Okay, technically, Scales is not yet a ghost town as one to two homes here are still occupied. However, the town is certainly a shadow of its former self and is well on the way to “ghost town” status.
Scales is a part of that remote band of rapidly decaying (and often already disappeared) Gold Rush era towns, such as Poker Flat, Howland Flat and Port Wine, spanning the Plumas National Forest that I find so fascinating.
Unfortunately, I have less information on Scales than I do on some of the other towns in the area. This is due to a lack of contacts that are knowledgeable about Scales as well as a lack of written material in my possession that covers Scales. As with the other towns in this series, I will update these articles as more information comes in.
Welcome to Scales:
This is one of the homes (perhaps the only one?) that is still occupied in Scales:
I have seen it reported that this is a former hotel in Scales, but I cannot verify that:
The cemetery at Scales:
A view down into the area of hydraulic mining on the edge of Scales:
I know that at least one of the mining operations in Scales was named the “Neocene Mine”.
If you wish to visit Scales, the town is easily accessible via a 2WD vehicle and the GPS coordinates are N39 35.894 W120 59.546.
It is interesting to me that there are so many of these sites around us that we pass by regularly and know nothing about.
Consider just the ghost towns in Yuba County… The above is not in Yuba County (the next county over), but I mention Yuba County as I knew nothing about these former towns listed below despite having grown up there and having an interest in history:
Abbott House | Algodon | Bartons House | Bliss | Bullards Bar | California House | Camp Pendola | Cape Horn Bar | Condemned Bar | Coombs | Cordua Bar | Depot Hill | Egan | Empire House | English Bar | Erle | Foster Bar | Frenches Ravine | Galena Hill | Galena House | Garden Valley | Golden Ball | Honkut | Huntington | Hutchins | Kentucky Ranch | Landers Bar | Lasslys | Lewis | Malay Camp | Marigold | Martins House | Mission | Mount Hope House | New York Flat | New York House | New York House Flat | New York Ranch | Newbert | Oak Grove | Oakland | Oliver | Oso | Plumas | Plumas Landing | Prairie Diggings | Prairie House | Prairie House | Rail Road Hill | Reed Junction | Round Tent | Seneca House | Sweet Vengeance | Taisida | Youngs Hill | Yuba | Yuba County House
As far as I know, there is little to no trace of any of these towns left aside from maybe the name of a road. It makes me sentimental to think about these towns and their former inhabitants – The lives lived and lost, love found and then faded, plans, schemes and dreams formed and faded, conversations we’ll never know about, knowledge gained and now lost forever…
I suppose it is as the French say: Tout passé, tout cassé, tout lassé. Everything passes, everything breaks, everything wears out. Life is transient. We are but brief motes in time. The world about us will decay and vanish when the sun goes supernova. Everything we achieve or create will one day be dust.
Haha. I did not intend for that to turn into an epitaph for ghost towns. As I said earlier, I’ll update this Scales article when I have more information.