Finding a good old western town isn’t always easy – while some can be a bit cheesy and too kept up, others may not offer much to look at. Randsburg, California, however, comes in perfectly between – the town is still a “living” town (population: 69), but remnants of the past have been maintained just enough that you truly do feel echoes of the 1890s California Gold Rush.
Located in Kern County, California, Randsburg is about an hour and a half from Bakersfield, located in inland central California. Gold was discovered at Rand Mine nearby in 1895, and a mining camp quickly formed that was named Rand Camp, after the gold mining region in South Africa (a nearby town is named Johannesburg as well).
You can see the town’s old saloon…
And imagine what it was like to have a drink there and play games like this photo of the year 1900.
Or visit the General Store, which is famous for their 1904 soda fountain, ice cream, and their “Black Bart” banana split.
Walk into the old post office, which opened in Randsburg in 1896.
Or shop at one of the antique shops dotted throughout the town.
You can even spend the night in the ghost town at the Randsburg Inn and antiques store!
The Rand Desert Museum is open weekend and holidays. They also sponsor a yearly Old West Day on the third Saturday of September. Old West Day is a street fair with country western and bluegrass bands, food booths, antiques, collectibles, gunfighters, a vintage car show, and more.
I just loved these shop fronts – especially the town barber shop!
Have you ever been to a ghost town? Would you want to visit Randsburg?