Wild West California Gold Rush

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The Gold Rush sparked a mad dash for riches, sending thousands of men crisscrossing across the Wild West in search of the big score. As rumors of wealth in new places came about, whole towns were deserted and alas, the Wild West ghost town was born. Today, hundreds of ghost towns lie scattered throughout the Old West, here are 5 worth a visit:

1. Bodie, California

Head East of the Sierra Nevada, about 75 miles South-East of Lake Tahoe, and you 'll stumble upon the abandoned ghost town of Bodie, California. A former Wild West boom town propelled by the discovery of gold, Bodie at one time boasted over 2000 buildings and a population of 7000.

With 65 Saloons once lining its one-mile strip, it 's no wonder shootouts, bar room brawls and
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Named a designated historic district in 1967, Jerome has since regained some of its former greatness (minus the murder and prostitution). Today 's tamer, more civilized, Jerome is frequented by visitors stopping to enjoy its museums, bed & breakfasts, live music, and even fine dining. Jerome even has a bustling art scene, with over 30 galleries displaying their wares. You 'll find it hard to believe that this was once considered the Wild West.

4. Austin, Nevada

Smack in the middle of Nevada along U.S Highway 50, you 'll find the dusty ghost town of Austin. Discovered by accident after a horse kicked over a rock revealing silver, the town quickly grew to host some 10,000 souls in search of a quick fortune. As was often the case, however, there was more hype to be found than riches, and Austin soon met a rapid decline.

As evidenced by the three churches that grace the town (all of which still stand), Austin can certainly claim to be one of the more civilized towns of the Wild West. In fact, Austin 's Episcopal Church is widely considered to be the most beautiful of all the frontier churches. Today you 'll find a well-preserved ghost town, still surviving to this day on the mining and production of turquoise jewelry. We recommend you try kicking over a rock or two while in town, who knows what riches you
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