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Zombie Towns Revisited… July 11, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in ghost towns, ideas, nostalgia, westerns.
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This morning’s Abq Journal had a long article on a former IBM exec who went to the thriving ghost town of Chloride, NM in 1977 and decided he was going to renovate it. A lot of years and his own money spent later, he has 8 or so buildings revamped. The town residents (numbering in the tens) apparently are good with this. He had turned it into a tourist destination (since it’s not on the way to anywhere, being glued on the AZ-NM border and away from the interstate)

One or two towns might be resurrected this way (turning them into tourist draws) but that’s not really feasible with lots of them. Seriously, if you’ve seen one renovated saloon you might have seen almost all. (And I was not terribly impressed with Central City’s “face on the saloon floor,” but then CC is now a gambling mecca so who cares?) Chloride got its name from the silver chloride ore way back in the day.

Being crucified on a cross of silver killed the town before the turn of the last century. The most fascinating part of the article was that the general store went out of business in 1923 and simply boarded up the doors and windows, leaving everything inside. Now that would be a time capsule to unearth. I’m big on time capsules, btw.

Maybe this could be a draw, like the b&b’s where you check in and it’s like you’re a squatter in someone else’s bedroom. Diaries on the desk, etc. Set up buildings to open and let people poke through, then restock and close them up once more for the next batch. Sort of a safe Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider mystique. There would have to be something there–I am still disappointed in my tour of Underground Seattle (because it looked nothing like the Night Strangler
episode
with Darren McGavin and the inimitable Lt Dish (JoAnn Pflug).

Beats turning it into a toxic waste dump.

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