Category Archives: photo gallery

Ghost Town

When I was on vacation in October I detoured to the town where I lived 35 years ago. I went to scatter the ashes of a former resident. The town has been reclaimed by nature. Somehow, I thought ghost towns lasted longer than their final residents.

In 1854 cinnabar containing Mercury was discovered and the mining town of New Idria sprang up on the side of San Benito Mountain, The town was built on the baked tailings from the mine. It produced Mercury with the first Gould Rotary Furnace and operated until 1972. Everyone left in the years that followed the closure of the mine. After it became abandoned my family was hired as it’s caretaker, and I grew up in a ghost town.

Originally the town had over 100 building with a school and a post office but a few years ago a fire destroyed most of the town and none of the remaining buildings have been preserved or maintained in any way for several decades. There wasn’t much for me to take pictures of with the buildings burned and the plants growing up. The wind and rain has caused a lot of the steel to fall in on itself. Time recycles all thing.

As contrast, these are photos I took over 20 years earlier.