Desert Ghost Town ~ Helvica, Arizona

Desert Ghost Towns



Adobe Ruin 1990

Adobe ruin, Silver Lake 1990

Silver Lake, California

Only a cemetery and a mound of crumbling adobe attest to the fact that Silver Lake ever existed. The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad brought this town to life in 1906 when it completed its rails across the dry lake bed that gave the town its name. With its post office, saloons, and depot with telegraph office, Silver Lake was a growing metropolis of about a hundred hearty souls in 1907. The town began a rapid decline in the 1920's, the post office was transfered to nearby Baker in 1933, and the T&TW Railroad ceased service in 1940.

Adobe Ruin January, 2000

Adobe ruin, Silver Lake 2000

Old Foundations of Silver Lake Mill

Mill foundations at Silver Lake

Silver Lake Cemetery 2000

The residents of Silver Lake sleep peacefully now.


Kelso, California

Located 35 miles south of Baker on Kelbaker Road, Kelso is an interesting old ghost town with its main attraction being the old Union Pacific Train Depot. This graceful mission style depot was built in 1925 and saw plenty of action through out the years of  railroad passenger service. During the busy war years with the mining of iron ore in the area Kelso grew to a population of 2000 and the old depot was the center of  Kelso's social scene. It doubled as a court house, a church, and community center with dances and parties. Kelso was originally founded as a water stop for the steam engines of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing the hot Mojave Desert. Except for the railroad, Kelso began its decline after WWII with the closing of the mines. With the advent of diesel locomotives and a decrease in passenger service Kelso slowly became a ghost town. The depot was closed in the 1980's. Today the few residents of Kelso work for the National Park Service in the Mojave National Preserve.

Kelso Union Pacific Depot

The beautiful Union Pacific Train Depot looks strangely out of place in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Hopefully this depot will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Graceful Union Pacific Depot in Kelso
Kelso Post Office

The Kelso Post Office is closed for business.

Foundations to an old home attest to better days in Kelso.

Foundations of Old House in Kelso


Gleeson Cabins

Gleeson's residential district is quiet now

Gleeson, Arizona

Gleeson is located about 15 miles from Tombstone, Arizona in the heart of Apache country.The Indians first worked turquoise mines in the Gleeson area many years ago. John Gleeson, a prospector from Pierce, knew that turquoise was a good indication of copper and found the deposits.The town of Gleeson was born.

Gleeson Jail is Closed for Business No more wild Saturday nights, the Gleeson Jail stands silent now. Musso Home The old Musso home, once a showplace for Gleeson is now in ruins.
But the Bar Was Still Open in 1980 The only business still open in Gleeson in 1980 was the bar, and the beer was good & cold. Copper was king in Gleeson the first part of this century, but after WWI the mines declined and by 1939 Gleeson had lost its post office. The last mine closed in 1953. Gleeson will always be special to me as I encountered my first Gila Monster here while exploring the old mines in the area.

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