Friday, January 27, 2012

Ghost Towns of the Old West

I think it was about 7 years ago that I first visited the ghost town of Gleeson, AZ. I was taken back yesterday when I saw that the 1910 jail house had been improved. It appears a local historical society has added a fence and done a little remodeling to this cornerstone of the old Gleeson mining town.

This tongue in cheek sign sums up Gleeson's history of an ever declining population since its hay day.
Beyond the adobe ruins you can see mine tailings on every hill side. Judging from the size of some of these buildings there must have been some prosperity here for some folks.

It looked like was a store of some kind, but the lettering above the porch was too faded for me to make out.

More ruins of who knows what kind of stucture. Lots of Prickly Pear, Creosote Bush and some Yucca or Agave; the more time I spend here in the southwest the more I love this landscape.

After exploring Gleeson we drove north to the ghost town of Courtland, AZ. Although this building didn't have a sign it must be the jail house. It's funny how important these well built jails were to towns with a population of just a couple thousand people. I guess they were a symbol of law and order in a place where there wasn't much of either.

These towns fortunes rose and fell with the price of copper. I think the railroad bypassing this area didn't help either. When I walk around these ruins I can't help but wonder who these people were, how they lived and where they got their food and water.

One of the no doubt many mine entrances in the area. 'glad to see it well marked and fenced in. I saw a lot of these in Colorado this summer; they're especially dangerous there during the winter when they're covered over with snow.

'saw these two in a dry wash bed where there's something for them to eat.

This isn't part of the ghost but sits on Hwy 191 in Elfrida. Though there are many nice ranches and ag farms here, parts of Elfrida are looking a bit ghostly as well.

Our day didn't end so well. A stop at the Elfrida Library resulted in someone backing into our car while we were inside. At least the driver looked for us and gave us his insurance information, but now a trip to the body shop and a little paper work is in our future. These things happen.

1 comment:

  1. I love ghost towns, but not the dent in the car.Thank goodness he was honest.