Not every city is destined to survive forever. In the 19th century, plenty of towns established during mining, oil, and railway booms flourished for a few decades, then shriveled up when their single source of economic support dried up, leaving entire towns abandoned. Geotab recently mapped out more than 3800 of these ghost towns across the U.S., diving into what areas have the highest concentration of long-abandoned settlements.
When you click on each state, pop-ups will reveal how many ghost towns that state is home to, which county has the highest concentration of them, and which city features the most in a 25- or 50-mile radius around it.
The image above is from Berlin, Nevada, a one-time mining town established in the 1880s. The mine shut down after a strike in the early 1900s, and was abandoned by the 1910s. Many of the original buildings remain standing today, though. It's now part of Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park.
Below is Harrisburg, a ghost town in Utah established in 1859. Settlers struggled to farm on the rugged land, and floods and other disasters eventually drove them to relocate elsewhere. It was abandoned by the 1890s, but remnants of some of the stone buildings are still around.
While we often associate ghost towns with Western locales like California (where there are 346 ghost towns), there are a striking number of them in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, where the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression left 308, 236, and 511 towns abandoned, respectively. Florida is also full of ghostly remains of cities, with 257 of them across the state. States in other parts of the country have strikingly few ghost towns. The Northeast is particularly bare: Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine have one, four, and five, respectively.
Explore the entire project here. If you don't have the time for a road trip to see all 3800-plus ghost towns on the map, you can take a virtual tour of the now-abandoned 19th century town of Bodie, California here, or check out our list of 10 specific ghost towns in the U.S. to visit. Though of course, if you really love ghost towns, you could just buy your own.
Click the image to open the full interactive version (via