Located in the state of Wyoming, the ghost town of Shirley Basin is a fascinating and eerie reminder of the region’s mining history.
The town was founded in the 1960s after the discovery of Uranium just outside its borders.
It enjoyed a brief but prosperous existence as a mining community.
However, after the mines closed, the town quickly fell into decline, and now it stands abandoned, with only a few structures left standing.
The history of Shirley Basin is intricately tied to the discovery of Uranium in the region.
The town was built around the mines, and its prosperity was directly tied to the success of the mining operations.
The town’s fortunes rose and fell with the fluctuations of the Uranium market.
Ultimately, the mines proved unsustainable, and the town was abandoned.
Today, the remains of Shirley Basin serve as a haunting reminder of the boom and bust cycles that have shaped the history of the American West.
In this article, we will explore the history of Shirley Basin and take a closer look at what remains of this once-bustling town.
- Shirley Basin was a prosperous mining community founded in the 1960s after the discovery of Uranium, but its fortunes rose and fell with the fluctuations of the Uranium market.
- Accessing the ghost town requires driving through a barb wire gate and a little over a half mile to reach the town site, and visitors will find old run down trailer houses, a school bus, and Leroy Williams’ old International pick up truck with the roof caved in.
- The town’s population dwindled in the early 1980s when the uranium market crashed, and the environmental impact of uranium mining has been controversial, with significant consequences for the health of humans and wildlife.
- Despite its current state, there is potential for future historical preservation and tourism development in Shirley Basin, but any potential development must be approached with caution and consideration for the environment.
Location and Access
To access the ghost town of Shirley Basin in Wyoming, one must take WY-220 out of Casper and then WY-487 South for 40 miles before turning left through a barb wire gate and driving a little over a half mile to reach the town site.
Upon arrival, visitors will find old run down trailer houses, a school bus, and Leroy Williams’ old International pick up truck with the roof caved in.
The town is located in the Shirley Basin area, which is known for its vast open spaces and rugged terrain. Exploring the area around the ghost town can be an adventurous experience, with nearby attractions including hiking trails, fishing spots, and wildlife viewing areas.
The town is situated in a remote part of Wyoming, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Visiting during the spring and early summer is recommended when the weather is mild and the landscape is green. Visitors should be aware that the town is abandoned and no facilities or services are available.
It is important to come prepared with enough food, water, and supplies for the duration of your visit.
History and Uranium Mining
The history of Shirley Basin is closely tied to the discovery of uranium in the early 1960s. The town was established to support mining operations that took place just outside its borders. At its peak, Shirley Basin had a population of around 150 residents and was a bustling community with a school, post office, bank, and gas station.
However, the town’s fortunes declined in the early 1980s when the uranium market crashed. As the demand for uranium fell, mines in the area began to close, and the town’s population dwindled. Ultimately, Shirley Basin became a ghost town, abandoned by its residents and left to decay.
The environmental impact of uranium mining has been a topic of much debate and controversy. Uranium mining involves excavating and processing radioactive materials, which can have significant environmental consequences. Mining uranium can lead to releasing toxic substances into the environment, including radon gas, heavy metals, and radioactive isotopes.
These substances can contaminate water sources, soil, and air, posing a significant risk to the health of humans and wildlife. The legacy of uranium mining in Shirley Basin is evident in the abandoned mines and contaminated sites that still exist in the area today.
Remains and Current State
Abandoned and forgotten, the remnants of a once-thriving community in Wyoming serve as a haunting reminder of the environmental impact of uranium mining.
Shirley Basin, once a bustling community in the 1960s due to the discovery of uranium, is now a ghost town with only a few remains remaining.
The old trailers that once housed its residents now lie in ruins, and the school bus and Leroy Williams’ old International pick-up truck are slowly decaying.
Only a few permanent structures are still standing, like the schoolhouse and the local town store, which also served as the post office, bank, gas station, and mechanic shop.
Despite its current state, there is a potential for future development in Shirley Basin.
The old artifacts and remains serve as a glimpse into the past, and there may be opportunities for historical preservation and tourism.
However, any future development must also consider the environmental impact of uranium mining and its effects on the surrounding area.
It is important to remember the lessons learned from the history of Shirley Basin and to approach any potential development with caution and consideration for the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the population of Shirley Basin at its peak?
According to population statistics, the peak population of Shirley Basin is unknown. However, the town’s existence in the early 60s comprised mobile homes and a few solid permanent structures due to the Uranium discovered just outside of town. After the mines closed, the town quickly declined and is currently uninhabited.
Are there any rumors or legends surrounding the ghost town?
Shirley Basin’s haunted history remains mysterious, with locals whispering spooky stories, eerie legends, and unexplained occurrences. Supernatural sightings are rumored in the abandoned town, adding to its mysterious allure.
Did the town have any notable or famous residents during its existence?
No notable residents or famous figures are known to have lived in Shirley Basin during its existence. Most of the town’s residents lived in mobile home trailers, and after the mines closed, the town quickly vanished.
What impact did the closure of the uranium mines have on the surrounding area?
The closure of the uranium mines in Shirley Basin, Wyoming had significant environmental impact and economic repercussions on the surrounding area. The town quickly vanished, leaving behind only run down trailers and a few solid permanent structures like the school house and local town store.
Are there any plans for future development or preservation of the town site?
There are currently no known preservation efforts or economic opportunities planned for the ghost town of Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Its abandoned structures are left to decay, a reminder of its past as a uranium mining town in the 1960s.