A haunting past: A photographic look at some of Utah's ghost towns

Utah State Historical Society

Throughout Utah's history, towns were settled, developed and grew. With the depletion of minerals, changing economic times, disaster and drought, however, some of these same towns were soon abandoned and left to the dust of time.

In honor of Mary Shelley — the author of "Frankenstein" — on her birthday (aka. Frankenstein Day), here's an updated photographic look at some of Utah's many ghost towns, along with a few in California, Nevada and New Mexico.

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Orem, UT

I enjoyed looking at the pictures of Utah ghost towns, but found it difficult, even annoying that I had to click through 55 pages at one picture per page, all of different sizes, in order to see them, especially when so many were from the same towns. They could easily have been grouped together for viewer convenience.


Love ghost towns & pictures; would like to see more location information; Iron Town is West, not East of Cedar City.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I love ghost towns, and have visited many in Utah. However, I didn't find this list to be very exciting. As Overjoyed stated, there is no grouping of the photos, and some sites have too many photos for the places, particularly Ironton. I think that any real "ghost town chaser" could have done a better job with organizing and capturing a wider variety of abandoned towns or hamlets.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Slideshows might have made sense when everyone had dial-up, but modern ISP connections make it easy to load all of the photos on a single page where we can scroll through them without endless clicking.

Manti, UT

I agree with the above criticisms of having to click through all those pictures but it was interesting to see these photos. We've seen many of these ghost towns, so its interesting to have some sort of captions about them. Thank you

Salt Lake City, UT

Sometimes it nice just to enjoy something without critiquing or whining. If someone hadn't taken time to take those pictures you were able to see them from your desk without going there.

Dr. K
Salem, UT

How do you not include Thistle in this list?

Go Utes, CA


Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

I'd love to see photos of Jacob City, if any exist.

gmk17of TX
Arlington, TX

Great article, thanks for sharing. I see some week-end road trips in my future!


I also hate "lists" such as these even when interesting. It's obviously a technique to increase the number of "hits" on websites and each "page" pops up another set of ads. Nothing is free, especially time on the internet...

Nan BW
ELder, CO

I appreciate the regrouping of the photos. Woodside is included in the list, and it does have a fascinating history, besides being right on the highway and easily seen. It was revived by Roy Pogue late in the last century and the gas station was open for several years. Roy lived right there. He closed it when an fatal accident occurred because there was no left-hand turn lane. He told me this story: President Buchanan, known for his "blunder" in early Utah history had a niece who sometimes helped him in the White House. He was not a fan of the "Mormons" so it is ironic that she became a Mormon pioneer and is buried in the Woodside Cemetery. Roy was an incredible historian for that area, and had a great collection of stories. If any of his family members read this, please know we (my spouse and I) stopped there virtually every time we drove by there en route to or from CO. There was also the "geyser" there, often known as a bubbling mud pot.

Lindon, UT

Don't like lists you have to click through? Here's an idea: ignore them.

Kyle, TX

Dr. K, I refer you to slide No. 85

Excelsior, MN

My dad was born in the city of Silver City, Utah in 1912. It was an old mining town which had recently been bought by the Knight company. About 1950 he took us there to show it to us (we lived in California). There was absolutely nothing there. He was very upset. A couple years ago I went back again (I live in Minnesota) with my granddaughter. We found Eureka easily enough, but again, no markers or anything about Silver City, even though I found some information about it in a coffee-table type book.
Anyone have information on it? Will this series of photos be put together into a book? I loved looking through them.

Clearfield, UT

How did towns in CA, New Mexico and Nevada make the list?

Steve G.

That's right NeilT. I was wondering myself why ghost towns in California, Nevada and New Mexico are on a list titled "A haunting past: A photographic look at some of Utah's ghost towns". Interesting photos but they're not in Utah.

Excelsior, MN

The introduction to the list of photos includes two paragraphs; the second of which reads:
"Here's an updated photographic look at some of Utah's many ghost towns, along with a few in California, Nevada and New Mexico."

That's why there are ten or so from 'those other states'.

Paul Revere
American Fork, UT

Loved the pictures of The Ghost Towns in our state. I love the history of these wonderful towns. I was also surprised to see Bodie, California pictured here" I have been here many times as my grandfather was born in Bodie and my father was raised here until the Government shut the town down during WW II. My father went to school in Bodie and remembers the day our Government closed the town. He was in school that day and was assigned to be a "classroom monitor", whatever that was at the time. We were privileged to be allowed into the school house and he found his desk and several of his papers that the teacher had put in the return basket. He was not allowed to touch anything as all belongs to time and history now. Even his family's home at the sight of his father's and grandfather's mine is not allowed to be disturbed. His family's home was the only brick home in Bodie. When they abandoned the city people from a neighboring Nevada town came in and took down their brick homes and all that is left is the foundations and a few scattered bricks. My great-grandfather is buried on a hill over looking Bodie. Thank you for sharing these pictures.

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