Ghost Towns Haunting Your Family History?

Ghost Towns Haunting Your Family History?

Though we think of them as Western phenomena, ghost towns are in every US state. You might’ve heard of Bodie, Calif.; Goldfield, Nev.; Medicine Mound, Texas and Oatman, Ariz.; but what about Moonville, Ohio; Chaska, Tenn., and Skinnersville, Mass.? Ghost towns happened when the industry that sustained the population died...

Though we think of them as Western phenomena, ghost towns are in every US state. You might’ve heard of Bodie, Calif.; Goldfield, Nev.; Medicine Mound, Texas and Oatman, Ariz.; but what about Moonville, Ohio; Chaska, Tenn., and Skinnersville, Mass.?

Ghost towns happened when the industry that sustained the population died (as with many mining and logging towns in the Old West), when the railroad or highway bypassed a town, or when a public construction project (such as a dam) or a natural disaster wiped it out.

A ghost town might still be marked by abandoned buildings and/or maintained as a tourist attraction, or there may be no visible sign the town ever existed. Did your ancestor live in a ghost town? Here are some online resources to help you learn more about it.

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  1. I have been told that a number of my ancestors were born in what now is a ghost town but never thought about looking that kind of thing up. Interesting and maybe if and when I can ever get back into researching my family history again I will consider looking up that "ghost town" Thanks