- America’s famous ghost towns weren’t always abandoned and dilapidated.
- The mining town of Bannack, Minnesota, was once home to 3,000 miners.
- The infamous Centralia, Pennsylvania, was once a mining town with over 2,000 residents.
- Ludlow, Colorado, too, was a mining town but a deadly massacre brought its demise.
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Today, there are ghost towns sprinkled all over the US that turned into travel destinations and fascinate tourists.
But these abandoned communities did not always have dilapidated buildings and eerie emptiness. If you could travel back in time to the early 1900s, you would see that they were thriving economic centers that housed residents who lived full lives there.
Here’s what some of the most famous American ghost towns were like in their prime.
In 1903, the Kennecott Mining Corporation built a mining town on top of a glacier in Alaska.
Miners flocked to this copper-rich region to make money. The miners worked seven days a week and lived on the grounds. The men would then send the money they earned back to their families. During its peak, the Kennecott mining town made $200 million worth of ore.
By 1938, the region ran out of ore and the town shut down for good.
Though Kennecott still stands, the ghost town is in ruins. It has been named a National Historic Landmark, however, that people still visit today.
Like Kennecott, there was a mining town in California called Bodie that once had 10,000 residents.
In the late 1800s, Waterman S. Body found gold in the hills near Mono Lake in California. By 1879, many had flocked to the area, the town quickly becoming known as Bodie. Over 25 years, the town produced $15 million worth of gold. At its peak, over 10,000 people lived and worked in the town, which had over 2,000 buildings.
Bodie had saloons, dance halls, and hotels. The town also earned a reputation for lawlessness, as street fights, gun fights, and thievery became common.
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