Calico Ghost Town is now a recreation of the original silver and borax mining town that existed from the late nineteenth century.
In 1881 silver was discovered in this area and the town developed to support the needs of the miners. Later, borax was the other resource dug out of the surrounding hills. When the silver was gone and a larger deposit of borax was found nearer Los Angeles, the town became virtually abandoned.
In 1951 Mr. Walter Knott--of Knottsberry Farm fame--bought the whole town and did a great job of restoring Calico to give us a view of life, in the times of a Californian silver miner. About a third of the town is original.
There is a small scale railroad to ride around town on and various tours are offered, including a tour of the Maggie Mine which is not only interesting and informative but very cool--as in 50 degrees, sometimes it's half as cool in the mine as it is outside.
'Hey Mom! Is this considered off the beaten path?'
This is Mule Canyon Road, it has a name, but no street sign and it was exciting for us to discover and explore. We (foolishly?) followed the path of this dirt road and found several caves, which the boys begged to stop to see and in a very remote area, we came across a modern day archeological site, not the Early Man Site, a modern Man site, cluttered with the residue of camp fires, scattered beer bottles, empty potato chip bags and torn candy wrappers! Obviously were were not the first.