Monday, June 24, 2013

Chambless California - Route 66 Ghost Towns

Chambless, California is yet another small desert oasis along Route 66. It died after the new interstate highway (I-40) bypassed it and the flow of customers dried up.  Chambless, like most of the other Rt. 66 ghost towns I've posted here, mainly consisted of the obligatory (or so it seems) cafe, gas station, cabins and auto repair shop.  Chambless also had something that most of the others didn't. It had trees, porches and lots of shade. Through the years the original buildings went through many changes, but they still stand. 

 Chambless, circa 1928 (source Google, owner unknown)

Chambless, 2013
Please note the pattern of two windows on each side of the door and the original adobe blocks surrounding them.

 Chambless post card (owner unknown)

 In this photo and the next, you can see the same cabins shown in the post card.

Those gray posts with metal boxes on top of them are electrical hookups for RVs. I have no idea when they were used, but they don't look that old to me.

Chambless, circa 1933 (source Google, owner unknown) 

A better view of the original adobe building surrounded by later expansions. 

This is the view on the other side of Route 66. I love the colors in the mountain.
I sincerely appreciate all of you who follow and comment on our travels, my stories, poems, photos, rants and the other general nonsense I post here.  Thanks!



  1. AMazing are the remains of these old towns. I would not expect there to be much left altho dry heat probably acts like mummification.

  2. Amazing so many of the buildings are still there - and don't look that bad.
    That last shot is awesome, Pat!

  3. That last picture is truly breathtaking! I reiterate that you could write a wonderful book with your pictures, travels, and stories.

  4. Great captures and interesting history as always and that last shot took my breath away! Awesome!! Thanks as always, Pat, for sharing your travels! The next best thing to being there myself!! Have a great week!

  5. It looks surprisingly good to be that old!

  6. We love seeing the places you visit Pat, otherwise we would never have the chance to see so many interesting places!

  7. More cool history, Pat. It's like taking the trip with you. I particularly like the angles of your photos and the cool ones you found online.

    But the last photo is the best. The capture is just perfect light and composition...

    There I go sounding all nerdy and thinking I know photography stuff!!! Serious great shot though.

    Take care!

  8. Now this is one place I've never seen or heard of. The early photo of Chambless -- that could be the set for The Postman Always Rings Twice.

  9. Yes, precious pictures, of this famous route, I love this series! Best regards!

  10. i always enjoy your unique and interesting posts, pat.
    so many buildings are still there-amazing!!

  11. Interesting place, and amazing that those buildings look in good shape still.

    The last photo is absolutely fabulous!

  12. That mountain looks like it was tilted sidewise, so the striations run on an angle. Cool effect. Why are the buildings fenced off? Do people still own them? Maybe one day, after the Apocalypse, the town will be re inhabited. All you need is water and a food source. (I just read, "The Dog Stars") haha.

  13. I wonder if there may be people who are fascinated by the history of Route 66 and stop along the way to soak up the history, It could explain the electrical hookups oui :) the colours in the mountain are extraordinary Pat.

  14. It boggles my mind that someone installed fences, imagine the cost and time!

    Those mountains are to die for, just amazing.

  15. It always amazes me to see deserted buildings and communities such as these...We have a number of deserted and dilapidated buildings along the roads up always makes me wonder why? Why build there in the first place? Was it someone's dream? Were they reclusive? Did they think they were starting a community???

  16. someday when i want to look for exciting places to go, i'm going to print out your blog and use it as a travel guide ^_^

  17. Your finds are always so interesting!! It always makes me want to know more and more. That view of the mountains is spectacular. Great shot!!

  18. I like the textures on the mountains. Very interesting buildings, the cabins almost look like they could be used.

  19. I really like how you mix in the old photos with your contemporary ones. That just adds another very interesting dimension. And you're right. Those mountains are so beautiful. I like this spot a lot!

    Re: the location of the "familiar rock formation" on my last post. They are on the left driving west on Old Woman Springs Road leaving Apple Valley going into Lucerne Valley.

  20. That last photo is incredible--sad to think of the memories and the fleeting glory of such places.

  21. California Girl - Yup! Things take a long time to disappear in the deserts.

    Alex - Water destroys and lack of water preserves them. Thanks Alex!

    Shelly - Thanks Shelly! Maybe someday. I have to admit that I don't concentrate on the photos as much as I used to.

    Sylvia - Thanks so much Sylvia! It's my pleasure. You have a good week also.

    Ms. A - Thank you my friend! That's what they say about me!

    Brian - You are welcome and I'm happy to be of service.

    Chuck - I wish you were there! At every place we go, I like to take a couple of really good photos. The rest are really more like snapshots. I found that I was missing out on what I was actually visiting by spending so much time fussing over camera settings. Chuck, you have a good eye and that is the most important thing.

    altadenahiker - It could have! Wasn't there a reference to to Route 66 in the book though?

  22. Those mountains are something. I'd hang around just to be near them.

    Years ago my father, who was a nut for ghost towns, took us all over Nevada on the most hideous roads. I thought my mother would die of fear. That was my first introduction to the Arizona Community of Jerome

  23. Leovi - Thanks so much Leovi! I'm glad that you are enjoying it.

    Betty - Thanks Betty, I'm very glad you like them.

    Icy BC - Thanks! This place is in much better shape than most. Maybe because it was fenced in a long time ago.

    Rosemary - The angle of the striations is what attracted me to it. I don't know who owns this place, but it's pretty clear that somebody does. With that imagination, you better be careful about what you read.

    PerthDailyPhoto - I know that there are no RVs hooking up to those boxes. But there is a very small campground just a little ways further down the road.

    Wayne - The people who live out there are pretty self sufficient. I'm not thinking it's as expensive as we think. I love those mountains.

    TheChieftess - Kathryn, I think all of those things are true. When it comes to Route 66, they sprung up out of need when the highway was first built. There were no gas stations, no motels and no cafes. There was a need and people filled it to make money. I believe that some were reclusive, some were eccentric and some were escaping from something. When route 66 was the ONLY highway, people actually made a good living doing it. There were also dishonest real estate people who made money by selling worthless lots in the desert. Not so much along Route 66, but the interstates that bypassed it. It is all kind of sad to me.

  24. Lovkyne - Thanks Ven! I appreciate you saying that. I'm just getting started.

    Baby Sister - Thanks Amanda! I'm the same way, it's too bad that there isn't a lot of available information on them.

    Carly - Me too! I love that mountain. Somebody has gone to a lot of trouble to keep those cabins from deteriorating.

    Stickup Artist - Thanks! I love it when I can find some old photos. Thanks for the info on the rocks. It makes sense because I used to spend a lot of time in those places.

    sage - Thanks so much! I also think it's kind of sad and fills me up with questions about them.

    Pasadena Adjacent - Me too! There is a rough road going to that mountain and we're going to check it out next time. You are right about Nevada, there is a ton of ghost towns there. I'm very familiar with Jerome. It is supposedly the largest and largest continuously inhabited ghost town in the country.

  25. I love pics and stories from towns of.a bygone era. Its sad to see.these ghost towns but progress.knocks.

  26. Neat!

    We are heading to Truth or Consequences NM in a week and when we were looking at the map it made me think of you and your fun travels!

  27. Stephen - I also like that old stuff. The whole thing is kind of sad, but you are right about progress.

    Jenny - Thanks Jenny! Thanks for thinking of me! I'm sure you will have a great trip. Take some photos!

  28. That view is fantastic. They have RV parks in strange places here, too. Shrug.

  29. Fascinating buildings. I also love that mountain, the tilted layers showing geology in action.

  30. Who knew CA had a little town called Chambless? Not I.

    I'm fascinated by all the layers/colors of rock in this last one. Plus, I see a lot of faces in it too.

    Thank YOU Pat. Your picture tours are the best I've seen in blogland.


  31. This is a very special road trip, thanks so much for sharing your pictures!The mountains in your last composition are magnificent, so beautiful scenery, you got a perfect postcard!Well done my friend!

  32. cool way to document history! would be interesting to take a look inside the building too!

  33. The colours in the Mts are wonderful - gives a real idea of how long and slow geology can be.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  34. Another great 'Ghost Towns' post Pat... have you thought of putting them all together as a book?

  35. The mountains are indeed beautiful!

    I love that you've managed to find historical pictures to these places.

  36. M Pax - I don't know when they had RVs here, but it hasn't been for quite a while. If not, we would park ours there!

    Al - We're going to take a closer look at that mountain next time through.

    Robyn - As strange as it seems, this section of route 66 ghost are in alphabetical order (a post on that is forthcoming). Thanks so much for the nice words Robyn! I appreciate it.

    Leia - My pleasure Leia! It is special and we love it. Thanks!

  37. Gregory - Thanks! I would like to get inside also. They are trying to protect them, so I guess I will have to do without.

    Stewart - I totally agree, I loved that mountain! I will get a closer look next time.

    Nat - Thanks Nat! I appreciate the thought, but it's hard enough for me to get a blog post together!

    Gingerspark - Yes they are! I'm happy when I find photos. From the looks of many of them, they must have been taken by the same person.

  38. Yes, really wonderful colors of these mountains, I also like the photos is a true delight! Greetings!

  39. Another really interesting ghost town that you have shown us.
    Love the beautiful final shot of the mountains. The colours are unreal

  40. that last picture is really glorious, Pat!

  41. Leovi - Hi Leovi! Thanks so much!

    Mynx - There are a lot of them out there (I'm happy to say). Thanks!

    DEZMOND - Thanks! I was so happy to see that mountain.

  42. The last photo is dynamite. I really do have to make this pilgimage through the western part of route 66 one day....

  43. Very cool to see the contrast of the then and now!

  44. ¸.•°♡♡♫° ·.

    Bonitas fotos, a última é fantástica.
    Uma ótima semana!
    Beijinhos do Brasil.
    ¸.•°❤❤♫° ·.

  45. The Geezers - Thanks! I hope you make that trip. Just don't do it during the summer. It was about 120 there yesterday!

    EG CameraGirl - Yep! I really like finding old photos of these places.

    Magia - Thank you Magia!

  46. Great stuff Pat! Thanks for sharing these treasures!

  47. Yup, this one is definitely worth getting out of the Jeep for -- lots to see for a ghost town. The mountain shot is beautiful.

  48. What remains of those old towns is amazing.
    That mountain looks like a massive rock- love the layers of color.
    Thanks for sharing your treks Pat!

  49. James - Thanks so much James! It's my pleasure.

    Sallie - I agree! This is one of y favorite spots there.

    Pam - Yep, this spot has more than most though. Those cabins look to be in very good shape. Maybe somebody has plans for the place. Thanks Pam!

    TexWisGirl - Oh yeah! My sentiments exactly.

  50. Thanks for posting this. This has become a Road Trip destination that I must see for obvious reasons.

  51. Ken Chambless - My pleasure Ken! Are you part of the family? If so, I sure would like to talk to you.

  52. I lived in Chambless, and attended Amboy School. The store in Chambless was where as a child I went to buy ice cream, cold drinks and above all, candy! After you entered the front door to the right was the cashier desk next to the deli refrigerator (cheese/meats), then the shelves in the center. At the back wall were the refrigerators (milk, drinks). The non-grocery tiny section was immediately to the left about 20 feet (shirts, hats, gloves, etc.) The owner was Mr. Stephens. I attended school with Bruce, Pam, and Leslie Stephens. This was my "grocery" store.

  53. Dee Omally - Thank you so much for reading my article and leaving a comment. You were a part of history Dee. Have you see, or read "The Silence and the Sun?"
    It was written by Joe De Kehoe and published in 2012. It is the best book on the area, that I've ever seen. In his book he concentrated on the towns along Route 66 in the Eastern Mojave. thanks again!


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