Saturday, February 16 approximately 30 LPA members headed east to Calico Ghost Town. A perfect day weather-wise, we first stopped for breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant in Mojave, and then caravanned CA-58 arriving at Calico, about 10:00 A.M.
Once there, we climbed, what seemed like, “the stairway to heaven” (an amazingly long stairway carved out of stone), which led us to the center of town.
Calico Ghost Town, which is located at the side of towering King Mountain, is described, “. . . as purty as a gal’s calico skirt,” and was the home of one of the largest silver strikes in California history, giving birth to the town of Calico in 1881.
Throughout the day LPA members photographed true-to-life figures such as Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee. U.S. Troops, dressed in accurate Civil War costumes, were inspected, and then marched to a reenactment of the Civil War which took place in “The Silver Bowl.” Cannons roared and bellowed smoke, while the crack of muskets firing filled the air.
I was intrigued by the village blacksmith’s shop. Red-hot flames lit the room while the blacksmith hammered pieces of raw metal into beautifully curved horse shoes.
Outside, women and children in period dress walked past, on their way to the Sweet Shop or Lane’s General Store. Young mothers dressed in calico rocked bonneted babies on wooden porches.
A rope-maker twirled strands of string making ropes, a glass blower formed delicate shapes of animals from glass rods and Civil War musicians strummed their stringed instruments along the main thoroughfare. A doctor, card shark and other costumed townspeople gathered around the piano where the player hammered out tunes popular in the 1800s' in front of Lil’s Saloon. It was like the people had stepped out of a Daugerotype.
Thanks to the excellent planning and coordination by LPA member Sue Craft, everything went smoothly. There were opportunities galore to get some excellent photographs.
View members' pictures:
All photos by Arley Clark unless otherwise noted