There’s something alluring about these abandoned towns, many of them former mining colonies in the Wild West.
1Bannack, MontanaRob Crandall
The first territorial capital of Montana, Bannack is known for Sheriff Henry Plummer, a convict who reinvented himself as a lawman while secretly orchestrating stagecoach heists with a band of brigands. His success was short-lived, though, and he was found out and later hanged by vigilantes on January 10, 1864.
2Elkhorn, MontanaVisit Montana
Now a state park, a few dilapidated buildings still stand in this former mining town south of Helena.
3Cahawba, AlabamaStephen Saks
The state’s first capital takes its name from the state’s longest river, situated at the confluence of the Cahaba and the Alabama. It was abandoned after the Civil War.
4Bodie, CaliforniaState of California
Once home to 10,000 people, Bodie boomed in the 1870s and ’80s, when gold was found in the hills surrounding Mono Lake. It’s now a State Historic Park.
5St. Elmo, ColoradoJohn Elk
This is just one of many ghostly villages in Chaffee County, Colorado, a veritable goldmine of historic boomtowns.
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