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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

ghost town

town left vacant after gold strike; common during frontier days. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 1080]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"I wholeheartedly and very sincerely take this opportunity to welcome you as a distinguished English visitor to this abandoned town of Gedi this morning."
Bradenton, of course, wasn't always an abandoned town, remembers Theroux, a Manatee County resident since 1962.
hasn't seen since it abandoned town squares and city greens.
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I close my eyes, but the same scene plays over: Above the victim's head the priest suspends A blade, light plays cleanly upon bronze, The sun beats down, the confused heifer lows, The pipe shrills, the bright libation flows, Those of the faithful with weak nerves look away, The blue paint splashed beneath a glowing sky Bleeds across the harbor to the bobbing skiff Whose white sail shows above the green head cliff, Moves around the point, and seems to freeze in time The unison hymn of sailors who forget All that they know but their songs' chiming, Chanting as we did when poetry was young, Trying not to think too much about the deeps, Our fear of death, and this abandoned town Which itself has lost all memory of The qualities of life vacated when we die.
A team of experts who have been appointed by the TC authorities to make an inventory of the buildings of Varosha and assess their condition visited the abandoned town on Thursday.
Kirklees Council has now reacted to criticism that it was sitting on its hands as businesses and customers abandoned town in search of brighter areas.
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The trailer for episode 6 reveals that Canaan is an abandoned town. It seems the ( Ghost Riders cleared out almost the entire neighborhood.
Roseller Murillo, chief of the Army's 103rd Infantry Brigade based in Marawi City, said government forces have pushed ground and air assaults against at least 300 members of the Maute group who occupied the abandoned town hall in Butig last week.
Preliminary archaeological work conducted by UCL-Q early in 2016 provides a glimpse into the sequence and nature of occupation, while early aerial imagery from the mid-20thcentury reveals the final stages of the abandoned town as it collapsed into the archaeological record."