Calico Ghost Town Claim

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Calico Ghost Town is a former silver mining town that was transformed into a family attraction by Walter Knot of Knot’s Berry Farm fame in 1951. Walter replaced most of the original buildings with ‘modern’ replicas based on photographs. Some original buildings do remain as well as equipment from the 1800′s and an original mine shaft which is open for tours.

So why is an old silver town turned amusement park listed here on a gold rush site? How could it not be? I remember going as a kid and the lack of authenticity did not dissuade my excitement at all. I knew some of the buildings were not real. I knew the paved walks and cotton candy were not there in 1881. None of this mattered because I did get to see many things that were real. Like the giant Silver smelter, the ore cars, the mine shafts and the giant piles of tailings. I learned so much about hard rock mining and mining in general at a ripe old 8 years old.

Silver was discovered there in 1881. By 1890 the town had over 500 mines and 3500 residents. By 1896 the price of silver dropped to the point that hard rock mining for silver was no longer profitable. Calico is now a State Historic Landmark and one of my favorite childhood memories.

I returned to Calico Ghost Town in April of 2014 with my wife and kids. They enjoyed exploring the old building ruins of Chinese street, mine shafts, dozens of authentic wagons and buggy’s as well as the cemetery.

Enjoy the photos from our trip below. If you found this post interesting or visit Calico please leave a comment below as well!

  • JB Bergmann

    Rating: 4 / 5

    Childhood memories make this one of my first and favorite ghost towns!

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