On my only other visit to Shafter, the church door was unlocked and I was able to get some photos inside. I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to shooting inside there again, in muted light this time, until I discovered the door I’d gone in before was locked. And so were all the others. It was a disappointment.
But at least I got to see this, on the back of the church.
It’s mostly a ghost town now, but at one point the place had six silver mines and a population of around 4,000. (The 2000 census listed the population at 11; I’d guess that by now the population is in single digits.)
But the cemetery is sizable. It’s also rugged, with cactus and mesquite trees alongside rocked-topped graves. Most of the graves are marked with simple wooden crosses, none of which have any identifying information on them. And, oddly, in a town with almost no inhabitants, the paint on most of the crosses appears to be fairly new. But someone paints them…