Remote California ghost town on sale for less than two-bed flat in London

Joanna Whitehead

A ghost town in California’s remote Inyo Mountains could be yours for less than $1m.

The nineteenth century mining town, Cerro Gordo, comes with over 300 acres of land, mineral rights and 22 structures, including a historic hotel, chapel, saloon, museum and bunkhouse.

The town has 22 structures (ghosttownforsale.com)

Priced at $925,000, the historic town was the first major mining camp south of the Sierra Nevada and served as the “silver thread” to Los Angeles, being partially responsible for its growth and economic development.

After being held in private hands for decades, the family who owns it were reported to have simply said “it felt it was the right time to sell it.”

“The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artefact 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,” reads the listing on the specially devised website for the sale named ghosttownforsale.com.

While there are no conditions attached to the purchase of the property, real estate agent Jake Rasmuson said “one would hope that some of the history would be maintained and that it would still be open to the public.”

According to the town’s website, Mexican miners who scoured the region in search of silver before it became a profitable mine named it Cerro Gordo, which means “Fat Hill”. In 1865, a mining site began operation nearby, attracting legions of prospectors to the town.

In 1868, a businessman named Mortimer Belshaw brought the first batch of silver to Los Angeles before building a toll road to support the growing industry. A year later, the mine was the biggest producer of silver and lead in California.

It was eventually abandoned in the 1880s following a fire and the declining cost of silver.

A report about the restoration of the site claimed that in the 1860s and 70s, Cerro Gordo saw one murder a week. In the same report, the property’s previous owner said that the only sound around “is the whistle of the wind blowing through all the bullet holes in every building up here.”

History buffs and those tempted to recreate their own Wild West experience can contact Bishop Real Estate in Bishop, California, for more information.