Weston – The National Accelerator Laboratory Ghost Town

The town of Weston in Illinois has a strange history. The area has a rich pioneer past but with the move from the cities to new towns in the 1960’s providing development potential, plans were drawn up to turn Weston into a city of 50,000 with all the conveniences required by such a community.

Surrounding areas were not so keen on the idea however and local DuPage county officials mounted a legal challenge which ultimately led to the plans for turning Weston into a city being withdrawn and it was instead incorporated as a town. That decision was soon overturned however and it became a village once again.

Hoping to grow the village, the local council submitted a letter of interest to the Atomic Energy Commission who were looking for a location for their national laboratory. Weston was placed on a final shortlist of 6 locations and was eventually selected by the AEC as the site for the National Accelerator Laboratory.

The villagers celebrated what they thought was a major victory however their delight soon turned to despair as it was realised the plan for the laboratory included the village itself. With no alternative, the residents were forced to leave and Weston was abandoned. The National Accelerator Laboratory is now located on the site.

Location: Weston, Illinois, USA

Category: Ghost Town

Abandoned: 1966

A map of Weston and the accelerator

A sign welcoming people to Weston

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