Zinc Arkansas view at Swinging Bridge

17 Best Ghost Towns in Arkansas (Maps, Stories, and More!)

Arkansas began as part of the Mississippi Territory and in 1819, became a separate territory. It was admitted to the Union in 1836 as the 25th state. Arkansas has a rich history and varied terrain. The state consists of hilly landscapes, valleys, ridges, and flat terraced plains. The Ozark Mountain range is one of the most beautiful sites to visit!

There are dozens of ghost towns littered throughout Arkansas. Most of these are abandoned, some of these are completely gone, and others still have a modest population. This list shows 17 of my favorite ghost towns and a little bit about their histories.

1. Arkansas Post – River Confluence

Arkansas Post lies at the confluence of 2 rivers. As such, it has served for hundreds of years as a gathering place for various cultures. Officially established in 1686 by Henri de Tonti, it was the first semi-permanent French settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley.

The National Park Service has a memorial dedicated to this area – perfect for history buffs. Read more at the NPS website 👉 HERE

Arkansas Post National Memorial
Arkansas Post National Memorial – photo credit Google Maps – https://goo.gl/maps/vmKc8gq9Z6i3CxW28

This establishment was a step in the long fight between Spain, England, and France for control of the Mississippi River Valley. The 1783 Colbert Raid occurred here between the Spanish and British and was the only Revolutionary War action in Arkansas.

Arkansas Post was a trading area for decades and was the first capital of the Arkansas Territory in 1819 but lost that designation just 2 years later to Little Rock.

Where to Find Arkansas Post

From Pendleton, head north on U.S. Highway 165 to Arkansas Highway 169. Head east to Old Post Rod. Turn south. Arkansas Post will be on the west side of Old Post Road.

2. Bolding – Ruined by Railroads

Not much remains about the history of Bolding. The post office opened in 1904, so it was founded prior to that year. Bolding was mainly used for farmland and was home to a small farming community. As the railways improved, the town declined. As the use of personal vehicles became more common, the town further declined.

Treasure Hunting in Arkansas
Find where to 👉 Treasure Hunting in Arkansas

Today, not much is left of the small farm community, other than some concrete ruins, a few homes, and farmland, which has taken over most of the town.

Where to Find Bolding

From Strong, head southeast along Arkansas Highway 129 to Bolding Road. Turn North. Bolding lies north of Union 123 road.

3. Bruno – Indian Past

Bruno was originally used as hunting grounds for the Shawnee Native American Tribe. Settlers began to arrive in the early 1840s. Bruno was located along Hampton Creek, making it a desirable location to settle when looking for land.

Until 1885, Bruno was known as Ebbing Springs because of the flows of Hampton Creek. A Baptist Church in 1871, a post office opened in 1878, followed by a blacksmith, general stores, drug stores, and cotton mill.

Today, Bruno is home to 5 places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Aggie Hall, Aggie Workshop, Bruno School Building, Hirst-Mathew Hall, and Pea Ridge School Building. Aside from these, the post office and cemetery remain.

Where to Find Bruno

From Eros, head southeast on Arkansas 125/AR-235 S. Bruno lies at the intersection of AR-235 S and Marion County Road 5008.

4. Calico Rock – Gone to Flooding

Calico Rock is so named after the alternating streaks of red, orange, blue, and black along the bluffs overlooking the White River. Originally developed as a steamboat landing during the early 1800s, the town boomed in 1902 when railroad tracks were laid through the area. The town still boasts a population of over 1,000, but much of the development has moved away from the river banks as a result of historic flooding.

Today, the ruins of old Calico Rock can be seen near the river and in the nearby museum.

Where to Find Calico Rock

From Pineville, head south on Arkansas Highway 223. This highway passes directly through Calico Rock. The old portion of town is near the river, where Highway 223 intersects with Highway 5.

Insider Tip: While visiting Calico Rock, check out the Calico Rock Museum. This museum has several interactive exhibits and promotes research and the history of the area. Their main goal is to provide access to historical records and pique interest in local history. Check out the museum here: http://www.calicorockmuseum.com/

5. Colt – Lost Rest Stop

Colt was originally settled in 1826. Colt was an agricultural town that became a frequency stop on many main routes through Arkansas. It was a resting place for settlers moving west on Military Road and was home to Colt Station. This was an important stop on the Iron Mountain Railroad from Memphis to Fort Smith. 

Colt was the site of a Civil War skirmish in 1863 between 1,200 federal cavalry and a larger Confederate force. Today, the town has a small population. Read more about the history of Colt – https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/colt-st-francis-county-4295/

Where to Find Colt

Colt is north of Caldwell on Highway 1.

6. Daleville – River Settlement

The Daleville area was once used by Native Americans to make salt. Settlers, including John Hemphill and his family, arrived in 1811. They also operated saltworks and farmed the area.

The area was never heavily settled due to its proximity to the Ouachita River, which had frequent flooding. Federal troops arrived in 1864 under Major General Frederick Steele during the Civil War.

Daleville lies across the river from Arkadelphia, and as Arkadelphia grew, economic growth came to Daleville. A ferry operated between the 2 communities allowing them to shop and work in Arkadelphia and live in Daleville.

There is a bridge linking the 2 communities that was constructed in the early 1900s. Daleville is still used for farmland today, either timber cultivation or row crops. A handful of businesses operate in the town, but no residents remain today.

Where to Find Daleville

From Arkadelphia, head east across the Ouachita River on Highway 8. This is the location of the lost community of Daleville.

7. Eros – Town of Love

Eros was originally settled due to its rolling prairies land and clear streams. The area was perfect for grain crops, so settlers made this area their home. Eros was once home to the Daily Lumber Company and a post office. The town was originally called Melon in 1887, presumably after one of their crops. It was later named Eros, possibly after the Greek god of Love.

Today, the remains of Eros include a school building, general store, and cemetery. Eros itself is named on the National Register for Historic Places.

Where to Find Eros

From Everton, head east along Marion County 4017/Highway 206. This will lead directly to the site of Eros.

8. Four Gum Corner – Cross Roads

Four Gum Corner was the heart of hardwood timber. The area once had 2 churches and a school. The name comes from the intersecting junction of 2 roads, which was the site of 4 sweet gum trees. The school operated until the 1950s. Today, the community is farmland for rice and soybeans, which replaced the hardwood forest.

Where to Find Four Gum Corner

Four Gum Corner can be found in St. Francis County, roughly 9 miles north of Palestine.

9. Graysonia – Sawmill Town

William Grayson was the majority shareholder of the lumber company in Daleville. He founded Graysonia in 1907 as a sawmill town. The Grayson-McLeod Lumber company operated until Grayson’s death in 1910 and was renamed Ozan-Graysonia Lumber Company. The mill ran until 1932, when cinnabar was discovered.

The ore was not enough to keep the town afloat, with the post office closing in 1950. No homes or businesses remain, and the last recorded resident left in 1951. Most of the land is owned by the International Paper Company, which leases it during deer season.

Where to Find Graysonia

Graysonia lies off the main highway, along a dirt county road. It is about 15 miles west of Arkadelphia off Highway 8, and 10 miles east of Amity on the Antoine River.

10. Moko – Blown Away

Moko, a once thriving small town, was mostly destroyed by a tornado in the 1940s. Part of the town was rebuilt, until another tornado struck approximately 5 years after the first. This destroyed the remaining residential neighborhood. Today, you can still see a very small cemetery, an abandoned post office, a church, and an old store tucked into the woods.

Where to Find Moko

From Sutrkie, head east on Highway 80 to Highway 395. Head north. Highway 395 curves east, follow it and Moko will be on the north side.

11. Moscow – Civil War Past

The small town of Moscow was the site of a Civil War action called the Action at Moscow in 1864. Major General Frederick Steel’s Union Forces were not allowed to occupy the area without a fight.

Confederate Washington would be spared from Union occupation as the Confederates went on the offensive to protect this town. Today, the area is home to roughly 100 residents, and surrounded by National Forest land and beautiful scenic trails.

Learn more about the Action at Moscow here: https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/action-at-moscow-2513/

Where to Find Moscow

From Linwood, head south along U.S. 65 and exit at Highway 199. Head south to Cotton Gin Road. Follow this south to Moscow.

12. Monte Ne – Resort Town Gone Bust

Monte Ne has a different history than many ghost towns I have read about. This town was built as a health resort in the Ozark Mountains. It was an ambitiously planned community focused on wellness and health. The development was halted and abandoned when the town was flooded due to the building of a dam.

Where to Find Monte Ne

From Lowell, head north on U.S. 71. Turn east on New Hope Road. New Hope turns south and becomes Monte NE Road, which runs into the old town.

13. Mount Tabor – Lost in the Fields

Mount Tabor was originally founded in 1854 as a farming community. The area was inhabited by farm families until the last farming member of the Crow family passed away in the 1980s. Her children sold the land in parcels, and the farming community was no more. Today, a church still stands, and several old wood buildings still stand.

Where to Find Mount Tabor

From Fannie, head east along Highway 298 to Tabor Mountain Road. Turn north to where the road splits and becomes Musecreek Road. Turn east to follow Tabor Mountain Road.

14. Riverton – Dam Relocation

Riverton was set up as an old trade town. That is, until Pickwick Landing Dam was announced in 1934. As a result, 506 families were relocated along with cemeteries, highways, bridges, and utility lines. The towns of Riverton and Waterloo were completely lost to the construction of this dam and the subsequent flooding of the area.

Where to Find Riverton

Nothing remains of the town of Riverton today due to the creation of Pickwick Dam. If you would like to visit the dam, it is in Tennessee, south of Pyburns, along Highway 128 over the Tennessee River.

15. Rush – Popular Town Gone Bust

Rush was established after silver and zinc were discovered in the area in 1882. A 13,000-pound record piece of zinc was found and shipped to the Chicago World’s Fair for exhibition. During its heyday, Rush was home to 22,000 residents.

It was the second largest town in Arkansas. The railroad was built a mere 6 miles away, but never made it to Rush because ore prices dipped during the 1920s recession.

Today, the area of Rush is known for camping and boating along the Buffalo National River. Historic markers are in place to direct visitors to interesting sites around the town. Recently, an old barn and one historic resident were burned down by arsonists.

Where to Find Rush

From Harriet, head north along Highway 14. Turn northeast onto County Road 6035 and follow this to the Rush Creek Campground.

16. Weathers – Some Remains

Not much information remains about the history of Weathers. The town is said to have been established in the 1880s and abandoned in the 1950s. A few residents still live in the town, and you can see the remains of an old store and post office building, and a well.

Where to Find Weathers

From Wharton, head east on Highway 74 to County Road 144. Head south on 144 to reach Weathers.

17. Zinc – Swinging Bridge

Zinc was established in 1900 and got its name from the zinc mining common in the area. Lead mining was also profitable. Beginning during the 1890s and peaking during World War I, Zinc flourished during this time.

The town had numerous businesses and a school, but a flood in 1927 damaged the town. The last store closed in the 1960s and the post office closed in 1975. Zinc was also once the headquarters of a chapter of the KKK. Zinc is home to 2 locations on the National Historic Places Registry: Elliott and Anna Barham House and Zinc Swinging Bridge.

Where to Find Zinc

From Bergman, head south on Highway 7 to Zinc Road. Turn east. Zinc Road runs directly to the town.

Insider Tip: When visiting Arkansas, check out the Powhatan Historic State Park. This park has historic buildings in their original 1800s locations and is free to the public. This park features guided tours from knowledgeable instructors and is a great piece of Arkansas history. Read more about this historic park here: https://www.arkansasstateparks.com/parks/powhatan-historic-state-park

Arkansas Ghost Towns in the News

One news article calls Calico Rock the most notorious ghost town in Arkansas. The article details the rise of Calico Rock as a booming mine town and railroad town that declined due to decreased train stops and flooding.

The population of Calico Rock has risen in recent years due to its affordability and proximity to the White Ricer. Many abandoned buildings stand as a reminder of the once flourishing town.

Read more about this notorious ghost town here: https://www.thetravel.com/what-to-know-about-calico-rock-arkansas/

Can You Metal Detect in Arkansas Ghost Towns?

where to Metal Detect in Arkansas
Read 👉 Where to Metal Detect in Arkansas

If the ghost town is not private property, you should be able to metal detect. Arkansas laws are not very restrictive toward metal detectorists, but you should always seek permission before metal detecting. Some areas within the state require a permit to metal detect and have restricted hours for the hobby.

Always check with the local authorities before you metal detect to keep yourself out of trouble!

Be mindful, too, of areas where people still inhabit. Some ghost towns are not completely abandoned, and residents still call these towns home. If you know people still live in the area, get permission before entering any property.

MDHTALK is a great online resource for information about metal detecting in Arkansas. Click here to learn more: https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=AR

Check out my other article about the 15 best locations in Arkansas to metal detect: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detect-in-arkansas/

Homes for Sale in Arkansas Ghost Towns

As stated above, Calico Rock has seen a slight increase in residency in recent years. There are several properties for sale in this historic town, with the median home price hovering around $150,000. The cost of living is low, but the views are worth a million bucks!

As of August 2023, there were 36 homes for sale in Calico Rock. Click here to learn more: https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Calico-Rock_AR

My Favorite Arkansas Ghost Town Story

One thing I find particularly interesting about Arkansas ghost towns is that many simply faded away for one reason or another, and there is nothing left of them and very little information detailing their histories.

Pinnacle Springs is a good example of this. It flourished in the late 1880s due to the natural springs that were said to have healing properties.

During its peak, Pinnacle Springs was home to over a dozen bathhouses, a hotel, many stores, a post office, cotton gin, saloon, sawmill, newspaper, ferry, and skating rink. It also had a Christian college. For unknown reasons the town fell into ruin and the last remining inhabitant left around the 1890s.

Learn more about Pinnacle Springs here: https://aymag.com/arkansas-backstories-ghost-towns/

Haunted Ghost Towns in Arkansas
Haunted Ghost Towns in Arkansas

Are Any Ghost Towns in Arkansas Haunted?

All ghost towns are historic areas where people lived and died. Therefore, they all have the potential for hauntings. While nothing comes up on a google search, and I have not experienced anything myself in an Arkansas ghost town, there are several locations in Arkansas said to be haunted.

The Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs is probably the most well-known haunted location in the state. Several paranormal shows have done episodes at this location and gotten great results. If you decide to visit a ghost town in Arkansas, take along some ghost hunting items and see what you can discover!

I like to take a digital recorder to pick up voices and a camera with a flash for photos.

Kicking up Arkansas Dust

Arkansas ghost towns are great places to visit. Some are no longer visible as they have been flooded out or demolished. When you find ruins of a ghost town, enjoy the scenery, and imagine what life was like for those who lived in these towns so many decades ago.

Metal Detecting Tip: Treasure hunting doesn’t mean making a mess, digging holes and destroying historic sites. Use some ethics and preserve history. Sharing pictures and documenting the location and researching the back story is the most important part of finding treasure. Read my article 👉 Metal Detecting Rules, Ethics and Laws

Most ghost towns were simple farm communities. Growth in other locations and natural disasters finished off many of them.

Be mindful when searching ghost towns. These areas were people’s homes, and some locations are still inhabited. Treat the area with respect and avoid any dilapidated buildings. These could be dangerous as they could collapse.

Take along some ghost hunting gear and try to snap a photo or catch a spirit voice for a little additional fun!

Malory Ericksen discovered metal detecting in 2015, initially unearthing nails and pull tabs in Idaho. The finding of an old railroad tie cemented her passion for the hobby. Now in Utah, she delights in uncovering historical treasures, driven by her love for history.

Read Malory’s complete bio 👉 About Malory Ericksen

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