"Ghostown in the bay area" Drawbridge by ChuckG

Drawbridge Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 3 photos

Hard to visit...

Drawbridge is an abandoned town on the outskirts of San Jose and is slowly sinking into the sloughs of San Francisco Bay. It was created on Station Island in 1876 and consisted of a single dwelling to house the operator of two drawbridges owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad that crossed the Mud Creek Slough and Coyote Creek Slough to connect Newark with Alviso and San Jose. It eventually grew into a small town consisting mainly of hunting cabins, hotels, and gun clubs (the San Francisco Bay, before salt evaporation ponds and sewage dumping, was a hunting and fishing paradise). During Prohibition, taking advantage of its location in no man's land between Santa Clara and Alameda counties, it housed numerous speakeasies and brothels. In addition, the police were reluctant to enter as nearly everyone in Drawbridge was armed.

Starting in the late 1920's, the surrounding communities began to pump fresh water out from the sloughs causing the land to sink. Two salt evaporation ponds around Drawbridge prevented the tides from cleaning the waters and the pumping in of raw sewage fouled what remained.

At its peak in 1926, Drawbridge had 90 private residences and two hotels. The train stopped five times daily. In 1979, the last remaining resident left, leaving behind a dozen or so wooden shacks.

Drawbridge is now off-limits to visitors, but there is an informative display about the Bay Area's only ghost town at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Fremont.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The only "real" ghostown in the Bay Area
  • Cons:Almost impossible to get to !
  • Intro Updated Jan 4, 2004
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Reviews (3)

Comments (1)

  • Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2006 at 12:36 PM

    You want me to give up Paris for THIS place??!! It's a stinking ghost town, not a sinking ghost town! If you hadn't sold the Enzo we could've arrived there in style! Wonky woke up with a huge zit on the spot where you licked her face! I TOLD YOU!!! ;-)

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