A listing and gallery of abandoned neighborhoods, communities, coal camps and towns in the United States.
Cairo, located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, has been beset by decades of racial turbulence.
Gary, Indiana was founded in 1906 by United States Steel (USS) as the home for its new Gary Works. The city was named after the founding chairman of USS, Elbert Henry Gary. The steel industry provided the city with rapidl growth and a diverse population, but by the 1960’s, foreign competition caused USS to lay off workers from its Gary Works. The mill, which had employed over 30,000 in 1970, declined to just 6,000 by 1990 and 5,000 by 2015.
The city’s population dropped subsequently, going from a peak of 178,320 in 1960 to 80,000 in 2010.
Modoc, Indiana is located along the former Indiana, Bloomington & Western Railway, which was constructed through the town in 1878. The community of less than 200 is named after the Modoc Indian tribe who were traditionally located in northern California. The tribe were noted for the resistance to the United States military during the Modoc War, which ended in 1873.
Davis / Straight Creek
Davis, Kentucky is located alog Davis Road in northern Scott County. It is centered around the circa 1828 Beards Presbyterian Church and general store.
Marshallville, Kentucky is located along the former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Dawkins Subdivision. It is named after local families.
Kempton, located in Garrett County, was a company town for the Davis Coal and Coke Company.
Wilson, located in Garrett County on the North Branch Potomac River, is alongside the West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway.
Deerton, an unincorporated community in Alger County, was founded in 1882 when the Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Railroad constructed a station for a lumbering camp. A post office opened in 1922, and in 1926, a small school was constructed at the junction of Deerton-Onota Road. Today, not much is left in the community – most of the residences are abandoned, although the school still operates.
Mingo Junction, Ohio was founded circa 1869 when an ironworks was started nearby. It later centered around Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel’s Mingo Junction Works which closed in 2009.
The town served as a Pennsylvania steel mill community in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter and as a primary filming location for the 1984 film Reckless.
Negley, Ohio is a community and former coal camp operated by the Powers Mining Company in Columbiana County, Ohio. It is at the northern terminus of the now-abandoned Youngstown & Southern Railroad’s Smith’s Ferry Branch.
The company store, constructed in 1867, was reportedly the world’s largest in the early 1900’s. It is now a 5,000 square-foot antique store.
Clairton, Pennsylvania is located along the Monongahela River. Incorporated on April 12, 1903, Clairton was based around Clairton Works, which became the largest coke manufacturing facility in the United States.
McKeesport, located at the junction of the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers, is a distressed city near Pittsburgh.
Shadyside Village is a mostly vacant community along Buffalo Creek in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. It is better known as Yellow Dog. As of 1987, the village boasted 148 residents, 35 dogs, and “innumerable” number of cats.
Elkmont, Tennessee is located in the Little River valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was a pioneer Appalachian community, a logging town and resort.
Bayard, located in Grant County along the North Branch Potomac River at Elk Run, was served by the West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway. It is named in honor of Thomas F. Bayard, Jr., who later became a United States Senator from Delaware, serving from 1923 to 1929.
Coketon, located mid-way between Thomas and Douglas, was the central mining facility of the Davis Coal & Coke Company along the North Fork Blackwater River and the West Virginia Central & Pittsburg Railway.
Douglas, located near Coketon in Tucker County, was founded in 1891.
The towns of Fayette and South Fayette were established along the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad when it was completed in January 1873.
Gary is a former company town in McDowell County. The town was named after U.S. Steel Chairman Judge Elbert Gary. Elbert, Filbert, Ream, Thorpe and Wilcoe were satellite coal camps around Gary, and for decades, the town held the distinction of having one of the largest preparation plants in the world.
Henry, located along the North Branch Potomac River at Elk Run, is a former company town for the Henry Brothers Coal & Coke Company
Littleton is a former town in Wetzel County and has the distinction of having the lowest per capita income in the state at $6,036 – one of the lowest in the United States
Pierce is a former coal camp town in Tucker County located along Sand Run.
The former coal camp town of Prince saw its boom days well into the 1940’s, reaching only a population of 50.
Pickens, located deep within Randolph County, was founded in the 1890’s as a lumber and coal mining community.