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Road trip! America’s historic ghost towns

Berlin-Nevada-1
Berlin-Nevada-1
Written by editor

Did someone say road trip? An interactive map was revealed today showcasing historic ghost towns across the United States – the perfect time of year to visit with Halloween just days away.

Gathering data from over 3,000 abandoned towns across the country, Geotabe showcases the number of ghost towns in each U.S. State and highlights 10 striking examples of these historic communities.

“In many parts of the world, people may wander around ancient ruins, but they rarely encounter a true ghost town, stated Peter Ling, Professor of American Studies at the University of Nottingham. “In contrast, Americans know them as vivid reminders of the country’s compressed, dynamic and turbulent past: places that once thrived because of rich natural resources, viable transportation links, and booming populations, but then faded away.”

The “Ghost Towns of America” map series allows users to explore the cities with the most neighboring ghost towns within a 25 to a 50-mile radius or by location and distribution across America’s states and counties. Focusing on history and the structural remains left, the piece spotlights 10 compelling examples of American ghost towns by diving deeper into their story and showcasing a selection of high-res photos that allows users to explore what these towns look like today.

The 10 ghost towns featured are:

“These ghost towns are places that Hollywood has seeded in our heads, where outlaws ride into town while miners gamble away newly acquired fortunes,” added Ling. “A trip out west is rarely complete without a visit to a ghost town, giving those places a second chance to thrive; heritage tourism can be a mother lode they continue to mine indefinitely.”

The states with the highest number of ghost towns are Texas (511), California (346) and Kansas (308). On the other hand, Rhode Island and Connecticut are home to the fewest, with just one and four respectively. Additionally, the counties with the most ghost towns are Kern County in California (113), Lawrence County in South Dakota (93) and Indiana County in Pennsylvania (36).

“The story of America is one of change. Many towns were built thanks to the growth of infrastructure, trade, and transport in the U.S., but those that have been abandoned leave behind a rich history. America’s ghost towns continue to serve as a useful reminder that the past can teach us a lot about the present,” said Maria Sotra, VP of Marketing at Geotab.