Calico Ghost Town, California

 

Calico,  is a ghost town located in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, USA. Founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, today it is a county park. It is located off of Interstate 15 near Barstow. Giant CALICO letters can be seen on the hills behind the ghost town from the freeway.

At its height, Calico boasted a population of 1,200 people, and over 500 mines. During the mid 1890s the price of silver dropped and Calico's silver mines were no longer economically viable. With the end of borax mining in the region in 1907 the town became completely abandoned. The last original inhabitant of Calico before it was abandoned, Mrs. Lucy Bell Lane, died in in the 1960s. Her house remains as the main museum in town. In 1951, Walter Knott, founder of Knott's Berry Farm, purchased the town and began restoring it to its original condition using old photographs. Though many of the original town buildings exist today, many others were restored as exact replicas of their originals on preexisting foundations.

In 1966, Walter Knott donated the town to San Bernardino County, and Calico became a county regional park.

Today, the park operates mine tours, gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, a restaurant, the Calico & Odessa Railroad and a number of general merchandise stores. It is open daily, and requires an entrance fee.
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