State Silver Rush Ghost Town


The town of Calico in San Bernardino County came to life in 1880 after the discovery of silver ore and other minerals, and took its name from the colors of the rocks in the area. At an elevation of 2,283 feet, this dry, dusty, mountainous town grew and by 1892, there were over 60 mines in the area. These mines produced $20 million worth of silver and $9 million in borate minerals before they were exhausted in the mid-1890s. At one time, Calico had a population of several thousand.

Walter Knott, the creator of Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, bought the ghost town in 1953. The old town was restored and became part of the 480-acre San Bernardino County Regional Park in 1966 and was designated a California Historical Landmark (782).

(Added by Statutes, Chapter 90, 2005)

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