Humberstone: A Chilean ghost town with an english name

Once a bustling mining and progressive town in the Atacama Desert, a few hundred kilometres from Chile’s borders with Peru and Bolivia, Humberstone has now become a disturbingly silent ghost town with no workers or residents on its streets. How did this happen? It was named after James Humberstone, a British chemical engineer who emigrated to South America in 1875. He made his fortune from saltpetre, which was dug out of caliche, the nitrate-rich crust of the desert, and used to make fertilizer. For a while in the late 19th…

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Okanogan Highland ghost towns: undisturbed relics from the Old West.

These former mining estabilishments hold a surprising abundance of undisturbed relics from the Old West. Scattered on the desolate plateaus of the Okanogan Highlands, a few kilometers south of the Canadian border, stand the quietly abandoned memories of pioneer homesteads: here some of gold rush townsites persist as historic monuments from a bygone era of boom then bust mineral exploration that brought intrepid Chinese miners and later white settlers to this corner of the Old West. Frontier towns like Bodie, Chesaw, and Molson briefly prospered during the late Victorian era…

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