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Ghost towns on BuzzFeed

February 19, 2013

Travel Nevada has a BuzzFeed photo set featuring 20 photos of two early 20th century boomtowns (now ghost towns): Goldfield and Rhyolite. They actually posted this about a month ago, but I didn’t see it until today when, through the miracle of the “related posts” links on some other article I was linked to, I stumbled across them. As you might have gathered, short-lived mining towns happen to be an interest of mine, so this naturally I had to look through these. The photos themselves are pretty neat, but none of them are so spectacular that I would have written this post to link to the set.

What really caught my eye, though, was photo 19, which is one of the more interesting in the set in terms of subject matter. I don’t consider myself a “truck person,” but I recognize a late 1940s Ford when I see one, and that’s a funny thing to see in a town that was abandoned in 1920. It really makes you think about the processes of abandonment and reuse in these ghost towns. As the Wikipedia article notes, Rhyolite may have been abandoned by 1920, but reuse – both as a movie set and a tourist destination – occurred as early as the mid-1920s. So, on the one hand, nobody was living there permanently, but on the other hand it’s not as if everyone suddenly forgot about it and we’ve now found it as it was when everyone left. This truck, now presented in an “eerie” abandonment photo, wasn’t even produced until almost 30 years after Rhyolite became a ghost town, and now it, too, has been abandoned there.

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