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The remote town, sitting high in the desert
mountains close to the Death Valley Nati
onal Park, has an excruciatingly
slow Internet connection, scant cellphone signal and the dubious honor
of becoming one of last places in America not to be hooked up with
A census from 2010, found the town to have just 43 residents across 28 households - and no one under the age of 18. The town sign claimed 50 people lived in Darwin - but no one can verify this as the plaque has been stolen.
Snail mail: With no broadband connection in Darwin, California the residents must make do with the postal service or excruciatingly slow dial-up connections
The back of beyond: Abandoned cars litter the small community of Darwin where most people live in trailers or reclaimed mining shacks
Only 3 per cent of Americans must make do with a dial-up Internet connection these days and the few citizens of Darwin are among them, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
John Rothgeb, 67, who has lived in Darwin since the Seventies, told the Los Angeles Times that he accepted sacrifices must be made when you live somewhere as remote - and with such unspoiled natural beauty - as Darwin.
However he then told the Times: 'I understand that you have to give up certain things to live in a beautiful area like this.
'But I didn't move here to get away from everybody .'
The town was established by American explorer Dr Darwin French in 1874 after he discovered silver ore deposits in the mountains, just south of Death Valley.
Ghost town: Darwin claims to have 50 residents - although a 2010 census reported just 43. Although no one knows exactly as this sign has been stolen from the highway
Barren land: At the height of its mining boom in the late 19th century around 700 people lived in the town of Darwin
California dreaming: Darwin can be hard to find because the town no longer has a sign after it was stolen - and cellphone reception is non-existent
Just a year later, 700 people were
living in the town where around 20 mines were discovered - the
population peaked in 1877 at several thousand people.In its heyday,
Darwin was buzzing with saloon bars, general stores and brothels.
In many other ghost towns across the U.S.,
when the industry has died, life in the town has also disappeared.
However in Darwin, a small community of artists and those preferring
life in the wilderness, has remained. The population is made up of
mainly couples and no one under the age of 18 lives in the beauty spot.
There are no stores to buy anything and
nowhere to stay - the nearest supermarket is 90 miles away. The small
community has only a local post office where residents can gather to
pass the time of day. And even this is in danger of closing next year.
Residents have asked their Internet provider
Verizon to install broadband in the town but for now, the cost outweighs
the demand for the company. There are government plans to extend
broadband to more remote areas across the U.S. by next year - but Darwin
still remains too far out.
Keeping a sense of humour: An 'Occupy Darwin' sign is pinned to the ramshackle home with a few plastic seats for residents
On the road: The nearest supermarket to Darwin is 90 miles away - and Internet shopping is nearly impossible for residents because of the slow Internet connection
Free spirits: Darwin has attracted a small
community of artists and those who prefer to live on the edge of
Going nowhere fast: Darwin sits high in the desert mountains close to the Death Valley National Park
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