July 16, 2002
5:34 PM   Subscribe

During my long and mis-spent youth, I often spent time traveling the long dusty spaces between southern New Mexico and west Texas. There's a wide patch in the road called Orogrande, New Mexico, a virtual ghost town. I've always wondered why there'd even be a town in the middle of the desert and nowhere. Now I know why. Forgive the numerous pop-ups (and occassional ad for boobies) won't you? This is a tremendous resource for those interested.
posted by WolfDaddy (17 comments total)
no youth is misspent.
posted by Satapher at 5:39 PM on July 16, 2002

cool site!
posted by centrs at 6:14 PM on July 16, 2002

When I traveled the biggest remaining section of route 66 (in Arizona), back in '89 and '92, there were a lot of ghost towns and remains of mining camps to be seen. Out in the quiet desert you can really think, I like that. I remember driving for over an hour on route 66 and not seeing another car. On the California side on the way back, I am quite certain I found the spot where the Bagdad Cafe was, judging by old maps and a clearing in the vegetation. That was exciting. What a dork, I'm so lucky to be married.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:24 PM on July 16, 2002

Very neat, WD. Thanks.
posted by Bixby23 at 7:01 PM on July 16, 2002

This is Americana. Not the version spouted by _____ . (fill in the blank with your favorite political pariah)

Please admit that you are aware that our proud nation is not the innocent parochial backwater that it appeared to be even in the early part of this century.
posted by acridrabbit at 8:49 PM on July 16, 2002

acridrabbit, I'm not sure what you mean. We're still *in* the early part of this century.

"Orogrande" translates to "big gold".
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:16 PM on July 16, 2002

Grrr. You didn't mention the MIDI files, big guy. ;)

No but seriously, excellent resource. They include a great site near where I grew up, Llana del Rio, the only Socialist ghost town. It's gorgeous.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:50 PM on July 16, 2002

This is a wonderful link (even with the crap) and a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it with us.
posted by anastasiav at 10:03 PM on July 16, 2002

wow, it even includes one of my favorite little towns, Chicken, Alaska. Settlers wanted to name it after Alaska's state bird, the Willow Ptarmigan, but they couldn't spell it so they went with Chicken.
posted by premiumpolar at 10:23 PM on July 16, 2002

This is cool. Coming from the UK, we have no ghost towns. Any that may have existed at one time are now populated again, just like every other square acre of this country ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 1:44 AM on July 17, 2002

There are some ghost towns in the UK.

There is a village whose whole surrounding area was taken by the Ministry of Defence during the Second World War for use as a range. It was left pretty much untouched, the people who were moved out returning once a year for a service in the village church. I tried to find a link for this but failed - it might be somewhere on the Defence Estates site but I couldn't see it.

There are also a number of tiny villages in places like Cornwall left over from the mining industry.
posted by kerplunk at 3:11 AM on July 17, 2002

Also there's a village at the bottom of Kielder Water reservoir in Northumberland, UK - which is allegedly still partially intact.
posted by prentiz at 5:18 AM on July 17, 2002

I am quite certain I found the spot where the Bagdad Cafe was

perhaps a satin shirt that jack palance left behind?

actually, looks like you weren't the only one on a quest: these people found the site and also the building used in the film (scroll down a bit).

while we're on the subject, anyone know why it's called out of rosenheim on imdb?
posted by witchstone at 9:15 AM on July 17, 2002

Pretty sure it was a German movie, at least in spirit. I think it was either originally done by an independant film company from Germany or Austria. Dig a little and you should find out conclusively.

And is it really fair to post a link like this on a non-friday? This is going to be hard to make look like work. :)
posted by fnirt at 9:22 AM on July 17, 2002

Madrid, NM, is far from a ghost town. It was colonised by hippies in the early '70s, and is thriving. I stayed there, and spent happy hours bellying up to the longest bar in New Mexico, at the entrance to the mine. I swear the other customers were real people, or....(cue Outer Limits music)

Arivaca, AZ, has a similar western hippy community (the mayor is a goat). Does anyone know of other ghost towns that have been reclaimed?
posted by liam at 10:42 AM on July 17, 2002

I dig the flat-pickin'! Great link.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:46 PM on July 17, 2002

Very cool site. Best viewed with Mozilla. Cuz then there's no popups or MIDI. :)
posted by shugashax at 2:32 PM on July 17, 2002

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