An AMA with a guy who bought a California Ghost Town

I've never really understood the modern concept of "owning a town" — other than, ya know, terrible wannabe feudal lords.

But thanks a Reddit AMA this week, I've got a better idea of what exactly goes into owning and rebuilding up a deserted ghost town. Brent Underwood recently purchased the abandoned 22-building town of Cerro Gordo in California for $1.4 million dollars — not a bad price for a whole town, honestly, although it needs some work. Underwood was kind enough to answer some questions in the Reddit forum, and it's pretty enlightening to see how, exactly, he plans to make anything out of this desolate old mine-and-murder town. (It's also just interesting to see how he's meaning to survive his coronavirus quarantine in the snow without runing water.)

I read the whole thread, and my only disappointment was the lack of answers on how you make a ghost pay rent. But Jeff Goldblum did stop by one time, so I guess life, uhhh, finds a way.

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Overview of Cerro Gordo

A post shared by Cerro Gordo ( on Jul 12, 2018 at 7:29am PDT


IamA guy who bought a 22-building 'ghost town' over a year ago with a friend. It was once California's largest silver producer and had a murder a week. I've been up here for past 3 weeks quarantining and currently snowed-in with no way out of the town. AMA! [Reddit]

They Bought a Ghost Town for $1.4 Million. Now They Want to Revive It. Read the rest

For sale: (1) California ghost town

Nestled between two national parks, Sequoia and Death Valley, there is a ghost town for sale. For a little under a million dollars, you could own a piece of the American West: an abandoned silver mining town founded in 1867 called Cerro Gordo.

Mental Floss reports:

Located in Owens Valley near the town of Lone Pine, the $925,000 property comes with over 300 acres of land, mineral rights, and no shortage of peace and quiet. There are 22 structures on site, including a historic hotel, bunkhouse, saloon, chapel, and museum—plus all of the artifacts that come with it.

“The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artifact looters, and Mother Nature herself,” reads the listing, posted on a website specially created for the property that's aptly named “Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings, and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.”

From its listing:

Held by the same family for decades and only available for purchase now. The site has been extremely well protected from diggers. artifact looters and Mother Nature herself. Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings. and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.

The site is historic as the first major mining camp south of the Sierra Nevada. Cerro Gordo is a privately-owned Mining Town located in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine, California. The town was the silver thread to Los Angeles, being partially responsible for its growth and economic development.

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