Monday, November 23, 2015

Chloride AZ Ghost Town

Chloride used to be a silver mining camp in the state of Arizona. It is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in the state. Valuable minerals were first discovered here in the early 1840's. The town was founded in 1863, but mining did not really take off until they found a way to cheat the local Hualapai Indians out of their land. The town then prospered and became the county seat. By the mid 1940's it was considered a ghost town (or close to it). Today, there are still a couple hundred people living in the area. 

Allegedly, some of these buildings date back to the early days of Chloride and some were moved here from somewhere else. To me, it looks like most were built on this site from old wood. 
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Allow me to rant for a bit...
Don't get me wrong now, I love history and I certainly love ghost towns. However, I'm not terribly fond of mining camps and/or ghost towns that are created, or allowed to exist primarily for tourists. An example: This little western "cul-de-sac" is not here for historical significance, it's here for theater. During the tourist season, mock gun fights are staged every Saturday at noon. That is so darn cheesy! Most of the folks who are interested in this, don't even see the back streets of the town. Many of the buildings on the actual main street of town, although newer, are much more historical and real, than this "contrived" history side show. The best parts of Chloride are either outside of town, or on the back streets. 


 Can you imagine two gunslingers pacing towards each other ready to shoot it out? Yuck!



Below are two photos from the early 1900's (thanks to Wikipedia)



 Some of those same buildings today

 Another (there are plenty more)

The next few don't really have any historical significance, but the scenes really appealed to me and I snapped them.





The next post will be about the part of Chloride that I loved...


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38 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The difference between the real parts and the fake are very obvious. I wouldn't have a problem with them doing things to attract tourists, but not if they are trying to pass off fake stuff as real.

eileeninmd said...

Cool images from the Ghost Town. I have only seen the movie set Ghost Town. They are not the same thing, wonderful post.
Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Wayne said...

Yes, part of that look really cheezy. Those old facades are cool.

Sylvia K said...

I do SO agree with how you feel about places like this, Patrick!! To me they are more sad than historical!! I'm looking forward to your next post and see the part of Chloride that you love!! Have a wonderful new week!!

Baby Sister said...

They certainly did build that to make it look like it does in the movies. It's too bad it takes away from the real history of the place. Beautiful pictures, as always. Thanks for bringing another town to life for us. :)

Brian said...

Some things should be left to the original ghosts Pat!

sage said...

When I lived in Virginia City, there used to be gun fights.... it was cheesy, but then there was a lot of cheesy things there and it was by far my favorite place to live.

Icy BC said...

You captured Ghost Town so wonderfully! I think this is still very neat and clean one as far as Ghost Town goes. Beautiful in black and white!

Icy BC said...

You captured Ghost Town so wonderfully! I think this is still very neat and clean one as far as Ghost Town goes. Beautiful in black and white!

Should Fish More said...

Not nearly as cheesy as Tombstone. I spent an hour there and was sorry I'd wasted the time.

Nice pictures though.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

History for those too lazy to explore, or unable to I guess. Tho this town is remote enough I would think most people stopping would have made some effort to get there and so be willing to do a little work on their own. The buildings, tho, look much more authentic than some similar made-up places we've been to.

Stickup Artist said...

I can't stand those "cheesy gunfights" either! Can't wait to see "the road less traveled" in your next post, though the last 3 B/W's are pretty awesome.

ladyfi said...

What great shots!

Siddhartha Joshi said...

I enjoyed reading your rant Pat and share your views on these staged events. They can sometimes be fun, but often I get irritated by contrived history...

Also really sad to know that the original inhabitants were cheated and moved out to make way for the town. It's a reality in many parts of the world even today, including in India...

Stewart M said...

I agree with your comments about 'cheese' - I like to use the term plastic for such experiences and I avoid them like the plague!

I'll try not to be away for so long next time sir!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

genie said...

It is like everything was moving along quite naturally, and then in a moment came the end of life in the town. Your pictures of wonderful and I really like the black and white ones. They fit in so nicely with the idea of a ghost town. Maybe one day I will get to see one u close and personal. That would be a real treat for me.

robin andrea said...

The history of our country is full of stolen and looted lands. I'm glad you were able to find some interesting things to photograph there. Looking forward to the next post about the part of Chloride you loved.

Kaya said...

Great photos of a ghost town, Pat!!! I have never been in these towns before, I only heard about them and right now I can look at your photos and wonder how people lived here, what kind of life they had. Probably, very hard. It's sad to see abandoned buildings, it's incredibly sad to see abandoned towns.

Best wishes to you.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Whenever I see an actual pioneer or Old West home, I'm always amazed by how very small they are. Farm or pioneer homes used on Westerns in the movies or TV were about 3 times the size of what they actually would have been. I wonder if the fake parts of these ghost towns were made larger than the real buildings.

William Kendall said...

It does look quite desolate and drawn out of the past.

Al said...

Nice ghost town, but I agree about the cheesy gunfights. There are a couple of local places that used to do those too, but one burned down and the other went out of business.

TheChieftess said...

Cheesy gunfights appeal to people who wouldn't otherwise be interested in the historical site! Sad, but true... I would love to explore this... where in Arizona is Chloride?

DEZMOND said...

wouldn't wanna spend a winter there for sure :) Looks like the first wind might blow it away

VoyagesetAbstraits said...

Magnifiques photos, très joli post !!!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I absolutely agree with you Pat, I love that you called it 'cheesy' :) haven't heard that expression for a while but it suits perfectly. Meanwhile how fabulous are the old black and white images. Folk never cease to amaze me in what they seek out for entertainment. Have patience Pat, will look forward to seeing the real Chloride.

jeannettestgermain said...

Since I now live in the Gold Rush area, my interest has increased in what the ground and caves, mountains have to offer. Don't know much (yet) about silver mining. As I said before, am glad you're off to things you love to do:)

NatureFootstep said...

it seems to be taken care of even if it is old. Thanks for sharing :)

Betty Manousos said...

happy thanksgiving!!
hope your thanksgiving is filled with blessings and joy and great food.

great images of the ghost town btw. you always share such interesting things.

Pat Tillett said...

Alex J. Cavanaugh - I feel the same way. I see this in a lot of places, unfortunately.

eileeninmd - Thanks Eileen! You are right, they are not the same thing.

Wayne - I agree! There are enough authentic old things to make it worthwhile to go there, but I'm not a fan of the cheese!

Sylvia K - Too bad that some of these places cross the line a bit. You also have a great week.

Baby Sister - So true! Still though, it's a cool place to visit. Thanks Amanda!

Brian - Yep! That is so true.

sage - I totally get that. Virginia City is whole different ballgame. It's an awesome place.

Pat Tillett said...

Icy BC - Maybe they should just call places like this "living" ghost towns. Thanks!

Should Fish More - They really do cheese it up in Tombstone, but there are is still a lot of history and historical sites there. A pretty high percentage of the visitors to places like these are European and Canadian. Europeans during the summer and snow birds during the cooler months.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) - You are right! Most folks who visit these places never get off the main street. I spend way more time on the back streets and edges of town.

Stickup Artist - The interesting part is that those "roads" are many times, only one or two streets away, but most people don't take the time. Thanks for the nice words! Did you get some storming and hail there today?

ladyfi - Thanks!

Siddhartha Joshi - I agree Sid! It is sad to know what happened to the Native Americans. Out here in the west, it was nothing short of genocide.

Pat Tillett said...

Steward M - Oh yeah! We used to use "plastic" also. I haven't heard that in a long time. If you have a chance to go to places like the one you just went to, jump on it! Thanks Stewart!

genie - Thanks Genie! To me, a real "ghost town" is uninhabited, or maybe with just a few people. Either way, there is usually some good things to find there. I hope you get to see one someday.

robin andrea - You are right about our history. Manifest Destiny! No matter how it happens. Sad stuff.

Kaya - Hi Kaya! Yep, when I see this stuff, it fills my head with questions about the who, when and whys. There are a lot of ghost towns in your state. Some have a lot of things there and some are now, nothing but dust.

Karen Jones Gowen - I know what you mean Karen. In this case, the buildings on the street where the gunfights are staged, are very small. The older a town, or mining camp was, it seems the smaller the buildings were.

William Kendall - It is very desolate. Amazing to think that there was once about 5000 people living in the area.

Al - Cheesy! Many the one that went out of business would be worth a visit now!

Pat Tillett said...

TheChieftess - You are so right! Like I said in an earlier comment, Europeans and Canadians seem very interested in this type of thing. Especially the Europeans. I guess it's like visiting the old west to them. Chloride is about 350 miles from LA, 30 miles from Kingman, and about 90 miles from Las Vegas.

DEZMOND - Not only windy, but VERY cold.

VoyagesetAbstraits - Thank you very much!

PerthDailyPhoto - I've been told that I can be pretty cheesy and/or corny. I love the old B&W photos also. I guess that is why I take so many of them.

jeannettestgermain - There is SO MUCH to see in your area. It seems like you are enjoying it there. It feels very good to be out there again. I'm not 100% yet, but hope to be soon.

NatureFootstep - There are enough people around to keep it all from falling down. My pleasure and glad that you enjoy this stuff.

Betty Manousos - Thanks Betty! I hope you had a great one also. Also, thanks for the nice words.

Anthony J. Langford said...

I'd love to visit, but hate the deception that is all real. Glad you went off the beaten track. I love dilapidated buildings and old cars.

Thanks for sharing your love of history!

Pat Tillett said...

Anthony J. Langford - Yes, other than the cheesy part, I like the place. I also love old buildings, ruins, etc. My pleasure Anthony, I'm glad you liked it.

visualnorway said...

There is no denying that old wooden houses with a history very often can offer outstanding photo opportunities. So does PROPER re-enactment, as for the cheesy variety ...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Totally agree. We've seen tombstone and deadwood ... sort of required to do so once if you are FullTime RVers...but once was more than enuf!

Jeff Aptekar said...

I was in Cloride 2 weeks ago and loved looking around. A few of the local guys were trying to talk us into staying for the fake gunfight but we were more interested in just walking around looking at all the quirky lawn art. They had a very cool bar/restaurant and a fantastic silversmith that has a little shop setup in front of his house. We loved our visit.

DEZMOND said...

I've always wondered how did people survive winters in such houses made only of boards?