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.
They have also proposed undertaking joint projects inside the buffer zone involving reconstruction and restoration of historical buildings, and eventually the abandoned town of Varosha.
A large Syrian flag that had been flying for days between the Quneitra crossing and the abandoned town was taken down and a United Nations position in the area, thought to be unmanned, was pounded with mortar shells.
If you want to explore the area take an excursion to the Lycian rock tombs, which were carved into cliffs in the 4th century BC, the abandoned town at Kayakoy, the Saklikent Gorge or the blue lagoon at Olu Deniz.
Two years later, the abandoned town was converted into a state park.
Prominent members of PML(N) party have been accused of diverting water from an area under the influence of two senior politicians, to Muzaffarnagar, now an abandoned town.
But the top end of Cardiff Road to the castle, in particular, looks more like an abandoned town in Africa.
After only 16 years of existence McGee died, and the verdant blue stem grass grew up again, shoulder high, around the abandoned town.
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.
30pm in the Ayios Memnonas area in the abandoned town of Varosha.
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.