Friday, 9 June 2017

Calico, The Ghost Town of California

Calico ghost town located in the Calico Mountains founded in 1881, which was California's largest silver producer in the mid-1880s. The former silver mining town in San Bernardino County, California, had more than 500 mines. In 1890 the probable population of the town was 3,500, with nationals of China, England, Ireland, Greece, France, and the Netherlands, as well as Americans living there.
Calico produced over $20 million in silver ore more than 12-years. However, when silver lost its value in the mid-1890's, Calico lost its population.  The miner's packed up, loaded their mules and moved away vacating the town that once gave them a good living.  After that it became a "ghost town." In 1950’s Walter Knott purchased Calico architecturally restoring all but the five original buildings to look as they did in the 1880's.  In 1951, He installed a longtime employee named "Calico Fred" Noller as resident caretaker and official greeter.
Thus, in 1966, Knott donated the town to San Bernardino County, and Calico became a County Regional Park. In 1962, Calico Ghost Town was registered as a California Historical Landmark. Moreover in 2002, Calico vied with Bodie in Mono County to be accepted as the Official State Ghost Town. In 2005, a compromise was eventually reached when the State Senate and State Assembly agreed to list Bodie as the Official State Gold Rush Ghost Town and Calico the Official State Silver Rush Ghost Town. It was proclaimed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town. Nowadays, the park operates mine tours, gunfight stunt shows, gold panning, numerous restaurants, the historic, 2 feet 6in narrow gauge Calico & Odessa Railroad, and a number of trinket stores and lots of its original buildings are still standing.

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