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7 Arizona Ghost Towns You Need to Explore

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Known for its natural beauty and rich history, Arizona is home to some of the most fascinating ghost towns in the country. These deserted towns, which were formerly bustling with miners, cowboys, and outlaws, now provide a glimpse into a bygone age of the Old West. These seven ghost towns in Arizona are worth seeing, whether you’re looking for a creepy experience, a historical lesson, or just a beautiful drive.

Jerome

Tucked up in the Verde Valley, on the slopes of the Black Hills, Jerome is one of Arizona’s most famous and best-preserved ghost towns. Jerome was formerly a thriving copper mining town that gained notoriety as the “wickedest town in the West” because of its infamous brothels, gambling houses, and saloons. In its heyday, Jerome had over 15,000 residents, but by the 1950s, it was all but abandoned. It is a popular tourist destination nowadays, with restaurants, shopping, museums, and art galleries. The Jerome Grand Hotel, the Sliding Jail, and the Gold King Mine Museum are a few notable historic locations.

Oatman

Originally established in 1906 as a gold mining community, Oatman is located in the Black Mountains along historic Route 66. Over time, it has drawn prospectors and fortune seekers. The town is renowned for its wild burros, which are roaming the streets after being brought here by the miners. In addition to attending yearly events like the Oatman Egg Fry and Bed Races, visitors may participate in Wild West entertainment, see the Oatman Hotel, and browse antique stores.

Goldfield

After gold was discovered there in 1893, Goldfield, which is close to the Superstition Mountains, was founded in an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of a 19th-century mining town. Even though the gold vein had run out by 1898, Goldfield’s popularity as a tourist destination rebounded in the 1980s. Travel back in time with authentic structures that include a general store, church, saloon, and bordello. The Goldfield Mine Tour, Superstition Narrow Gauge Railroad, Goldfield Gunfighters, and the Goldfield Museum are some of the attractions.

Vulture City

Vulture City, which Henry Wickenburg founded in 1863, was formerly Arizona’s most producing gold mine. Gold worth over $200 million was extracted from the Vulture Mine, drawing thousands of miners and residents. Vulture City prospered, including a post office, school, hotel, saloon, jail, and hanging tree until the mine was closed by the government in 1942. Guided tours provide an understanding of the historic site’s surviving structures, which include the cookhouse, brothel, assay office, and mess hall.

Chloride

Founding in 1862 when silver ore was found in the Cerbat Mountains, Chloride is said to be the oldest continually inhabited mining town in Arizona. Chloride, which formerly had a population of nearly 5,000, had a newspaper, bank, theater, hospital, and school. Chloride persevered in the face of violence, and today its 250 citizens work to preserve its history. Explore the Roy Purcell Rock Art, Chloride Murals, Chloride Cemetery, and historic structures.

Ruby

Initially established as a thriving mining town in the early 1900s, Ruby gained notoriety for the unsolved Ruby Murders that took place between 1920 and 1922. Ruby was abandoned in the 1940s and is now privately owned, though visitors can pay to enter. Some people think the location is haunted by the ghosts of the victims. Explorers can roam around the ruins of the schoolhouse, store, jail, and cemetery.

Fairbank

Founded in 1881, Fairbank served as a major railroad and trade hub that connected Tombstone, Bisbee, and Nogales. Fairbank declined in the 1920s as a result of railroad rerouting and mining closures; it is currently a part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Its historical value is highlighted by the Fairbank Historic Townsite Trail, restored structures, and the Fairbank Cemetery.

Conclusion

Beyond its cacti and dry landscapes, Arizona’s ghost towns are a rich trove of Old West history. These historical relics are interesting attractions in addition to historical treasures. They offer a chance to explore Arizona’s past, present, and adventurous nature. Check out these seven ghost towns in Arizona for an unusual and unforgettable experience.

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