The Last Remaining Bay Area Ghost Town Is Closer Than You Think

As we grow up, the historic cities around us tear down; amidst this development boom, the history buffs over at KQED remind us that the Bay Area still has one ghost town.

The story of Drawbridge, CA goes all the way back to mining & touristing (like it always does), how the train was an accessible transport for their findings. A small number of cabins were built at Drawbridge to accommodate riders during train stops, but riders noticed huge flocks of ducks and unrivaled fishing conditions, and the midway stop became as popular as the train’s destination.

As Prohibition took effect, Drawbridge became a popular destination for tourists seeking unregulated booze, prostitution, and gambling. During that era, Drawbridge hosted 80-90 homes and its population grew to 600 people on the weekends.

But of course (being a mining town), Drawbridge slowly became unlivable, collecting years upon years of raw sewage and industrial waste from the growing and more powerful establishment towns of Fremont and San Jose. 

By 1963, only five residents remained in Drawbridge, leading to media descriptions of the area as a ghost town.

// People are no longer allowed to set foot on Drawbridge land, as it is now a protected wildlife preserve and visitors can be cited for trespassing. But apparently, you can park at the nearest McDonald’s and then hop the fence. Though if you haven’t, check out the two videos below of Drawbridge, they’re both quite spooky.

The Last Remaining Bay Area Ghost Town Is Closer Than You Think
Scroll to top