Ludlow – Ludlow, California - Atlas Obscura


Ludlow, California

One of the ghostly stops along Route 66. 


The town of Ludlow is a classic Route 66 ghost town.

The town started as a water stop for the railroad in 1883. It remained an important rail stop through 1940, serving the mining industry. By the 1940s the rail traffic had died, but the town continued to serve the many travelers on what was then known as the National Old Trails Road – which ran across the continent from Baltimore to California.  The road was later named Route 66 and Ludlow provided travelers a motor court with cabins, a cafe, a gasoline and service garage, and a place to rest as they continued through the desert.

When Interstate 40 was built in the late 1960s, it bypassed the town and rendered it obsolete.  The few residents that managed to eke out a living in the desert left their homes and businesses to fall into ruin. Now, the ghost town is a perfect stop along historic Route 66. (See also nearby Amboy.) Visitors can peek their heads inside the old garage, decrepit homes and buildings, and check out some rusting classic cars abandoned with the rest of life in Ludlow long ago.

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