A Living Ghost Town: Randsburg, California

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.

Inside the saloon, ca. 1900 (photo source)

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.image

Or shop at one of the antique shops dotted throughout the town.image

You can even spend the night in the ghost town at the Randsburg Inn and antiques store!image

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.image

I just loved these shop fronts – especially the town barber shop!image

Have you ever been to a ghost town? Would you want to visit Randsburg?


8 thoughts on “A Living Ghost Town: Randsburg, California

  1. At this time it looks like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?


    1. Hi there. I don’t use Expression Engine; I use WordPress. WordPress is a popular platform but perhaps not the most flexible. Squarespace would be my second option. Depends on what capabilities you are looking for.


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