was later occupied by the Galla peoples, nomads from Somalia to the north, who set up temporary quarters in the abandoned town.
After only 16 years of existence McGee died, and the verdant blue stem grass grew up again, shoulder high, around the abandoned town.
The woman was repeatedly raped in an abandoned town house and then shot twice in the back of the head.
The town of Ghannam is strategically located at the Southern part of the Turkmen Mountains in Northern Lattakia; it is considered important due to its proximity to the Lattakia-Aleppo Highway and its large presence of the militant groups that inhabit this abandoned town.
On the list (below) the proposal for Famagusta is to allow access to experts to reconstruct and preserve cultural and religious monuments in the abandoned town.
Fighters celebrated in the abandoned town, firing in the air, chanting slogans against IS and showing off a captured black flag of the group, a journalist reported.
WEST BOYLSTON -- Among several spending articles on the warrant, voters will once again be asked to decide the fate of two abandoned town buildings when the semiannual town meeting convenes at 7 p.
So when they end up stranded in a seemingly abandoned town, the eerie wax museum is the very first place they try.
In the decades since the wooden derricks were silenced, the only sounds in the abandoned town at the far reaches of Pico Canyon were the breeze rustling through the oaks, the clatter of birds and coyotes and that muted rattle from snakes slithering through the brush.
He added, "The Baitul Qarn in Al Heyal; the abandoned town of Sulaif; the beehive tombs in Bat; and the souq,A from the bygone eraA can attract more culturally-inclined tourists.
amp;nbsp; The abandoned town was left to destitute scavengers who haunted Waiuta for years to come.
One author who goes by the pseudonym of 'Ianos' describes a previously dodgy, abandoned town that "even a few months ago" made people feel vulnerable to walk around.