Calico Ghost Town

Heading to the Ghost Town of Calico

Ghost Town of Calico

A few days ago, I headed to Las Vegas and decided to kill two birds with one stone. Recently, I have had a fascination with ghost towns and Californian history in general, so what better way to break up the 5-hour drive than with a stop at Calico, one of the best preserved ghost towns in the state.

Calico Restaurant

I must have passed by Calico a million times and never once bothered to stop. The wonderfully preserved Ghost Town is so obvious on the way from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on Interstate highway 15 with exits like “Ghost Town Road” and “Calico Ave.”

Railroad - Calico

What is a Ghost Town?

During the mid 1800’s, the were big discoveries of gold (and silver) all across California, thus the name “The Golden State.” When a mountain was found to have a precious metal, a wealthy investor would build a mine and offer jobs to workers from far away. Because of the guaranteed jobs, a town was quickly developed with workers along with bars, restaurants, hotels, blacksmiths, and even a saloon or two. Despite the variety of jobs, the entire town was completely dependant on the mines, so when they dried up, the townspeople fled, leaving nothing but empty buildings.

One of the original buildings that remain is the Town Hall.
One of the original buildings that remain is the Town Hall.

Calico has been around for well over a century (since 1881), but as you may expect, time and weathering has had its way with this town. Upon arriving, I didn’t expect to find much more than a couple of buildings intact, so was pleasantly surprised that almost the entire town has been rebuilt with a very generous grant from Walter Knott, founder of Knott’s Berry Farm.

Here are some more of my favorite photos of Calico, California. Enjoy!

Fire Department - Calico

The view from a nearby hill.
The view from a nearby hill.
You can rent a horse and get a tour for $25. A bit steep for me, but it looked fun.
You can rent a horse and get a tour for $25. A bit steep for me, but it looked fun.

Calico Ghost Town

"Loose woman" is apparently for the saloon only.
“Loose woman” is apparently for the saloon only.

Calico 2

Calico 1

The town bulletin board. I wonder if anyone found that guy's dog.
The town bulletin board. I wonder if anyone found that guy’s dog.

Original Facade of the town Saloon

 

Unfortunately, I got sick after this trip, so hopefully, I will get better soon and get back out there to explore more of my wonderful state.

 

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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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