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Maps and More

resources from the regular collections show-and-tell at the Earth Sciences and Map Library


Ghost Town Maps was presented as part of the 2019 Bay Area Science Festival.

October 30, 2019, 5:30-7 pm

Mt. Diablo Maps

Zombie Subdivisions

Borrego Springs, San Diego County, Calif.

Google Maps view of Borrego Springs

California City, Kern County, Calif.

Google Maps view of California City

Monticello, California

Information about the origin of the name, Putah Creek:

Putah Creek [Lake, Napa, Solano Cos.]. From Lake Miwok puṭa wuwwe "grassy creek" (Callaghan; cf. Beeler 1974:141). The similarity to Spanish puta "prostitute" is purely accidental. In the records of Mission San Francisco Solano (Sonoma Mission) of 1824, the natives of the place are mentioned with various spellings from Putto to Puttato. In the baptismal records of Mission Dolores an adulto de Putü is mentioned in 1817, and the wife of Pedro Putay in 1821 (Arch. Mis. 1:94.81). In 1842 the stream was well known by its name: "I know that the Rio was called 'Putos.'...It is well-known by the name which has been given it" (J. J. Warner, land-grant case 232 ND). The name was probably fixed by William Wolfskill, who named his grant Rio de los Putos on May 24, 1842. In 1843 the name was used in the titles of three other land grants, in one of which the spelling Putas occurs. In the Statutes of the early 1850s, in the Indian Reports, and in the Pac. R.R. Reports, the spelling of the name is in complete confusion. The present version was applied to a town in 1853, was used in the Statutes of 1854, was made popular by the Bancroft maps, and finally was adopted by the USGS. []


Gudde, Erwin G.; Bright, William (2004). California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names (4th rev. and enl. ed.). University of California Press. pp. 304–305. 


Ghost towns in California

Ghost towns of the West