A gallery of abandoned or neglected communities in the United States.
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 rapid growth and a diverse population, but by the 1960s, 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 was noted for the resistance to the United States military during the Modoc War, which ended in 1873.
Davis / Straight Creek
Davis, Kentucky is located along 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 & Ohio Railroad Dawkins Subdivision. It is named after local families.
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 1900s. It is now a 5,000 square-foot antique store.
Clairton was incorporated on April 12, 1903, and was centered around Clairton Works, the largest coke manufacturing facility in the United States. The production of coke was vital for the pig iron blast furnaces that produced steel throughout the region. The population of the Clairton peaked at nearly 20,000 residents in 1950s but a catastrophic collapse of the domestic steel industry caused the town to be declared economically stressed in 1988.
McKeesport, established in 1795, remained a small village until 1830 when coal mining began in the region. The town steadily grew to peak at 55,000 residents in 1940 during a time when National Tube Works dominated the local industry. The decline and eventual closure of National Tube and other steel plants in the area, along with a massive fire that destroyed a significant portion of downtown in 1976, led to McKeesport’s population to collapse to under 20,000 by 2010.