The dramatic history of the state of California has left artifacts and ghost towns a-plenty. From the abandoned gold rush towns of the Sierras to the spooky ruins of Alcatraz to the far reaches of Death Valley, California is filled with old buildings and haunts. If you have an interest in exploring these ghost towns, whether in person or simply reading about them from the comfort of your armchair, Philip Varney's new book Ghost Towns of California is just the ticket.
Published by Voyageur Press, Ghost Towns of California: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of California is a photo-filled guide to ghost towns, ruins, and living history museums throughout the state. Varney has written several guidebooks to the ghost towns of the western US, and it is clear in his personal and engaging prose that he loves the topic and the locations he features. Varney states in the introduction that he visited the bulk of these locations himself while doing research for the book, so readers get specific and up-to-date information about each place rather than old info or something regurgitated from the Internet. It's the writing that makes this fun to read, whether you ever plan to visit Bodie or Angels Camp in person.
Details: Philip Varney, Ghost Towns of California: Your Guide to the Hidden History and Old West Haunts of California. Voyageur Press, 2012, 240 full-color pages.