The story goes that this Route 66 ghost town got its name in 1883 when the Southern Pacific Railroad named the station after Baghdad, Iraq (sans the “h”) because of its similar inhospitable climate. Curiously, the railroad named two other nearby towns “Siberia” and “Klondike”. A post office was added in 1889 and at one point the town bustled with activity, boasting a telegraph office, hotels, mercantile, a school and library, and a Harvey House restaurant.
Bagdad was an important stop along the train route since Ash Hill Grade heading northwest out of the town was quite a pull for westbound trains. Water was brought in from nearby Newberry Springs daily in 20-car trains. The Bagdad stop also provided coal and fuel oil, and during the 1900-1910 mining boom it was the station used to ship out product from the Orange Blossom and War Eagle mines. At its zenith, the town of Bagdad probably had close to 600 residents.
NOTE: This article has been SNIPPED. Why? Digging History is now a monthly digital (PDF) magazine. This article will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Check out the latest issue here: www.digginghistorymag.com or try a subscription here. Want to TRY OUT the magazine? Click the magazine link in the previous sentence, then scroll to the bottom of any page and provide your email and Subscribe. A free issue will be coming your way soon!