SOME GHOST TOWNS ARE APTLY NAMED

ă Jerry Bowen, 1999

Is Cherry Creek a ghost town or a “near” ghost town? I guess it depends on each individual’s definition or imagination. Walt Campbell, a current resident of Cherry Creek provided me with a story that tweaked my fancy. Walt and another current resident, John Evans who along with his wife, Sue, run the Cherry Creek Barrel Saloon, are great story-tellers. In his own words, Walt tells of his first days in Cherry Creek:

“The first time I visited Cherry Creek, Nevada was in October, 1978 or there abouts.

“I had a friend who lived about sixty miles west and south of Las Vegas at Mountain Pass, California who had bought an ancient house in Cherry Creek in the mid-1970s and spent his vacations there and hoped to retire to his mountain retreat someday.

“My intended at that time had known Johnny and Sue years before I came before I came into the picture.  One day they decided that since Johnny and Sue were in Cherry Creek for their vacation and some deer hunting, that we should pitch some stuff into my old pick-em-up-truck and join them for a week-end.

“Well, that was my beginning in Cherry Creek.  An old and nearly deserted once “Boom” town of the 1870s to about 1908. It has never completely died, however it came close several times.

 “When Linda and I arrived in Cherry Creek that cool October morning we found Johnny and Sue at the Barrel Saloon. We had been going all night and the five hour drive from Las Vegas hadn’t began until around four A.M., so we retreated to Johnny and Sues’ house for a little sleep.

“We no more than got bedded down when I began to pick up on strange feelings and eerie sounds.  I think they may have been in my head, but.....

“After a few hours sleep we were ready to go again and go we did.  We visited old mines, drank from clear mountain springs and romped in green grassy meadows. This was to be a day I would long remember. It was late at night that first day when we finally threw down our bed-rolls and snuggled down.

“Well, here’s what happened next. We were all snug in our beds, the dogs had curled up at our feet when all of a sudden. the front door was flung open with a bang as it hit the wall, the dogs went crazy and the cat disappeared.  Flashlights and overhead lights came on and two fear crazed dogs and four people scrambled to see what was the matter.  The front door stood wide open, the coat rack was in the middle of the living room floor, a curtain was ripped off the window in the door and of course the cat was gone forever.

“There was no wind at all that night, the door had been closed and locked.  The coat-rack was a board nailed to the wall beside the door with several large nails and the coats were hung on other nails driven into the board.  The rack, coats and nails were six feet from the wall in the middle of the floor.  None of the nails were bent so Johnny simply drove them back into their holes and tested it by hanging his two hundred pounds plus from the rack. It never came down again..

“This was my first “ghost” encounter and I suppose I’ll remember it for many more years. Since that night Johnny and Sue have had several such happenings, cold spots and all.

“As the story goes, there once was a young man in love with the school teacher, the girls folks didn’t like him much, so he wound up shot dead.  A typical tale of love and tragedy.”

 


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