If you’re searching for ghost towns in Missouri, we’ve got you covered! Below are 12 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Idaho along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.
We rate ghost towns in Missouri based on their status. Here’s how our system works:
- Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
- Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
- Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
- Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
- Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
- Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.
Despite its small population, Moselle, Missouri, is a legitimate ghost town. In 1907, Sisters of St. Mary from St. Louis came to Moselle to build a hospital for the local people. They had previously worked at a German hospital in Kansas City.
They spent over $150,000 on the new hospital and eventually emptied it to make room for the Sisters of St. Mary. The Moselle hospital featured 250 beds, 72 of which were free. A 3-story nurses’ house, a power plant, and laundry were also built into the hospital.
Today Moselle is a shell of its former self, with only a few residents living in the nearby area. Urban explorers can find numerous abandoned buildings and old homes in the area, and walk the old remains of the train track that used to run near town.
Arlington, Missouri, a town about 15 miles north of Joplin, was founded around 1867. It became popular during the early 1900s when Route 66 was constructed. Like many ghost towns in Missouri on Route 66, the population nosedived when the more modern interstate system replaced the old two-lane highway.
Its ruins are still visible, including its giant swimming pool and dance hall. Its last residents are only 20 people. Today, the town has been incorporated into the nearby city of Newburg. You can visit the town and view the remains of the ruins of its once prosperous history.
3. Red Oak
Red Oak was settled in the early 1900s but was quickly abandoned for a more favorable location, known as Red Oak II. Red Oak II was designed by an artist who transformed a lonely cornfield into a quaint attraction along Route 66.
Red Oak II is one of the best ghost towns in Missouri along Route 66 to visit, with its restored pumping stations and numerous historic buildings. If you’re looking to stroll through the past don’t pass up Red Oak II.
4. Saint Annie
The unincorporated community lies just three miles east of Nebo on Missouri Route U. The community’s post office was established in 1878 and ceased operations at an unknown date. The community takes its name from Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary.
While St Annie isn’t the most exciting ghost town in Missouri, it does offer travelers a nice place to check out to find a mix of active, abandoned, and historic structures.
5. Times Beach
In 1982, the town of Times Beach, Missouri, suffered from the worst environmental disaster in US history. Residents had hired someone to spray a dust suppressant on the roads without knowing he was spraying waste oil and dioxin. When a major flood hit the town, the poison spread to water supplies and natural groundwater.. Despite the dust, residents continued to live in Times Beach.
It is estimated that Times Beach once numbered more than two thousand people. The Missouri state government cleared the town of its toxic waste and added a Route 66 State Park. In 1999, it opened a historical museum on the site and preserved several Times Beach homes. This park is easily accessible from I-44, exit 266.
Today, despite the ominous news, the spirit of Times Beach remains. Residents connect through social media sites and hold reunions. Times Beach’s mayor, Marilyn Leistner, says that she has questions about the evacuation. Many people left behind their homes, possessions, and way of life.
Of all the ghost towns in Missouri, Times Beach has one of the wildest stories. I’d highly recommend checking the area out if you’re nearby.
Status: Privately Owned
Garber got its start in the 1890s when Joel Garber settled the area with his family. He was a preacher and public speaker, making him a natural leader in the community. This leadership attracted residents which began settling in the area. By 1895 Garber had a post office and several buildings. After Joel passed, things began to decline, especially during the Great Depression.
Today all that’s left is the post office building and old school house which are now on private property.
Sligo was a small mining town built around an iron ore blast furnace designed by the Sligo Furnace Company. The industry brought in tons of work for miners, smelters, and supporting businesses. As the population increased Sligo expanded to include company homes, stores, a barbershop, and a school house.
The town was known for its drunken brawls and illicit activity outside of working hours. Moonshiners operated along the river and gambling was rampant across the saloons and street corners. Like most ghost towns in Missouri, when the demand for iron platued, the town quickly died off.
Today, there are a few abandoned homes in the area with some residents still living on the land in modern housing.
The abandoned town is a perfect example of a real-life ghost town. The town was abandoned after floods in 1993 destroyed most of the community. The area continuously floods during heavy rain, making it fairly inhospitable for any long-term settlements
Anything left of the town was swept away or buried underground. If you look closely in the area you can find old foundations and small signs of the life that once inhabited Wakenda.
The town was evacuated during the 1940s for the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, which processed uranium and manufactured dinitrotoluene and trinitrotoluene. While the town was abandoned, the area was never completely demolished.
In the 1930s, the town was cut off from the greater St. Louis area. While the Missouri Conservation Commission designated an area near the quarry as a restricted zone, no one has lived there for 70 years. Then in 1937, the Daniel Boone Bridge was built. The bridge helped southern St. Charles county gain access to St. Louis. The bridge helped provide jobs and opportunities to the southern part of the county. It also gave the U.S. Army a rural Missouri area for developing weapons.
The former Weldon Spring uranium processing plant is located 1.5 miles from the Hamburg Quarry. The former company processed uranium at the Weldon Spring site from 1957 to 1966 under a contract with the Atomic Energy Commission. The radioactive waste from the site was then dumped at a quarry near Hamburg. The site is now classified as a restricted area. The old plant’s building is now a museum, allowing visitors to visit the site.
Along with the museum, the Hamburg cemetery still has graves from the original settlers of the area.
Founded in 1898, the town’ started off as a small military community. It remained operational until 1941. The community got its name from the owner of the land, Mr. Blood. The town was eventually razed to build Ft. Leonard Wood. This left 304 landowners and residents angry and displaced.
Today there are few ruins left behind. The most notable aspect of Bloodland still left is the historic cemetery which is open to the public.
11. Far West
The area was settled by Latter-day Saints in 1831 where one square mile of land was secured for their church and religious structures. During its peak, the population grew to over 4,000 residents. By 1838 the community had over 150 homes, multiple stores, two hotels, and a printing press.
Today a few markers and historic statues mark the area where this community thrived, The area is sparsely populated and is among the quietest ghost towns in Missouri. Vistors can check out the active church as well as the temple that still stands today.
This old-fashioned fishing community has no visible buildings and is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and flowers. Its name came from a man named John Isbell, who was one of the wealthiest men in the area. There was a mill in town that produced whiskey and was the center of Jollification.
The town was once home to three general stores, a blacksmith shop, and a post office. The town’s post office and church were once the main hub for Jollification’s people, and wagons headed to southern Kansas stopped here to replenish their supplies.
In 1848, Thomas Isbell built a whiskey distillery, which led to the settlement of Jollification. It was named “Jolly Mill” due to the jovial disposition of its workers. The town survived the Civil War, but eventually fell victim to bypassing the town by a railroad. After the Civil War, the town was largely forgotten, but the mill still stands. The town is now a popular trout fishing destination.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of ghost towns in Missouri, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.
If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.