A “ghost town” may be defined as any settlement that has been abandoned or lost most of its population. The classic example is a mining camp full of ruins and empty buildings, abandoned when the easy-to-reach ore gave out or became unprofitable to mine. This is only one kind of ghost town, but it demonstrates the primary reason why a town dies: the central reason for its existence disappears.

The large collection of historical photographs in the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Digital Library provide a look into the variety of ghost towns to be found in Utah and neighboring states.

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