Goffs Ghost Town, California USA


The sound of the horn of a freight train that passes ghost town  Goffs is a reminder of more prosperous times that once were. The wheels of the sheer countless number of wagons produces a constant cadence that resembles the rhythm of daily routine in a ghost town that once was a lively community for workers of the Santa Fe Railway and the Nevada Southern or Eastern Californian Railway. Both these lines were constructed end of the 19th and early 20th century to facilitate supply of the various gold and silver mines in the area in and around the Mojave Dessert.

An old and rusted wagon standing just outside Goffs on a railway along the famous but now deserted Route 66 as a sign of once better times, for both Goffs and the former connection road between East and West. The color of the rusted wagon nicely blends with the dessert landscape. The mailboxes that stand along an unpaved road remind us that the dilapidated and ruined houses were once inhabited with people of a community that connected with the outside world. Today, there is nothing left that reminds of these days that once were. Inhabitants of Goffs moved out of town one by one till keeping general facilities like a post office and stores served no viable business purpose anymore – a practice so often seen in small rural communities worldwide.

Ghost towns are interesting locations to visit during traveling through the south-west of the USA. The hot and dry dessert whether form perfect conditions to guarantee slow decay of houses, trailers, cars, and tools. The rusted structures are interesting subjects and objects for photography. In this series of photos, I tried to portray ghost town Goffs, and tried of make the process of desolation and decay tangible. The noise of passing freight train and the deserted structures symbolizes the demise of rural communities.

Rijko Ebens


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