[Ads-l] Ghost Town

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 3 19:58:45 UTC 2020

The citation below from 1894 contains the phrase "all that remains of
the ghost town". Interestingly, the phrase "ghost town" has more than
one interpretation. Spiritualists attempted to found a town, but their
enterprise did not succeed. The remnant was called "Spookville", and
the journalist also referred to it as a "ghost town".

Date: April 22, 1894,
Newspaper: The Times
Newspaper Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Article: A Spiritualists' Boom Town
Quote Page 22, Column 7
Database: Newspapers.com


[Begin excerpt]
Now It Is Known as "Spookville" and Town Lots Are Very Cheap There
Because the Town Was Struck by a Storm Late One Night.
>From a Correspondent of The Times.
Los Angeles, Cal., April 20.

One of the many amusing features of the "boom" towns and colonies of
California was the recent attempt of a number of spiritualists to
found a colony, where those who could not see into the future were not
permitted to dwell. A few of the leading Spirits bought a large tract
of land on a promontory overlooking the ocean, about twenty miles
south of the Santa Barbara.
. . .
The dismantled place is now known as "Spookville," and as the train
whirls by the passenger who is looking for California curios is shown
a tent on a hill—all that remains of the ghost town.

The only occupant is, or was, a hermit, who for a time lived in a
cave. The neighboring ranchers reported strange noises, and at once
the report spread that "Spookville" was haunted—a sure-enough spirit
had come to the deserted town-site to mourn over the losses of the
colonists. But it was only the hermit, singing or talking to himself,
while sitting out upon the front steps of his cave on moonlight nights
and enjoying the cool breezes from the ocean.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, May 3, 2020 at 2:47 PM Bill Mullins <amcombill at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Many urban areas are being described as "ghost towns" during the pandemic.  OED has 1931.
> Kansas Farmer and Mail and Breeze (Topeka, Kansas) 09 Aug 1895 p 3, col 1
> "This important adjunct of a free people was situated out on the prairie, at the site of a deserted village popularly called Ghost Town."
> The Centralia Enterprise and Tribune (Centralia, Wisconsin) 28 Oct 1899, Sat p 12 col 2
> "Sid Grossman reports that New York was like a ghost town last Tuesday, as result of Mayor O'Dwyer's order halting all non-essential business operations to conserve fuel."
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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