Welcome to Nowhere: U.S. Recession Wipes Empire, Nevada Off The Map
Posted by Join Or DIE on June 27, 2011
Photo: aturkus (CC).
Photo: aturkus (CC)
Jessica Bruder writes in the Christian Science Monitor:
This mining town of 300 people clings like a burr to the back of the Black Rock Desert. For years, it was marked on state Highway 447 by a two-story sign reading, “Welcome to Nowhere.”
On June 20, that tongue-in-cheek greeting will become a fact. Empire, Nev., will transform into a ghost town. An eight-foot chain-link fence crowned with barbed wire will seal off the 136-acre plot. Even the local ZIP Code, 89405, will be discontinued.
Many towns have been scarred by the recession, but Empire will be the first to completely disappear. For only a few days more it will remain the last intact example of an American icon: the company town.
Since 1948, the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG), which is the nation’s largest drywall manufacturer, has held title to all of Empire: four dusty streets lined with cottonwoods, elms, and silver poplars, dozens of low-slung houses, a community hall, a swimming pool, a cracked tennis court, and a nine-hole golf course called Burning Sands…