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San Francisco bay ghost town sinking into marsh

By Catholic Online
September 3rd, 2010
Catholic Online (

Drawbridge, formerly known as Saline City, is a ghost town that is quickly sinking into the marshland in the San Francisco bay area. No one lives there, and it is illegal to venture on to the property, as it is currently part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. But it does have a colorful past, courtesy of when it was a latter day "wild west" town during prohibition.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Created by the narrow-gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad on Station Island in 1876, Drawbridge has been abandoned for over three decades. At the time it was founded, it consisted of only one small cabin for the operator of the railroad's two drawbridges that crossed Mud Creek Slough and Coyote Creek Slough.

Several passenger trains stopped in the town daily, bringing nearly 1,000 people into the area on weekends in the late 19th Century. By the 1920s, Drawbridge had grown to 90 buildings and was known as a gambling town. During Prohibition, the town housed several speakeasies and brothels. Hunting clubs had sprung up around the abundant wildlife at the time, and police were hesitant to enter Drawbridge because all of the residents were armed.

People started to trickle out of the town with the end of prohibition. Newspapers incorrectly reported that the area was a ghost town and that residents had left behind valuables. Vandals further drove out more residents until the place was completely abandoned.

The railroad tracks, which are private property, are still the only way to get into the town. Remember, visiting the area is illegal and trains still run with some frequency on the tracks you must follow for two miles to find your way in.

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