When we arrived at the Midland, California LTVA (Long Term Visitors Area) we started to look at maps to see what was around us. Blythe Calif. was just south of us. According to the map, Midland Calif. was just west of us. Midland, we thought, might lend some additional shopping opportunities to us.
We went for a drive, but didn’t find Midland Calif., it was getting dark so we turned around.
During a conversation, we mentioned Midland to our new RV friends (Patti and Ron) and they did some research. Turns out Midland is a ghost town! Also, it was only a few hundred feet from where we turned around when we were looking for it!
Our new friends had done quite a bit of research on Midland and uncovered some interesting facts.
Midland was a company town from 1925 to the late 1960’s, owned by U.S. Gypsum Company
In addition to mining Gypsum, Midland produced Wallboard and Plasterboard
In the late 1960’s, the gypsum mine, 3 miles west of the plant was converted to a Fallout shelter
Our new friends invited Bill to go take a look, they wanted to take some pictures and explore the town (Joy was sick with bronchitis so she stayed home). Bill grabbed his camera and they were off!
The first indication we were near the town was a structure that was covered with hats. Not sure of the significance of the hats, but it was sure interesting to look at!
After looking at the ‘hat tree’, we noticed many of the hats looked quite new, it must be a regular thing to add hats to the tree. Right beside the ‘hat tree’ were two old vehicles. Not sure of the vintage, but probably 1940’s or so.
Moving on to the town itself
After exploring the hat tree and the old vehicles we moved on to the town itself. We found what we think was the factory and then located many cement pads where the houses used to be. The story is that the firefighters burned down the buildings to practice their firefighting techniques.
In some ways…
In some ways it was sad to see. Up to 1,000 folks and families lived there and then it was gone. Our new RV Friends passed on this website that shares so much history about Midland California.