Boom and bust.
* What do Shakespeare, Timbuctoo, and Chloride have in common? Rest
easy--the answer doesn't involve a revenge-filled African sequel to
Hamlet. In fact, they are slowly decaying Western ghost towns, relics of
19th-century homesteaders and gold seekers who abandoned them decades
ago. All three towns live on between the covers of Tom Till and Teresa
Jordan's Great Ghost Towns of the West (Graphic Arts Center
Publishing, Portland, 2001; $39.95; 800/452-3032), a charming new book
that celebrates the best-preserved ghost towns of the Gold Rush. For a
look at ghost towns near you, pick up Ghost Towns of Northern
California: Your Guide to Ghost Towns & Historic Mining Camps
(Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN, 2001; $19.95; 800/888-9653), which also
has inspiring photography and a nice narrative.