Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Calico Ghost Town


Calico was developed in 1881 during the largest silver strike in California. Located in Southern California, 3 miles from Barstow in the Mojave Desert, the town was named for the variety of colors in the mountain that were "as purty as a gal's calico skirt." Calico boomed during 1881-1896. At its height, Calico boasted a population of 1,200 people, and over 500 silver mines but the end came to the silver rush in 1896 and by 1904 Calico had become a ghost town. The last original inhabitant of Calico before it was abandoned, Mrs. Lucy Bell Lane, died in the 1960s. Her house remains as the main museum in town.

In 1951, Walter Knott (founder of Knott’s Berry Farm), purchased the town and began restoring it to its original condition referencing old photographs. Though five of the original town buildings exist today, many others were recreated as replicas of their originals on preexisting foundations and in 1966, he donated the town to San Bernardino County.

Today the historic silver mining town lives on as one of the few original Old West mining camps. Calico is a registered California historic monument.

5 comments:

CMPointer said...

I awarded you the "Puckerbrush" Award. Please visit my blog to pick up: http://yourfamilystory-cmpointer.blogspot.com/2009/06/my-many-thanks.html

Caroline

Greta Koehl said...

I remember visiting Calico Ghost Town and Knott's Berry Farm with my parents when I was little! Thanks for posting this; it brought back memories.

Sheila said...

The amazing thing is just how quickly it went from booming to being a ghost town.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

I never thought of California as looking like this. I see the forest fires on television during the summer and I realize it's hot but this card shows a really desertic looking area.
Thank you for participating in A Festival of Postcards and for sharing this one in particular.
Evelyn in Montreal

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Thanks again for taking part in A Festival of Postcards - Main Street.
Your post is referred to at:
http://acanadianfamily.com/2009/06/24/a-festival-of-postcards-2nd-ed-main-street/
Evelyn in Montreal