Thursday, April 3, 2014

Photo Essay: Robber's Roost Ranch Fake Ghost Town

Along the southbound side of Highway 14 in the Kern County town of Inyokern, there's an antiques store that draws tourists, visitors, and passers-by who need a restroom with promise of a free ghost town experience.



If you buy a little something, they let you take a look around...



...but on a Sunday, the store wasn't open, so I couldn't buy anything.



The ghost town, however, invited me right in.



Named perhaps after the nearby rock formation of Robber's Roost, the ranch's ghost town is a roadside attraction in an area that has plenty of real ghost towns...



...with a rich history of mining, tunnel-digging, prospecting and homesteading.



The vacant buildings themselves aren't fake...



...and are appealing in their pallor...



...but each have been given an Old West-themed, cowboy town designation...



...whether it's a saloon, bank, sheriff's office or jail.



But in truth, they're just buildings left over from the old Mojave Desert Inn and Station...



...established 1931 by Sidney and Violet Armistead.



But in the late 1800s...



...bandits would hide out in this spot...



...to rob the stagecoaches carrying silver, passing through on their way to LA.



Hence, this is where the robbers roosted.

The current owners invite you to come and look for gold, explore the rock formation via their ATV trails, and maybe stay into the night to gaze at the stars.

I had a quick look around, but I myself was on my way back to LA, and had to keep moving...