Ghost Towns and Mining Camps
By Philip Varney
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.
Arizona Highways Books, 136 pp, 1994
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?