“Ghost Towns of the Wild West,” the penultimate film in the long-standing Greenwood Kiwanis and Southport Lions clubs’ Travel Adventure Cinema Series, will be presented at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Greenwood High School, 615 W. Smith Valley Road.
Narrator Gray Warriner will explain how gold fever ignited one of the greatest mass migrations in the world. For the gold-seekers – dubbed Forty-Niners as a reference to 1849 – it was California or bust.
“Westward ho!” was the call of wagon trains and fortune seekers headed for the gold fields in California, Nevada, Colorado, Montana and virtually all points west.
Moviegoers will visit real ghost towns and those barely hanging onto life, such as Elkhorn, Mont. This is the real Wild West, where some of the stories are even wilder than the fictional stories that were inspired by them. Wildest of them all, Bodie, Calif., still evokes the days when a newspaper editor wrote: “Why it’s 9 a.m. and there hasn’t been a shooting. Something’s not right.”
In the mother lode of the Golden State, luck played no favorites as Chinese laborers uncovered fortunes. Warriner will take viewers on a narrow gauge railroad and jeep trail to visit the Rockies and San Juan Mountains. The audience will also see Colorado’s Hanging Flume, which was chiseled into 10 miles of rocky cliffs to facilitate gold mining; it still holds fast, dangling hundreds of feet above the Dolores River.
Tickets are $5 and available at the door. Info: 881-4059.
For 53 years the club has hosted world-famous travelers who have taken patrons to exciting places all over the globe, but declining attendance has forced the clubs to cancel the series after “African Safari Adventure” on April 22.
“We’re losing money,” said organizer Norm Akers. “We need about 150 more people per show to break even.”
And that’s highly improbable.