Monday, March 21, 2011

Ghost Towns and lost Americana

Ever wonder what's left after a community dies? A ghost town. I found the best ghost town ever in South Dakota (in the middle of nowhere). A "townie" from a local pub told me about it. I say "townie" because the population of the town the local was from was maybe less than 300.

It took a while to get here but was worth it. I ran into an older rancher out here who lived along the edge of this, and he told me the town fell apart during the Dust Bowl, that the last resident, the "Train Boss" whose house this belonged to, moved out in 1944. At least a dozen buildings survive, the bank, the creamery.

It's sad to see small town America die. Urbanization, mega-corporation/monopolies and the squeezing out of the American farmer and pop-n-pop business, I presume are the culprits.

I would rather have lived back then, to have had to work harder, with less appliances than we have now, few electronics (just a radio, electricity) a simpler time, yes. Harder, but in a strange way simpler.

Bet I'd not have troubles sleeping at night. And what kind of world was it back then that you could leave your doors unlocked, or leave your kids to play outside unattended?


t said...

I remember when we went to that ghost town a couple of years ago. Strangely haunting and beautiful! I was amazed that we can even know of a place that is untouched like that - sadly one day the developers will go there, too.

nate said...

Indeed. Very true, T.

But that's not the same ghost town we went to. Spokane couldn't hold a candle to this ghost town. This one was the remains of a company mining town, with about a dozen buildings standing. Spokane was only two buildings, the remains of a mining town.