Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Ghost Town

I live near a ghost town. In fact, it is my nearest "metropolis." It's been deserted since the early 60s when the last resident died. It was never much. Just a post office, a grocery, a small hardware, and the community hall. The community hall is the only building still standing in its entirety. The hall was the site of parties, weddings, dances, and fist-fights for years. There's a small rodeo grounds out back, too.

I don't think the population was ever much more than about six, since it was less a real town than the gathering place and social center for the ranches in the surrounding four-hundred or so square miles. Delivery of mail to your own box is fairly recent, and even so I only get mail three days a week— when the roads are open, that is.

As people died, sold out, or moved away the larger community began to wither. The last school, just about four miles north of me, was closed only a few years ago when the student population shrank to the two youngsters who came to school on horseback.

As a region and as a nation, we are not richer for the loss.


Anonymous said...

That's interesting, I didn't realize any of those still existed.

Rio Arriba said...

Out here these little places sprang up to serve the local 'communities.' Sometimes they were just a PO attached to a ranch house that agreed to provide the service for their neighbors. (Local delivery is fairly modern.) 'Mine' is unusual in that it had more than a PO. But it was never really a town in the sense we usually understand. But all the news, gossip, etc. came there and it was THE place to find out what was going on in the area. If you cared. Even then there were plenty of folks who just didn't.

BobG said...

We have a few scattered around Utah in places; most of them were boom towns at one time until the local mine ran out.

Word verification: renteds

Brigid said...

There are a few places like that near where I grew up, nothing left but some leaning buildings, attempting to defy time and gravity on their own, as we all do.

My town now is growing, we have a WalMart now, which I do not take as a sign of advancement, but of the loss of the small markets that I love to shop so much.

They don't get my business but I have the income to make that choice, many do not.

Thank you for reminding us that what is lost does not come back, except in faded light.

Anonymous said...

A lovely photo, and a sad subject. Thank you for depicting a beauty and life which gave our forebears dear backbone.