Off the Map: Ghost Towns of the Mother Road – Bagdad, California

Route 66The 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.

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1 Comment

  1. My grand parents DR. Floyd and Marie Kinyoun used to go dancing there Friday and Saturday
    nights in the 1930’s and 1940,s



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