The Beginnings

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Have you ever noticed that when you’re look for something on the internet but you can’t quite find what you’re looking for? That’s what happened to me.

I noticed articles here and there about ghost towns, gold mining, and the old west but nothing all in one place; just one comprehensive place. That’s where I come in, and also where the name of this site came from. A play on words; a “gold mine” of information about ghost towns. Cheesy but that’s how I roll.

I want to provide you, the reader, a source for stories, history, photos, and other such musings on life from the mid-1800’s – particularly about ghost towns and gold mines. Whether you’re young or old, expanding your knowledge on the topics or a veteran learner, I hope you will find this information interesting – and fun.

Who am i?

I’m Jenn, a single mom in Southern California who has set out to travel the great American frontier to break out of my shell.

My first experience with the life of the wild west was a 4th grade field trip. We had a sleepover at a beach, made makeshift covered wagons, put them in a circle and slept in them over night. They were small and barely fit two of us. It was cold. And dewy. I didn’t sleep well that night but I still had a blast. It piqued my interest in the Oregon Trail and moving west.

The cast of Little House on the Prairie

Next came the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I imagined myself living on those prairies, playing by the brooks on the banks, and sleeping next to a fire in a log cabin. Life seemed simple, yet difficult at the same time.

Growing up I enjoyed doing cross-stitch (not gonna lie, I still do), and I find sewing therapeutic. (Don’t ask me to make you anything though because my sewing machine is in the closet collecting dust.)

I’ve always had such a strong draw to the frontier life. I love camping, pine trees, and forest creatures. Rumor has it that my great-grandmother was one of the last people alive to travel west in a covered wagon. Whether or not that is true is something I’ll have to dig deeper into.

Although I’ve always been drawn to life on the prairie, I’ve also been drawn to mysterious places. Ghost towns have a quiet energy to them in which I can’t quite explain. Almost like a void and a peacefulness which is counter-intuitive to the stories we’ve heard of the wild west during their heyday.

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Many of you enjoy the history of the abandoned towns and the long-forgotten secrets they keep as much as I do.

why am i writing?

As mentioned here on my About page, I have no passport but I still want to get out and travel. What’s a girl to do? How about explore our own backyard! When I was researching other travel blogs, I came across many Americans who traveled the world but I couldn’t find any that traveled in the States.

The United States is HUGE, you guys.

Although the US is still a baby compared to other countries and cultures, we still have incredible national parks; various cultures, climates, and demographics; and, of course, the American frontier and the once-booming gold mining towns that have become nothing more than a shell of their former selves.

I consider myself to be a life-long learner. If I don’t know something, I look it up. Google knows everything! Since I completed my master’s program, I found myself not knowing what to do with all my free time. Beginning this site is three-fold: learning, traveling, and getting my butt off the couch to do something worthwhile.

i need your help

I can’t do this site alone and that’s where you come in. What kind of questions do you have about ghost towns, gold mining, and the American frontier? What have you explored that you enjoyed? What would you like to see me research and cover on this site? Let me know in the comments below!

Cheers to a happy - and exciting - adventure!

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