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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps

By Philip Varney
Arizona Highways Books, 136 pp, 1994

If you havenít seen an issue of Arizona Highways, youíre really missing something. Itís the premier magazine in the state, produced by the Arizona Department of Transportation. Yes, a government agency. Itís amazing that a state bureaucracy can produce such a fine magazine, but itís the truth. If you donít live here, and you want to see, experience and read about Arizona (which I highly recommend), subscribe. You wonít be disappointed.

Anyway, Arizona Highways also published books, mainly travel guides and some historical topics, including Arizona Ghost Towns and Mining Camps . Philip Varney relates the history behind famous ghost towns like Jerome and Tombstone, which are very much alive, and not-so-famous ghost towns like Ruby, Swansea and Oatman. He also offers contemporary information Ė existing buildings, directions to and from, etc. Ė for those who wish to explore these wonderful places. The best feature of the book: The photos, both of what the town looks like now, barren and crumbling, and how it appeared in its heyday, vibrant, active, and crowded.

Itís long been one of my goals in life to spend the night in a ghost town. It would be great fun, I think, but my wife doesnít agree, so I donít know if it will ever happen. I could go by myself, but that may be a mite too spooky, even for me. Besides, camping by yourself isnít safe. Right?

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