Calico Ghost Town Yermo California: A Trip Back in Time
Step into the Wild West and experience the history and charm of Calico Ghost Town, located in Yermo, California. This well-preserved mining town offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the miners and their families who once called this place home.
With its fascinating history, stunning landscapes, and entertaining attractions, Calico Ghost Town is an unforgettable destination for anyone interested in the Wild West era. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the history, attractions, and activities that make Calico Ghost Town an exciting and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
History of Calico Ghost Town
Calico Ghost Town has a rich and storied past, dating back to its founding in 1881. At the height of the silver mining boom, Calico was a bustling community with over 1,200 residents, 500 mines, and 22 saloons.
The town’s prosperity, however, was short-lived, as the value of silver plummeted in the mid-1890s. Miners and their families abandoned Calico, leaving it to become a “ghost town.”
Rediscovery and Restoration
In the 1950s, Walter Knott, the founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, purchased Calico and began the process of restoring the town to its former glory. With the help of historians and architects, Knott recreated the town’s original buildings and structures, with only five original buildings remaining.
In 2005, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared Calico California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town, solidifying its place in the state’s history.
Exploring the Town
One of the most striking features of Calico Ghost Town is its picturesque landscape, complete with the town’s name displayed prominently on the mountainside. As you wander through the town, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by authentic Wild West architecture and the remnants of the town’s mining past.
Original and Restored Buildings
Calico Ghost Town boasts a mix of original and restored buildings, providing visitors with a genuine experience of life in the Old West. Some of the most notable structures include:
- Lil and Joe’s Saloons: These original buildings once served as watering holes for Calico’s residents, offering a glimpse into the town’s lively past.
- Town Office: This authentic building housed the post office and courthouse, highlighting Calico’s importance of law and order.
- Lucy Lane’s House: Originally the home of the post office and courthouse, this building now serves as an intriguing museum filled with artifacts and information about Calico’s history.
- Smitty’s Gallery and Store: An original structure, Smitty’s Gallery and Store offers visitors a chance to browse and purchase unique souvenirs and artwork.
- Old School: A replica of the town’s original schoolhouse, the Old School has been rebuilt on its original site, complete with period-appropriate furnishings and décor.
Chinese Immigrants’ Homes
In addition to the restored buildings, visitors can also explore the remains of the homes of Chinese immigrants who once lived and worked in Calico. These structures provide a unique perspective on the diverse community that inhabited this mining town.
Attractions and Activities
Calico Ghost Town offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy, from historical reenactments to interactive experiences that bring the town’s history to life.
Calico Mine Tours and Train Ride
One of the most popular attractions in Calico Ghost Town is the mine tour, which takes visitors on a journey through Maggie’s Mine, an authentic silver mine. For a small fee, guests can explore the mine and learn about the lives of the miners who once worked there.
In addition, don’t miss the train ride that takes you on a scenic tour of the town and its surrounding mines.
Historical Reenactments and Performances
Calico Ghost Town comes alive with historical reenactments and performances that transport visitors back to the town’s heyday. Actors dressed as cowboys, miners, and townspeople perform skits and engage with guests, providing an immersive experience.
On Sundays, you can even attend a sermon delivered by a preacher in period-appropriate attire.
Special Events and Festivals
Throughout the year, Calico Ghost Town hosts a variety of special events and festivals, including Civil War reenactments, a film festival, and a bluegrass music festival. These events provide additional opportunities for visitors to learn about and experience the town’s history and culture.
To stay up-to-date on upcoming events, check theofficial website.
Visiting Calico Ghost Town: Tickets, Hours, and Location
Planning a visit to Calico Ghost Town Yermo California is simple, with the following information at your fingertips:
- Hours: Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM
- Reservations: Not required
- Entrance fee: $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-15, free for children 5 and under
- Length of the visit: Allow at least an hour or two to explore the town and its attractions
- Best time to visit: Calico Ghost Town is open year-round, but be prepared for hot temperatures during the summer months. Some attractions may be closed during the week.
- Location: Calico Ghost Town is located in Yermo, CA, just east of Barstow. To reach the town, take the I-15 and exit on Ghost Town Road.
Experience the Wild West at Calico Ghost Town Yermo California
A visit to Calico Ghost Town Yermo California offers a unique and memorable experience for history buffs, photography enthusiasts, and families alike. With its fascinating history, captivating attractions, and engaging activities, Calico Ghost Town is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the Wild West era.
So, saddle up and make your way to this historic town for an unforgettable journey back in time.