If you head west on I-20 from Fort Worth, Texas, after 75 miles you will come to a genuine ghost town called Thurber, You won’t see any tumbling tumbleweeds or creaking saloon doors. Matter of fact, much of the stuff that once made Thurber a hotspot of commerce is underground. In the early 1900s, Thurber was a coal-mining town, with 8,000 – 10,000 souls inhabiting its precinct. Miners were bringing bituminous coal to the surface. Bituminous is a better coal than lignite, but not as good as anthricite. The area is still rich in coal deposits, but nowadays who uses coal? Thurber declined as oil took over as the fuel of choice. All that is left of Thurber today is a restaurant, cemetery, church, a building used in the processing of coal and, most visible of all, the smokestack.
Also see my related entry about Dr. T. Lindsay Baker (May 2, 2010) http://www.wewillsee.us/?p=4656