Boom Towns By Sofie & Emily

California Boom Town in the Late 1800s

What are boomtowns? A boomtown is a town that undergoes rapid growth due to sudden prosperity. The good rush caused a significant amount of boomtowns.

Who went to boomtowns? Many businesses set up in boomtowns. For example, many businesses were butcher shops, bakery's, and several lagoons to entertain minors. Along with businesses, many prospectors hoping to struck it rich.

Life in boomtowns-Boomtowns were often lawless places and filled with groups called vigilantes. Life in boomtowns were harsh and rushed to make a living. Once the mine's ran dry, the town was abondanded for people to find money somewhere else.

What did they have at boomtowns?- Boomtowns were populated with businesses. Boomtowns was home to many miners looking to strike it rich by mining gold and silver. There usually was more people coming than actually striking it rich.

What were the problems with boomtowns? Often times boomtowns were lawless and there were "makeshift police officers".

Why boomtowns turned to ghost towns?- When gold and silver had been picked over, people moved to the next boomtown. Therefore, the population quickly declined.

Where were boomtown?- Boomtowns were mostly in the west due to the rapid finding of gold and silver. Many went to the west to strike it rich, therefore creating these boomtowns.


Top: Rhyolite, NevadaWith populations rarely topping a couple hundred, most gold rush settlements went bust before they could truly get big. The town of Rhyolite, on the fringe of Death Valley National Park, is a notable exception. As many as 5,000 people, most working in the nearby Montgomery Shoshone Mine, resided in the now-forsaken town during its peak around 1907 to 1908. Aside from a relatively significant population, Rhyolite is also exceptional for the speed with which the bustling community went belly up. In 1911, only seven years after the town was established, the mine closed after a period of slow decline.

Bottom right: South Pass City, Wyoming; Founded in 1867 during a major gold rush at the nearby Carissa mine, South Pass City followed the classic 19th century boomtown trajectory. It blew up quickly, fizzled hard and then experienced a series of minor booms in the next years, none big enough to restore the town to its former glory. Still, a small population remained. By the late 1940s, the most dogged old-timers had decided pack their bags and leave for somewhere new.

Bottom left: Animas Forks, Colorado; Prospectors set up shop in the 1870s and in the next years the mining camp’s population rapidly swelled, as did amenities. At one point, Animas Forks was the bustling home to saloons, assay offices, stores, boarding houses, a mill and several hundred residents who decamped each winter for less frigid Silverton and returned each spring. Fifty years later, it was all gone.

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Created with images by alpinedon - "grafton ghost town pioneer"

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