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 ?
It still looms over Ghost Town as the longest, fastest and tallest wooden rollercoaster on the West Coast.
I, too, visit the High Street and it is a ghost town.
If you are planning ahead, Ghost Town would make a good story for a Halloween party.
It will be a ghost town, but I'm sure the pubs will be full - hopefully we can get back and be celebrating with them.
The pub has just undergone a makeover and looks incredible, but there is really only so much the pub can do itself to battle against the ghost town landscape it is trapped in.
Ghost Town follows the fortunes of Bertram Pincus (Gervais), a man whose people skills leave much to be desired.
The Ghost Town is a fun way for downtown businesses to give back to the Nashua community and build positive relationships with local children and their parents," said Sarah DiSano, Great American Downtown executive director.
It was also the beginning of a campaign by local, state and federal law enforcement to bring an end to the blatant drug dealing, prostitution and gang activity that generations of Ghost Town residents watched from their front windows.
Ricky Gervais crosses into Hollywood territory for Ghost Town (12A).
Dean Teaster's Ghost Town," the dream project of Dean Teaster and DJ Perry, is an 1800s western set in North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains and was filmed at the "Ghost Town in the Sky" theme park located in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
Every weekend, the campus becomes a little bit of a ghost town.
The research was commissioned by the New Economics Foundation, a think tank which has raised fears about the loss of local services and the creation of what it calls Ghost Town Britain.