I think it was either my birthday that year, or the Christmas before, but I got a book on ghost towns in the 4-corners area. I'd always been facinated with ghost towns, ever since the Brady Bunch got stranded in that one on the way to the Grand Canyon, when a scruffy Thurston Howell III stole their car, trailer and locked them in the jail.
Anyway, some friends of mine and I decided to hop in the car and head out towards Tooele and find this town, Ophir, that was in the book and take some pictures there. As I remembered it, there were a couple houses still inhabited, but several structures that were abandoned. As you can see by the old black and white picture of the Town Hall, it wasn't in the best of shape. (Click on the picture to see it full sized). Seems that the building got a face lift in the last 30 years. It also grew a fire station on it's right side. I know it wasn't there in '77, you can tell by the old picture, but I can't remember if it was somewhere else and they just moved it, or if it's a fake. Either way, it's been fixed up and set up for tourists. There were also a lot more inhabited houses in the town, so restored, some brand new. Not really sure what all the people up there would be doing for a living, can't imagine there's that much tourist traffic way out there - but ya never know.
Another ghost town we found was Grafton, down in Southern Utah, by St. George and Zion's. Part of the movie "Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid" was filmed there, where he & the girl ride the bike down the street singing "Singing in the Rain". I just looked it up on the internet, and lo and behold, it too has had a facelift. The church was boarded up, the house looked abandoned, and it wasn't even brick. The only building that had been fixed up at all was the one you don't see in either picture, and that was only for the movie. You could tell, because the walls inside were only repaired up to about a foot from the ceiling, and outside onlt the two sides you saw from the street were repaired. Now it's all purdy and fixed up, like people are living there. What's the sense of a ghost town that looks like people are living there?