These 9 Unbelievable Ruins In Southern California Will Transport You To The Past
California is not generally considered a particularly old place, but believe it or not, this state is full of history. Imagine
life over a century ago in this state. It may not be the easiest thing to do as things have changed a great deal since then. If you want to get a real feel for the lives and experiences of those who settled here in the 1800s and early 1900s, these historic ruins in Southern California let you take a few steps into the past.
1. Marshall South Home, Anza-Borrego State Park
In the Depression Era of the 1930s, Author Marshall South built a home at the top of what he called Ghost Mountain. In his own words, he was seeking "silence and peace" when he moved his family to this harsh and remote
. His dream of living a peaceful, primitive life in this isolated place ultimately failed but the ruins of the homestead which he called "Yaquitepec" remain and hikers to
can get a feel for the struggles he must have faced here.
Ghost Mountain, California, USA
2. Llano del Rio Collective, Llano
Llano del Rio is the abandoned site of socialist commune in the early 1900s. At its height, nearly 1000 people had moved to this colony established by Job Harriman, who dreamed of cooperative living "without war or interest on money or rent or land or profiteering." Life was difficult here and the colony virtually crumbled in 1918. The ruins of the hotel chimney, water cisterns, and more provide a glimpse of the past.
34°30'23.3"N 117°49'37.5"W, Llano, CA 93544
3. Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, Death Valley
In 1877, a series of 25-foot-tall kilns were made to produce charcoal for use in the nearby silver mine. The mine only operated for two years and, along with the mine itself, the kilns were abandoned. These massive beehive-shaped stone ovens are remarkably preserved in the Death Valley National Park and are open for exploration.
4. Ashford Mill, Death Valley
The ruins of
are another interesting gold rush era site to be found in
Death Valley National Park
. There were stories of great wealth that drew people to the area in the early 1900s but the Ashford mine never produced much gold.
Badwater Road, Badwater Rd, Furnace Creek, CA, USA
5. St. Francis Dam Disaster Site, Santa Clarita
While the remnants of this old dam may not seem all that amazing, this is a sobering reminder of a great catastrophe. A huge dam was built in 1926 to form a reservoir, but cracks developed and on March 12, 1928, the dam failed and over 12 billion gallons of water flooded the area and over 450 lives were lost.
32300 San Francisquito Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91390, USA
6. Old Rock Bath House, Apple Valley
Not much is said about this historical landmark in San Berardino County, but the stone steps up to what is said to be an old bath house is an interesting place to explore.
7. Ryan Ranch, Twentynine Palms
along Ryan Mountain in
Joshua Tree National Park
leads to a piece of 1800s history, the ruins of a multi-building estate, including the remains of the main adobe house against the backdrop of a boulder outcropping.
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277, USA
8. Solstice Canyon, Malibu
The ruins found in Solstice Canyon have become a popular hiking and exploration site. One of the buildings, an 1865 cottage is thought to be the oldest remaining stone building in Malibu. A stone cabin, largely intact, was building several years later, and a sizable canyon home was built in the 1920s. The home was at one time featured in Architectural Digest, but is now in ruins after a fire destroyed it.
Solstice Canyon, 3455 Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
9. Tumble Inn, Lebec
In the 1920s, Tumble Inn, which included a hostel and a gas station, was built along the old "Ridge Route" and was a stopping point for many travelers. A large camping area was available beyond the wall.
Old ruins are one of the best ways to take a peek into the past. Have you ever been to any of these historical ruins? Do you know of other interesting ruins in the state? We would love to hear from you. If SoCal history is your thing, check out this short but
history-filled scenic road trip.
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