ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Strangest Ghost Town

Updated on May 8, 2012

Jackman, Arizona....Where Are You?

All of us have heard tales of old, falling down ghost towns before. And we know about the likelihood of the strange spooky noises, that can only be "ghostly" inhabitants. This is the account of a very different ghost where the town itself is the ghost.

Back in 1867, the small silver mining town of Jackman emerges out of the Arizona desert west of Tombstone and just north of the busy stage coach trail to Green Valley. There is a general mercantile store, a land office, five room-and-board houses, a mining office, a blacksmith shop, a church (no preacher), assorted other buildings, and of course three saloons. For about seven years, over 400 people, many of them miners, call Jackman home. Nightly brawls and shootings left more than a few seeking the pearly gates....or elsewhere.

By late 1873, the once modest silver deposits are no longer found in the nearby mines. Jackman is dying a fast death with the mass exodus of disappointed, weary inhabitants. In 1878, the stage coaches no longer stop on the trail outside town, and in August, 1879, the town is completely deserted. On occasion some drifter or even a group of settlers will shelter in Jackman for a few days, but they eventually move on to some other Arizona Territory destination. Except for jackrabbits, coyotes, snakes and other desert critters, Jackman is forgotten and becomes just another Arizona ghost town.

In 1882, Daniel Lucas, a former five-year resident of Jackman, now living in Tombstone, is remembering the rumors he heard a few years before. It seems there was one miner - "Old J.W.", as the story goes, who had hidden his silver in Jackman. Supposedly, he had buried his treasure one night somewhere behind the Red Pepper Saloon. He never returned to dig up the silver, on account of being the loser in a "hostile disagreement" arising from a rather intensely disputed poker game two days later. Of course, the rumor of him burying his silver in the first place was dubious gossip from the unsavory mouth of Jackman's disgusting town drunk. Any evidence of a loot burial vanished the same night it was to have taken place by a rare desert rainstorm. Though no one had really believed the old drunk, Daniel decides to check it out for himself.

A few days later, Daniel and his friend Ned Hicks, travel to Jackman to look for the silver. They have nothing better to do since returning from a cattle drive to Santa Fe. As they ride the trail into town, Daniel gets a uneasy feeling something isn't quite right....Jackman is not there! Not a building. Not one old wagon wheel. Not a broken fragment of glass. Not a small piece of lumber. Nothing! Just some prickly pear cacti growing in the street. As they search the ground around where the Red Pepper Saloon had been, they talk about the probability that someone surely has dismantled the entire town of Jackman simply for the building materials. Soon, they agree that finding any buried silver seems about as remote a possibility as finding the town. They mount their horses and journey back to Tombstone.

Daniel, a few weeks later, mentions his excursion to recover the silver to some friends over a round of drinks at Dirty Marie's Saloon in Bisbee. He tells them the whole dang town has vanished. One of the boys drawls, "Ya musta been a drinkin', Dan'l! I wuz in Jackman jest two days ago, and it's thar alright."

One of the other cowpokes spoke up, "No, Daniel ain't no drunk. Somebody has done tore down Jackman and done builded it back like it wuz a little ways south of Bisbee. I seen it myself a week or so ago."

"Has all you boys been eatin' loco weed?", another friend joins in. "Somebody built Jackman up thar east of Tucson near Wilcox. I rode by thar about a month ago and seed it wid my own eyes."

Several men joined the discussion, all excitedly describing the various locations around Arizona where they personally had seen the ghost town. North, south, east and west...Jackman has been observed. Ironically, all of them are former residents of Jackman. The "location" debate endures until the money for good sipping whiskey runs out and they turn their attention to talking about horses and women.

In april of 1932, James Spinks, the last remaining former citizen of Jackman, passes away and the ghost town soon returns to its original location, where it remains for many years. However, recently it is frequently evaporating as it once did. Up until last year, Jackman continues to be identified around the state, and at least once in New Mexico. Sometimes the old ghost town just can't be encountered anywhere. Sadly, the numerous photos of its many locations mysteriously disappeared in 1998. In fact, no one really knows where Jackman is right now. One can only hope this beloved state treasure has not vanished forever. Maybe the old town drunk has it stashed away somewhere.

Copyright 1999 Dwain Lamon


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lexe Charleston profile image

      Lexe Charleston 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Awesome concept! Looking forward to reading more.

    • black-eyed susan profile image

      black-eyed susan 

      8 years ago

      What a fantastic imagination and concept. A fun story!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)