Monday, December 9, 2013

Oatman Arizona - Ghost Town Back Streets

Although I haven't posted anything relating to ghost towns lately, this seems like a good time to do so. 

We're out in the desert again and I have a camera full of photos, but we've been very busy exploring and I just haven't had the time. Speaking of which, I apologize for not getting to your blogs (those of you who have them) in the last week or so, but I promise that I will soon. Umkay? Now back to ghost towns.
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Don't get me wrong, I love ghost towns. However, many ghost towns still have some people living in them. Usually, just out of town, or on the back streets where visitors seldom go. We always look behind the scenes. I love looking at the old stuff and it amazes me that it is just left there. I almost always sense despair and ruin there. Some of it current and some of it very old. The "ghost town" that people see, is much different than the back streets they don't see. It is very cheap to live there and many people do so for that reason (and some others).  The back streets are almost always run down and I rarely ever see anything hopeful or positive in there. Some of you probably remember the earlier post I did on Oatman (follow the link if you like). It was all main street, visitors and wild donkeys roaming around everywhere. 

I won't do much of a narrative because I'm sure the photos will say it all. 




 Only because it's pretty!





 Park in a "no parking" zone and get your windows shot out!


 I'd love to have this safe!



The closest town to Oatman is Needles, California. I'm almost afraid to say that. The email and non-publishable comments I still get from there is amazing. Well, it would be amazing if it wasn't so pathetic.

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39 comments:

trav4adventures said...

Gosh, we only saw the town side of Oatman! I guess we'll have to return and have a closer look!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

DEZMOND said...

that first pic kinda looks like my country after US bombing in 1999.

Sharon Wagner said...

Hello, I'm from Needles and if I wasn't so pathetic I'd think of a sharp and cutting dirty dig for you today. Some pointed discussion to start on your blog. O.K. I'm just a weird person from Minneapolis. But you probably already knew that. Ha!

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

I suspect the dwellers are not very receptive to visitors. Does that safe come with the lot? ;-)

TexWisGirl said...

the little shanties or abodes are amazing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The fourth one is really nice!
I remember a lot of scenes like that when I lived in Arizona.

Sylvia K said...

Seems a shame to "mess" up the desert with so much crap and debris! I think your captures are a good way to call attention to the mess! Always an interesting post and great captures, Pat! Hope you have a good week!!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

What happened in Needles - did you get heavily trolled?

I've never heard of Oatmen (yet it seems by the cars, lots of others have). Now you've got me wanting to make a trip. I'd go just to feed the donkeys

Pasadena Adjacent said...

...and is he/she seriously trying to sell that lot for 65 grand? it's a joke, right?

Ms. A said...

The fifth photo looks like new wood, is someone building that now?

Kaya said...

I have never been in a ghost town. I studied every picture. I wanted truly to understand why people left this place. And then I saw this place for sale and though is it real or not?

This are very unique pictures and each of them is telling a story. A sad story.

Bouncin Barb said...

This town reminds me of a very old episode of The Twilight Zone. Everyone just disappeared! Sad and eerie isn't it?

Al said...

A ghost town indeed - great shots. But is a lot there really worth $65K?

Margaret Benbow said...

I've always been fascinated by the plight--although maybe they wouldn't see it that way--of people who stay in a ghost town. How do they get food? How do they stay warm? How do they keep from going crazy from loneliness? Are their memories enough nutrition?

Betsy Adams said...

Well--did you buy that lot????? HA HA---Not sure anyone would pay that much for that lot… WELL--maybe there's some hidden treasure there… ???? ha

Had a nice service for Dad Adams yesterday --and got to see many old friends and family members. We also enjoyed a family lunch together. Dad is in a better place now… Thanks be to God.
Hugs
Betsy

sage said...

I've been to Oatman and did walk off that tacky main street a bit. btw, 65,000 for a lot there seems a little steep!

Icy BC said...

It's an interesting and fascinating place. Your photos said it all, and it's sad to see it looked like this..

Stickup Artist said...

The ruins of the American West. They have a look and feel all their own. The ones that get me the most are the sites where household items – clothes, shoes, toys, dishes, furniture, etc., are strewn about the yard. As if the family living inside actually had to flee at the last minute. That always gets me. It's eerie and contemplative to come upon these places, and your images convey those feelings...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The poverty rates out in the AZ and CA desert are some of the highest in the nation I believe. Having led a somewhat sheltered Pacific Northwest middle class life we were in total shock the first time. But drive through there we did (then and many times since), exploring all the back streets and alleys. One man we met said he was a "desert rat" and proud of it...he said 'you can have your modern conveniences and all your city rules. We like it out here without having to worry about civilization.' He went on quite a while...among the things he was glad not to have was garbage collection. I'll never forget that one.. You meet a lot of interesting people when you're willing to get off the main drags. Especially out in the desert. But on the coast too.

Pat Tillett said...

trav4adventures - I think the back side is more interesting. Yes, Oatman is a real ghost town, but it's kind of corny now.

DEZMOND - Sorry about that, but blame NATO, not us!

Sharon - I do know that and I also know that you are funny!

Wayne - That safe is so cool! Some are friendly, but many aren't. I don't think that the people running the stores there actually live in town.

TexWisGirl - There are MANY more that I didn't show.

Alex - Thanks Alex! That one is part of an old mine. It doesn't really have anything to do with the post, but I liked it. Yep, Arizona and Nevada has tons of places like this.

Sylvia - Thanks Sylvia! The mess is part of the deal I guess. I am having a great week! It's been cold in Joshua Tree, but doing a ton of exploring.

Pat Tillett said...

Pasadena Adjacent - I referred to it as a modern day ghost town. Some folks there didn't like it. If you are interested, search for Needles in my side bar and there it all is. I'd say that most of the tourists in Oatman are snowbirds. Route 66 was (and is) the main street through town. I hope it was a joke!

Ms. A - It just looks like wood. The look of it comes from using wood as forms for the concrete walls.

Kaya - In my part of the country, there are many of them! Some of them actually have ghosts. Or so they say. I have no idea if it's really for sale, but it might just be wishful thinking.

Bouncin Barb - They disappeared because the gold was thinning out and most of the miners moved on. Many of them to Kingman when they hit silver there in a big way.

Al - I guess that the guy who owns it hopes somebody thinks so!

Margaret - Hi Margaret! People who love the isolation, find a way. I'd say the nearest food store is about an hour away. This place went bust long before anybody now living there was born. Nice to see your comment!

Pat Tillett said...

Betsy - Not me! I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husbands father. I'm behind on commenting, but I'll be over soon. There is no phone signal at all where we've been spending out time. We'll be back home in a few days. I'll be over for sure!

Sage - I actually prefer the back streets to the staged shootouts on the main drag.

Icy BC - I agree! It was a humming town in it's day.

Stickup Artist - You are so right! Whenever I run into those things, I just feel up with questions! Who? Why? Where?

Sallie - You hit it right on the head. They are a different breed. They don't they are poor. They think they are living the life they want to live. My grand parents were desert rats and I've spent a lot of time with them. These types don't fit the mold.

Leovi said...

Yes, it's really awesome to quit at this place, very disturbing pictures in the stillness of the place!

Pat Tillett said...

Leovi - I think stillness is a very good word it.

Pam :) said...

Oh my, some naysayers here Pat. But I find it interesting and worth sharing.

Pat Tillett said...

Pam - That's okay! I love these places. Thanks Pam!

EG CameraGirl said...

So much history there. I wonder what it's like to live in a town that's dying. It's just the opposite where I live - expanding at ferocious speed.

altadenahiker said...

I was here a number of years ago and it looks like nothing has changed except car models.

James said...

Thanks for sharing these excellent photos! I was thinking about doing the same thing when I went to Oatman but I only had an hour or two so I stayed in the center of town.

Chuck said...

Pat, I need some landscape photo lessons from you. You get amazing sky shots in your pics.

More beautiful history in the high desert. What is the deal with Needles??

Pat Tillett said...

EG Camera Girl - I wouldn't mind living in the middle of nowhere, but I wouldn't want to live in a ghost town. Even if there weren't any ghosts there! I do the history of these places though.

altadenahiker - Nope! It looks the same as it did for as long as I can remember. I'm glad the tourists still go there.

James - My pleasure James! All of the places in this post are just really close to the main street. There are some awesome sites in the hills on either side of town. A lot of old mines and ruins. It was quite a place in it's day.

Chuck - Thanks for the compliment! I'd be happy to share what I do with you.

Ah, the deal with Needles. I called it a modern day ghost town because it’s clearly dying and has been for a long time. It seems that some people in Needles dodn’t agree with me. I got (and still get) quite a few comments and emails. Some of them aren’t very nice. They are countered by other messages from people who live there, or used to live there, that agreed with me. I’ve been going there my whole life and apparently know more about the town than most of the people that live there. I guess these folks don’t want to face the reality of where they live. I didn’t say a single thing that wasn’t true and that I couldn’t back up with documents. I plan on going there a couple of times in the next few months. I’m sure I’ll find some things that will stir the pot a little more. If they want to keep it going with me, I'm more than willing.

Baby Sister said...

Beautiful pictures, as always. I'm glad I never park in no parking zones!!

Pat Tillett said...

Baby Sister - Thanks Amanda! It's a good rule to obey in these parts.

Kato Pandorah's Box said...

Wow! I would honestly love to come with you and your wife on a ghost town adventure! You could show me all the cool things the desert has to offer!

And holy moly, that safe! I would want that too!

Pat Tillett said...

Kato Pandorah's Box - It would take a lifetime to show you all it has to offer, but I'd be more than happy to show you some cool stuff.

Anonymous said...

oatman isn't in needles its in arizona

Pat Tillett said...

Anonymous - REALLY? I never said it was in Needles. I didn't say it was in your town either. Crazy Town, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just took a trip from Ventura, CA to Las Vegas, NV, and on the way, I would look up Wikipedia entries about the small towns and read them aloud to my boyfriend and our kids. In that short time, I became absolutely enamored with the tiny desert towns, and I stumbled across your blog while looking for pictures of the structures. Your blog is so interesting! I hope you keep posting for those of us who love exploring but don't get to do it as often as we'd like.

Sincerely,
Princess

Pat Tillett said...

Princess - Thanks so much for the comment and nice words. I feel the same way about the small places. The desert is full of them. I've been kind of hung up on Rock Art for a while, but will get back to the towns soon. If you want to be notified when I post, you can sign up using your email address. It wouldn't be used for any other purpose. The sign in is near the top of the right column. Thanks again!