And on Mane Street, Old West cottages built for movies are being lived in by real people—and an art installation even adorns one private yard. A ghost town is a term used to describe towns that failed to stand the test of time and died off the same time the gold mines stopped producing gold. “I don’t want to be bothered.”. Who knew a deserted, rough-and-tumble mining boomtown in the Wild West could be so delightful? Names like 'Ruby City', 'Deadwood' and 'Tombstone'. “It was time for me to bug off rather than becoming that grumpy old dude trying to stop change.”, The Curbed guide to Southern California’s deserts, The Curbed guide to Southern California’s desert, In Palm Springs, a couple embraces midcentury style—and green design, An illustrated guide to Southern California’s desert plants, Arthur Elrod and the vibrant, modern interiors of Palm Springs, How to spend a weekend in and around Palm Springs. According to the LA Times: An ambitious street system was designed and roads were cut into the brush, making the grid that can now be seen from the air. Read time: 9 mins. Hickock was shot and killed in Deadwood while holding the infamous Dead Man’s Hand (aces and eights) during a poker game. Like many Wild West towns, Virginia City has a trolley tour that brings you through the major landmarks. Okaton – A Prairie Ghost Town There are roads laid out in a perfect grid. The days of Wyatt Earpp and Billy the Kid may be over, but there are still several towns throughout the US that evoke that old fashioned Wild West spirit. Across the street from the depot, the old post office is boarded up. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. At its height during World War II, the population of Kelso reached around 2,000. Two of the motel rooms are open. For true history buffs, you can actually visit the graves of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane at Mount Moriah Cemetery. You can even pan for gold at the Lost Boot Mine, but don’t expect to strike it rich. Driving through California City today is an eerie experience. These days Silverton is a little more respectable. Farther down the dirt road, a modern-day cowboy sitting a spell on the porch takes off his hat, an old-timey gesture in front of the old-timey saddle shop. Living in Idaho is like living in a time capsule. In 2005, the restored depot was opened as the visitor center for Mojave National Preserve. The American Wild West is featured so often in Hollywood films and on TV that many of us feel like we know it very well – the cowboys, the gun … Many neighborhoods have only three or four homes, with plenty of land in between. 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Founded in 1877 by prospector Ed Schiefflein, who discovered silver in the area, Tombstone was the setting of perhaps the most legendary event in Wild West history: the Gunfight at the O.K. By the 1890s, silver lost much of its value due to the discovery of bigger mines, and the dusty desert outpost was mostly deserted. Search for a topic, destination or article, We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. Some, like Palm Springs, flourished, but countless others failed. At home, at school, or on the road, we offer a great selection of games! There is a vacant, sunbaked house, with an overturned chair, peeling paint, and wallpaper that makes the walls look like a Rothko. That year, a group of Hollywood investors, including cowboy stars Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, Dick Curtis, Bob Nolan, Russell Hayden, and Tim Spencer, bought 13 acres of desert land 25 miles from Palm Springs. Settlements were raised in the dry and unaccommodating desert for many reasons. Deadwood – Rough & Tumble Old West Town. The names in this generator have been based on real life Wild West town names. This striking landscape of arid, mountain-flanked dirt roads, peppered with clusters of oddly-shaped rocks, has doubled as the “Wild West” in countless film and TV shoots. The promise of wealth lured outlaws, gamblers, and gunslingers who transformed the town into a vibrant and often dangerous place. Soon a post office, cafeteria, and rudimentary homes for Union Pacific workers and prospectors sprang up in the isolated spot. Also be sure to catch the Ghost Rider Gunfighters show in the town center, which takes place daily at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM. More than 500 mines were soon in operation, producing the biggest silver load in California history. Dodge City, was once the epicenter of the Wild West. Prostitutes - or 'soiled doves' and 'sportin' women' as they were commonly known - were a fixture in western towns and cities. Sun in your face and cold drink in your hand, singing along to Creedence Clearwater Revival: Who doesn’t love a road trip to the desert? Calico’s second wind would come in 1951, when Walter Knott, whose uncle had made his fortune with a Calico mine, bought the collection of dilapidated shacks and mines that were left. Soon, the new settlement of Calico in Wall Street Canyon sprang up, filled with young adventurers from places as disparate as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and China. The once-bustling depot was closed by Union Pacific in 1985. What it's like now: Dodge City's economy is ce… Kelso Depot 90942 Kelso Cima Road Kelso, CA 92306. It has a walk-in bank vault from 1964, as well as an abandoned gold mine underneath the bar. Oregon. There is a forlorn, abandoned basketball court, and a fireplace—all that’s left of a small house. Over the years, the roads were reclaimed by the city of Mojave. This includes personalizing content and advertising. And the gaudy colors in the mineral stained mountains which formed a backdrop for it all reminded someone of a piece of calico. Mane Street is a friendly place, not a grimacing desperado in sight. U.S. Route 66 (US 66, Route 66) is a part of a former United States Numbered Highway in the state of California that ran from the west in Santa Monica on the Pacific Ocean through Los Angeles and San Bernardino to Needles at the Arizona state line. Wild West Town is a wild west themed amusement park in Illinois. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. There are few Wild West buffs who haven't heard of Deadwood, SD, and this town remains one of the true wonders of Old Wild West. Corral and view reenactments of the famous gunfight, or even spend the day at the Tombstone Wild West Theme Park where there are daily gunfight shows (no, you don’t have to participate). The town was fast abandoned, leaving behind a bygone relic. Slightly less-grim options include the Rose Tree Museum & Bookstore, home of the world’s largest Rose Tree; the Tombstone Epitaph newspaper building; and the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Americans have always had a fascination with the Wild West. Driving out of town as the sun goes down in the huge, cloudless sky, you pass row upon row of empty dirt roads, like the imprint from a shoe. How to Create a Genuine Looking Old Wild West Town Scene. Most look like they have been there for many years. Fittingly, Schieffelin called the town “Tombstone” because he was initially told he would find nothing there but his own tombstone. In the dust-covered ’50s-style kitchen, you might glimpse a desert version of trapped Betty Draper standing at the window, staring out at the train tracks. Family travel guide to the North Carolina outdoors, The best ski resorts in North America for beginners, How to actually have fun on a ski trip if you don’t ski, The Hunt for Beyondland: The Great American Family Road Trip, Raising your child to be an extreme outdoor athlete can be scary — but worth it, 5 tips for traveling with kids during COVID-19, Finland just equalized family leave, with 7 months for each parent, Download the Calico. The world’s love affair with America’s Wild West has always burned bright, and nothing in the country’s history compares to the period from 1865 to 1895 when prospectors and pioneers pushed their way towards better lives and scrambled for pots of gold. Sounded like a real roller coaster ride. You can also take a walking tour along the Dodge City Trail of Fame, which commemorates the famous Wild West residents of Dodge, or kick back at Miss Kitty’s Long Branch Saloon just like the gunslingers used to do. They’re easy to drive to, fascinating to explore, and may leave you thinking about which one you’d like to live in, and which one you’d like to haunt. Los Angeles is the home of the film industry, especially during the era when many of those great old western films and television shows were made. Cody is the home of Buffalo Bill, the showman famous for his “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” shows, which are credited with the popularization and proliferation of rodeos. The town was named after a woman named Olive Oatman, who was kidnapped by an Apache tribe and then sold as a slave to Mohave indians. The shootout only last 30 seconds, but it resulted in the deaths of Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers. Then get your kicks off Route 66 (now the National Heritage Trail) in the ghostly midcentury modern nightmare known as Amboy. Like many towns that boomed during the late 1800s, Oatman rose to prominence as a gold mining town. See more ideas about Wild west, Old west photos, Old west. See if you can find the good, fallen tree nearby, rest for a moment, and think of ghost trains gliding across the unforgiving desert. If you’d prefer something a little less morbid, there are plenty of period museums like the Days of 76 Museum and the Adams Museum. In the 1970s, the construction of new highways made Route 66 obsolete, and Amboy’s fortunes fell. Hickock was shot and killed in Deadwood while holding the infamo… Here’s why. The mines in Oatman were some of the largest in the West, and even after those mines dried up, the town became a popular pit stop for visitors traveling along Route 66. You’ve probably heard of some of Deadwood’s most famous residents, like Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock. Next door is the glassed-in hotel lobby, its cracked Mad Men-esque furniture fading in the sun. For a break from the shootouts, take a ghost tour at the Bird Cage Theater, which was a popular 1880s drinking, gambling, and performance venue in which 26 people were reportedly killed. From storied ghost towns and and hardy, striking flora to iconic Palm Springs hot spots, we’re celebrating the divine desert landscape in LA’s backyard. Union Pacific planned to tear down the depot, but it was saved by a group of historians and environmentalists. Instead of housing drunkards and crooks, the old Silverton jail is home to the San Juan County Historical Society Mining Heritage Center. A small community of eccentrics and loners eventually grew around this fake old village in the desert. Oatman is filled with wild donkeys roaming the streets, dusty roads, and shops with old wooden porches. When you pull into Amboy today, the first thing you notice is the music. There are lots ideal for middle-class family homes. After gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874, people flocked to the Deadwood area to make their fortune. It also boasted an alarmingly high number of gunfighters, brothels, and all other manner or Wild West shenanigans. There are a whopping 17 museums, among them the mining and blacksmithing Way It Was Museum, Courthouse Slammer & County Museum, and the Comstock Gold Mill. Along with the silver boom in Creede, so came the boom of Ouray. Speaking of not quitting your day job, gambling is still alive and well in Deadwood, though it’s evolved somewhat from backroom poker games to more modern establishments. Buses of potential buyers were brought to California City. At an elevation of 9,180 feet, situated between two San Juan Mountain passes, Silverton was dubbed the “Mining Town That Never Quit.” It started booming around 1873, with settlers pouring into Silverton seeking gold and silver around the creeks and rivers. Shaniko – Wool Capitol of the World. In the recreated print shop, a friendly skeleton wears an old-fashioned green visor and kitschy wanted posters of madams and madmen are displayed on the walls. Those that didn’t, that outlived their usefulness yet still exist, are now faded snapshots of the time and place when they were at their best. The promise of wealth lured outlaws, gamblers, and gunslingers who transformed the town into a vibrant and often dangerous place. There’s a soiled mattress in one, and a strange art installation in the other. After gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874, people flocked to the Deadwood area to make their fortune. But shortly after, it began to dwindle as nearby mines closed and the switch from steam engine to diesel rendered the depot’s purpose as a way station obsolete—since trains no longer needed assistance climbing steep grades. Not all names will be as grim as the latter two though, as there are plenty of more pleasant sounding names, as well as many variations in between. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. Suddenly, it rises like a fairytale castle: a large Spanish Revival structure. When you visit us you will learn about late 19th-century farming tools, period dressmaking, blacksmithing, and much more. Ruidoso, NM, is the next big destination for remote families. This replica ghost town looks so real, it's scary. Calico is a desert ghost town, theme-park style. A replica Wild West town deep in rural New Zealand has been put on the market -- and if you have $7.5 million to spare, it's yours. Three hours east of Los Angeles, this small settlement in the Mojave started off as a railroad community. Calico is a desert ghost town, theme-park style. Several gambling halls in the town keep Deadwood alive and there is plenty for visitors to do including touring several historical buildings which have been restored to their original … However, the industries and factories that Mendelsohn promised to lure to the city never came. At Roy’s Motel and Café, an old man sits by the gas station: is he working? The mines had pithy names like the Bismark, the Burning Moscow, and the Waterloo. The rough-hewn wooden structures look as if they were transported from the Old West. Soon it became the lynchpin for several small towns sprouting up around the area’s largest mines. Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. Modern Abilene has done a first-rate job of preserving those wild times, especially in its celebration last year of the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail. If you are looking for the best Wild West towns and activities, then this article will give you some great tips! And if you happen to be visiting the “Rodeo Capital of the World” between June 1 and August 31, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t see a rodeo. California City was the brainchild of a dapper Czechoslovakian sociologist named Nathan K. Mendelsohn. Known as Ghost Town in the Sky, this abandoned Wild West-themed amusement park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, has seen as many ups and downs over the decades as its old roller coaster. There are an abundance of monuments of the Wild West in Cody, most notably the Old Trail Town, which includes Wild West artifacts like Butch Cassidy’s cabin, the grave of mountain man John Johnson, a saloon frequented by the famous outlaw Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, and the home of Curley, the Indian scout who survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Visitors are free to explore its spooky remains, but there are no kitschy reenactments, restaurants, or shops selling … Sandwiched between Yosemite National Park and the Nevada border, Bodie offers a very different way to immerse yourself in the Wild West. Here’s a guide to five ghost towns near Mojave. Top 10 Wild West towns in America . The Wild West represents a unique period in the growth of the US, when borders were being expanded and new lands discovered during the late 19th century. Visit the Boot Hill museum, located on the site of the historic Boot Hill cemetery, for a look at the 60,000 artif… But it’s not nearly enough people to fill even a fraction of the land. Rawhide Wild West Town, Chandler Rawhide Western Town & Event Center/Facebook A Western-themed amusement park, Rawhide has attractions such as live gun shows, gold panning, and chances to rides horses or burros. Calcium borate (borax) was found shortly after. What looks like a food truck is parked in the driveway, the words “Research Flat Earth” painted on its side. Amboy passed through the hands of different owners before it was bought by Albert Okura, founder of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain, in 2005. You’ve probably heard of some of Deadwood’s most famous residents, like Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock. Everyone knows the expression “get the hell out of Dodge,” but in reality, you should probably get the hell to Dodge. “It is a little too crowded for me,” longtime resident Jim Austin told the New York Times last year, having just sold his home to a couple from Oakland. Once they arrived, they saw a massive infrastructure campaign in progress, which would eventually make California City the third-largest city in the state by landmass, a title which it still holds. CANYON DIABLO, ARIZONA Nowhere in the Southwest was there a more violent place than the railroad town of Canyon Diablo, giving it the top spot on our list of the meanest Wild West towns. A popular pit stop for hikers to take an, um, “lode” off along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, South Pass City is one of Wyoming’s most highly trafficked Old West ghost towns. However, there's still plenty of chances to step back in time. Rough, rowdy and dangerous, the pioneer town became famous for the western icons who passed through, such as the saloon-keeper turned lawman Wyatt Earp. 36600 Ghost Town RoadYermo, CA 92398Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buy a cowboy hat from the hip guy with an alt-country beard in another store (and pay over Venmo) and consider purchasing a beautiful earthenware mug in another. Chandler – Last Gunfight of the Old West. Inspired by the explosive growth of the San Fernando Valley, in 1958 he bought 82,000 acres of desert wasteland, intent on making it into the ideal industrialized American metropolis. Corral. And while the gold mine might be all dried up, you can still take the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, which lets you ride an electric mine train into the Galena Mountain, and watch immersive mining demos that use authentic machines dating back nearly 100 years. One of the most famous Wild West towns in the country is Deadwood, South Dakota. In the town’s large barn, craftsmen are working. In addition to the trail, you can check out the Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indians Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum. Sure, Hollywood has dramatized the Wild West and turned it into a cinematic cliche, but that doesn’t detract from the period’s historic significance or how its cowboys, crooks, and gamblers have captured our imaginations. Pioneertown’s influx of young residents has driven some people away. Mar 15, 2020 - Explore Free Range Living's board "Wild West Towns" on Pinterest. They went boom, then bust, but some of the desert’s early settlements haven’t entirely disappeared.