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Ghost Towns  

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Keep Their Location Secret?

    • Yes
      8
    • No
      8
    • Some
      19


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That's true John, and I am the same way. I figure if you are interested in seeing the place and trying to research areas to check out, you probably are like the rest of us here and enjoy the places and want to preserve them. 

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I've had quite a few people ask me to stop posting coordinates in forums.  Some say to help reduce vandalism, which I've already explained above.  Others say it's for safety reasons, but I don't feel it's my position to protect people from themselves. 

 

Of those that have asked me to stop posting coordinates, I almost always get the feeling it's for selfish reasons.  Some people don't want it to become touristy.  Others just don't like to share. 

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I get the feeling that others don't like to share a lot when reading sites that will post a bunch of photos, but then say they are not going to reveal the location. Kinda makes looking at the photos a waste of time IMO. The main reason I like to look at photos of locations is for future trips, not just to see where others have been. And if I have no chance of figuring out where the location is, I usually close the tab and move on. 

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Exploring historic sites isn't a popular a hobby.  I think many enjoy the feeling that they are enjoying something special and feel less special when it becomes "mainstream".  Kind of like how some people like a band then stop liking it when they make it big on the radio. 

 

I remember a time when my wife and I were halfway up the side of a mountain and I picked up an old steel can of beer.  I commented to my wife that the last person who held it was probably the miner drinking it after a day in the mine. A few months later I saw a picture of someone else at the same mine holding the same can. I didn't feel as special.    HAHA

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I know when I get to an old ghost town and see other people there, it kind of kills the experience, so I know exactly what you mean! Fortunately, as you state, there aren't that many people who enjoy going out in the middle of nowhere to explore old historic places. I could see some keeping locations secret in order to prevent the touristy feeling, so that would be a legitimate reason, but it still annoys the hell out of me when I see a killer looking place only to read on and realize the author isn't going to tell you where to find it! 

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An argument can be made against posting it on an open forum, but if they won't even tell you the location privately, they likely have other reasons.  Sometimes all you have to do is ask. 

 

I don't really worry about crowds too much.  My usual exploring days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays when most people are at work.  Other than a BLM fireman, I haven't seen anyone else out there any this year.  On second thought, I did.  A couple goth looking people that said they were looking for signs of paranormal activity.  They asked if we knew of any mines that had confirmed deaths.  We know of quite a few mines with miners entombed, but we told them we didn't. 

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I was checking out this one site that had some really nice places, but on the contact me page they said something like "don't even both asking me for locations" or something like that. Whatever, they have that right, and I can understand their reasons for keeping them secret, although I think those reasons are unfounded, but to each his own. 

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I may have seen that same site.  The one I'm thinking about was mostly about petroglyphs. I think his intention was to preserve the history by not sharing the locations, but he came off a a jerk. 

 

I once posted a picture of an unknown fossil in rock in a forum and asked for help identifying it.  Someone asked for corrdinates so they could see the elevation on Google Earth.  I sent him the coordinates by PM.  I went back a few days later and the fossil was gone.  Nobody else knew the location but that guy.  Sucks, but it was bound to happen sometime. 

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They are all secrets to me, no idea where any are. But, 2014 will find some.

 

Don't want/need specific coordinates, decent written down directions for general area is good with me, adds the extra exploring fun to it.

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I'd make a terrible spy.  I can't keep a secret.  My wife is even worse.  A while back, we were at a casino playing Texas Hold 'em poker.  I look over at my wife who is giggling to herself.  I ask her what's so funny and she says out loud, "I have aces.".  Everyone folded.  HAHA

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I'm torn between keeping a location secret in order to protect it from vandals, and sharing so others like ourselves can enjoy the amazing feeling of experiencing the history of these places. When it comes down to it someone else out there at sometime WILL post the information anyway, so I just have to hope and trust that those who's job it is to protect these historic sites will be on the ball. I choose to not hide a location so that many can enjoy what only a few would wish to vandalize.

 

Regarding goth ghosthunters, they sound like amateurs who have no business poking around old mines looking for ghosts. They are in danger of taking up residence as ghosts themselves if they fall down a shaft or wander in to an old mine unprotected and without knowledge. Any confirmed deaths? In a mine? Come on! Pretty much every old mine has claimed a miner or two, and even a few fools who decided to poke around where they didn't belong, LOL!

 

I have many fantastic photos of the Big Butte and King Solomon mines at Randsburg & Johannesburg, CA. Any scrapper who saw these photos would salivate with greed. A few of these barbarians have managed to cart off historic old pieces from these mines in order to cash in and make a few bucks, but many others have been caught and chased off at the end of a gun by those who watch over and protect them. I share my photos so that others may enjoy the decrepit beauty to be found there.

 

By the way, I have posted some photos of Randsburg in the albums section and will be adding a few of the mines as well.

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 Any confirmed deaths? In a mine? Come on! Pretty much every old mine has claimed a miner or two, and even a few fools who decided to poke around where they didn't belong, LOL!

In many instances, it's too dangerous to recover a miners body, so they left them in there.  We've seen areas with miners entombed behind cave-ins and marked with crosses on walls.  Here's one that was placed in a mine.  It doesn't appear to be an accident.  Not sure what the story is here. 

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In many instances, it's too dangerous to recover a miners body, so they left them in there.  We've seen areas with miners entombed behind cave-ins and marked with crosses on walls.  Here's one that was placed in a mine.  It doesn't appear to be an accident.  Not sure what the story is here. 

 

Very interesting! Which mine is this at? I might be able to find out some info.

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Thanks! I just found it at your website just as you posted a response, LOL! You have taken some fantastic photos. It is beyond me why anyone without experience and knowledge would even contemplate entering these old mines! Scares the bejeepers out of me just thinking about it.

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Like most of you, I have mixed feelings about this subject. I spent a lot of time thinking about it before starting my website, which provides detailed maps, GPS coordinates, pictures, etc. of cool places to go and explore in Arizona. I wanted to make sure I could feel good about myself and what I was providing to the community. I LOVE these old places and it breaks my heart every time I see them destroyed by vandals. Here's my take, for what it's worth. I share most of the places I find.

 

I treat each place as it's own world. I try to look at it from a few different aspects. How accessible is it? Someone said that probably most vandals are opportunistic, they aren't doing extensive research on historic places to find (not sure about treasure hunters) and won't make an 8 hour 4WD trip just to vandalize and old cabin.

 

How fragile is it? If hundreds of people show up (and maybe none will be vandals), will it change the place drastically?

 

How important is it to the history of the area? Is it just some old line cabin? Or maybe it's a gravestone to a very important person in history?

 

How damaged is it already? Are people already going out there and shooting up the place? If so, posting it may actually help, probably not do any more harm.

 

So, those are the things I think about when I post my stuff. I share about 95% of the places I discover. There are a few that I am so concerned about, that are so unique and fragile, that I just can't give out the information to the general public (though I do share with friends and such who swear they won't post it). I feel it's like sharing the coordinates of your daughter on line - just too risky.

 

I know people who post pictures and don't give out coordinates for anything they find. It frustrates me, but that's their own decision. I started my website because I was frustrated at the lack of information out there (mainly with mountain biking and four-wheeling). I was tired of reading "detailed descriptions" that were a paragraph saying something like, "You take some dirt road a couple of miles then turn at a cattle guard, then go past 3 or 4 roads and make a left ..." And when you go out to the place, all you end up is lost.

 

I understand there are people who want to have the adventure of finding the stuff out by themselves and don't want the detailed info. Fine, don't look at my stuff. But I don't have time to spend three days exploring (wish I did) to find the trail I wanted to be on.

 

I also get called out on posting my information on the internet. Once I met a lady out at some neat old ranch house, we got to talking and she knew of my website. She gave me a rash of crap for posting information on these types of places on the internet. That I should keep these places secret. I listened, then I asked her how she found out about the place. She pulled a book out of her Jeep on ghost towns of Arizona. I politely asked her if she would have found the place without the book. She looked confused and shook her head. No, she was using the book to find about all these places. I told her what I was doing was the same thing as the author of the book, just in a different format. She would not be here that day without the information, the same information I was providing people. I don't think she got it. I know, there are some nuances (number of people reached, ease, etc.), but the general idea is the same. Many of us used to get the information from books and maps, why is it such a huge leap to do the same on the internet?

 

My last question to this very long post is what do you think is the cause of the significant increase in vandalism we've seen in the past 10-15 years? Is it the internet? People posting info on forums, Gooogle Earth, websites, etc? Is it the huge boom in ATVs that allow almost anyone to go anywhere? Is it violent video games? Society crumbling? Thoughts?

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I also get called out on posting my information on the internet. Once I met a lady out at some neat old ranch house, we got to talking and she knew of my website. She gave me a rash of crap for posting information on these types of places on the internet. That I should keep these places secret. I listened, then I asked her how she found out about the place. She pulled a book out of her Jeep on ghost towns of Arizona. I politely asked her if she would have found the place without the book. She looked confused and shook her head. No, she was using the book to find about all these places. I told her what I was doing was the same thing as the author of the book, just in a different format. She would not be here that day without the information, the same information I was providing people. I don't think she got it. I know, there are some nuances (number of people reached, ease, etc.), but the general idea is the same. Many of us used to get the information from books and maps, why is it such a huge leap to do the same on the internet?

 

 

This happens to me all of the time!

 

I wrote the following public response and posted in on my website about a year ago:

 

In the short time that I’ve operated this website one of the most frequent things that I get harassed about is the fact that I share locations and directions to the wonderful places that I’ve managed to find and visit. I’ve heard it all at this point about preservation, and believe me, I am all for preservation of these sites. I am the last person that wants to see the vandalization of rock art, ghost towns, camps, etc. I love the desert, and the history that goes along with it. That is why I am out there many days each week spending my hard-earned money on gasoline  documenting these sites.  I come back and I share this information for educational purposes and further exploration by fellow like-minded people.

 

Every place that I have documented on my website I’ve learned about from either a website or a book. I am not sharing directions/locations that are not already available from at least multiple sources. There is one location that I decided not to share on my website, and that is because the details on finding it are a little harder to come by and the site has been preserved well.

 

I often believe that those that want to try to keep all these places secret are greedy. Greedy with the knowledge that they have achieved, and the places that they have been lucky enough to spend time and study. If it wasn’t for the resources that have already been put out there I wouldn’t know of half of the glorious desert locations that I’ve managed to be able to spend my time. I urge all to get out there and go see with your own eyes our historic locations, there is only so much that you can learn from a book, website or TV program.

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I feel the same way Jim, there have been quite a few sites I wanted to check out after looking at photos of them online only to see the author keeps the sites location secret. I really appreciate those who share these places with others.

 

Matt, I know what you are talking about in regards to books with awful maps and directions! I have spent entire days and tanks of fuel trying to find a site only to come up empty handed! It's unbelievable frustrating to get your entire family together to search for a ghost town and to never find it. No more, if I don't have a good idea of the location of a ghost town, I no longer waste my time, unless I just feel like getting out and see what is out there.

 

I don't know why the vandalism has increased so much, but I think it's due to increased mobility from everyone having an SUV, ATV, etc.

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Interesting results so far, has anyone kept a location secret only to return and find it tore up anyway?

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Yes. One of my favorite places. Very unique and fragile. Someone took some time to do a bunch of research on it and put a book there with old pictures, stories, etc. everything about the place. Now, someone stole it. All that history, gone. Very, very sad.

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Yes. One of my favorite places. Very unique and fragile. Someone took some time to do a bunch of research on it and put a book there with old pictures, stories, etc. everything about the place. Now, someone stole it. All that history, gone. Very, very sad.

 

What a shame! :25stompstompmad:

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Interesting results so far, has anyone kept a location secret only to return and find it tore up anyway?

I didn't keep the location secret, it's been in books for years. The ghost town of San Carlos, CA, in Owens Valley, eastern California. In 2002 I came to the town to show the place to visiting friends. I was at the site only months before. When I came to the site, I was shocked. It had been systematically and thoroughly dug up. There were about 32 building sites left at the town, all of them simply the stone foundations, some quite substantial. Yet each site had been thoroughly dug around their entire perimeter, down to two to three feet, the foundation stones simply tossed aside about as far as one could throw or carry them. It appeared as if an archaelogical dig had occured, but there were signs that it was not a professional one.

I took photos, notes and made haste to the museum in the county seat, where I had a working relationship with its director. He made inquiries and found that there was no known archaelogical dig. As far as I know, it never when anywhere, law enforcement-wise. The site straddled land owned by two entities - the City of Los Angeles (Water & Power, who owns most of the Owens Valley floor for water rights to export water in their infamous aqueduct down to LA) and BLM.

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