This Picture of a Weathered Sign Shows The Creeping Hints of Ghost Towns

school ghost town

By Heather Callaghan

There is argument over what currently constitutes a full blown ghost town – total abandonment typically due to economic crises. Author Lambert Florin, however, once wrote that a ghost town is simply “a shadowy semblance of a former self.”

The sign above promised potential home buyers that a thriving school would serve their children when they moved in. The catch-22 of it is – the school needed home buyers in order to be built. The sign is actually more of a foreshadowing into a bleak outlook for a part of Roseville, California and a reminder of what might have been.

Slowly but surely, residents of West Roseville are coming out of denial about a school for which they’ve been waiting to arrive for nine years. So long, that some of their children have long since grown beyond high school age. The parents who moved there with  younger or unborn children still hold out hope as they hear assurances it will be built…give it more time. Still, the lot adjacent to Bob Doyle Drive with a sign that reads “Planned site of Roseville Joint Union High School,” is a symbol of a broken promise, in the words of KCRA news. Parents will finally confront current administrators tonight in a meeting – but they are already being told not to hold their breath.

The other catch-22 is that the sign that taunts them represents dropping home values as a result of the empty lot, much like abandoned business buildings scare away new residents. And new residents are needed in order to start and support businesses. But in order to justify the new school the expectation was for 25,000 homes to be built – much more than the 4,000 currently there. While that’s not exactly a ghost town, it shows an economic stand-off that could unravel the town’s main threads.

This conflict is similar to news this past summer that a Utah city declared a state of emergency as it was fading into a ghost town. It demanded federal attention and relaxed standards on restricted land use. When the economy forces people to huddle back into congested cities it pulls from both home-building and the area school systems which could fail for lack of attendance (funding). (Another side effect is that a vacuum is then created allowing federal workers to foist Common Core standards by waving money if they enact them.)

Ben Dalton, Garfield County School District superintendent in Utah had summarized the problem:

We do know we do not have economic development in our communities. We need economic development. Without jobs we don’t have families, without families we don’t have students.

Are these signs just more symptoms of a disappearing middle class and a menacing presence of Agenda 21?

Photo: Mike TeSelle/KCRA

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan

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