Ghost Towns In Eastern USA-Are There any?

I’m fascinated by ghost towns…most are in the Far western USA, as they were mostly mining towns which disappeared when the ore deposits gave out.
My question: are there any ghost towns in the eastern USA? I am aware of some towns that have been abandoned …one in Massachusets is BERNARDSTOWN, in western ma. it was abandoned in the 1920’s, as a local mine (emery I believe) closed down. I’ve been there-nothing remains except foundation holes and the local dump.
Anybody know of eastern ghost towns? I’d love to see a place like some of the ones out west (like Bodoe, NV-they even have coffins in the undertaker’s shop).
By they way, who wons a ghost town-when property is abandoned, can you just move in and take posession?:rolleyes:

Believe it or not:

Oh, yeah: That site plays some obnoxious music… beware!

There are abandoned towns, but as you said, little remains except foundations in the middle of the woods. Without the extremely dry climate of the West, the old wooden houses just rot away.

There’s one somewhere around here in the northern NY area near an old mine. I biked through it once. I think it was finally abandoned in the mid 60s.

Alot of old steel and coal towns in my native Pennsylvania are just about ghost towns.

Centralia, PA is pretty much a ghost town due to the mine fire that’s been burning for 40-something years…

You can still see something of the old town of Matildaville, VA, now located within the boundaries of Great Falls Park.

Also extant but not (so far as I know) under any protected status is the remnants of a stone-walled community which included a waterwheel and dam along Goose Creek in Loudoun County. Just park at the boat launch by the bridge over Route 7 and walk down the south side of the creek about half way to the Potomac River.

You should check it out soon, because the area is developing so fast I sincerely doubt the structures will last out the decade, if indeed they haven’t been leveled already.

Here’s some information about
the Ghost Town Trail in Indiana/Cambria Counties.

As others have mentioned, these towns are little more than a few random house foundations. In this area there are also many small mining towns with no mines which, because they are close to modern roads work as suburbs of larger towns. They’re really interesting to drive through since all houses are identical with the exception of add-ons, like porches and bay windows.

There’s a “sorta” answer in New Jersey. A lot of glass blowing towns have been reclaimed by the Pine Barrens. I chunk or two can still be seen here and there.

A couple of neat books, although they were written ages ago:

Forgotten towns of Southern New Jersey


More forgotten towns of Southern New Jersey

Both by Henry Charlton Neck, but these were written in the 30’s and a lot of pavement has gone up since that time.

Fayette, on the Garden Peninsula of Michigan, (the peninsula extending south from the Upper Peninsula to create Big Bay de Noc) is a ghost town. The state rescued it many years ago and turned it into a state park. It has several complete, original structures and the ruins of the smelting furnaces that were its reason for existence.

Dropping “< state name > ghost towns” into Google will bring up a lot of hits throughout the East. Many have been reduced to a single church or store that has not yet fallen, but they are around.

You can visit what’s left of Dana, North Dana, Greenwich, Enfield, and Prescott, Massachusetts if you have scuba gear. They were abandoned starting in the 1930’s to make way for Quabbin Reservoir. During drought conditions, the foundations sometimes emerge from the water.

I think there’s a town in MS/LA that was abandoned for the NASA testing they do out that way. Dunno if it’s still intact, though.

I found one once as a kid. It was in Miamisburg Ohio of all places. Me and a bunch of other neighborhood kids were out exploring and found an abandoned neighborhood, well it was to us - it was probably less than a half dozen houses. Several were nothing more than cement foundations, but others were intact, although missing roofs or floors or parts of walls. The wood on all of them was rotting away. None of them had intact doors or windows. We entered one that did’t have a roof and seemed unliekly to collapse on us. It was a very small home with just three rooms. It didn’t look like it had any plumbing for water. I never did find out how old those homes were or why they were out there in the middle of nowhere. They weren’t any roads that lead up to them. We found them behind a cornfield and a small patch of woods. They’re gone now. They were demolished when the local subdivision expanded.

Well, there’s always Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine.

The West had more vast upopulated areas so boom towns that went bust are more isolated. Also many of them were mining towns and often protected by the mines that own them. Ruby Arizona was an example of this, though a latter day ghost town that was abonded after WWII. My dad was born in a tent there. It’s strictly off limits now except for an annual reunion.

In the Northeast, most abandoned towns are within the borders of current towns. The “Quabbin Towns” ElvisL1ves are one example, now within the borders of Belchertown, Ware, and other central MA towns. Similarly, Dogtown in Massachusetts is inside the borders of Gloucester, and Gay City* in CT is mostly a state park in Hebron. So usually there is some entity that has displaced it.

The thing about Eastern “ghost towns” is that they are truly abandoned. Mostly, all you see are foundations or walls. The climate does not allow the kind of preservation like you see in NV.

*Before anyone has images of an 19th century Provincetown, the “Gays” in question were a religious movement in the 1800’s. The same movement of religious revival that gave rise to the Shakers also created other, smaller, communitarian revivalist groups. The Gays were one of these. I am not even going to try to defend naming a thriving community “Belchertown,” however.

Pithole, PA was a boomtown from the oil boom era. Years ago, nothing remained but a few cellar holes / foundations. It has since been developed as a tourist attraction, a visitor center built, etc.

Portsmouth Village, NC, just SW of Okracoke, is an abandoned town that’s been turned into an interpretive area.

Darien and Sunbury are two reputed ghost towns in Georgia. Darien has been revived and now is a thriving fishing town. Dunno about Sunbury, I think it’s pretty durned abandoned.