Inside abandoned Death Valley ghost town with blood stains and bullet holes in the saloon that’s sold FOR £1MILLION


A GHOST town in Death Valley that’s still riddled with bullet holes and has blood stains in the saloon has been sold for £1million.

Cerro Gordo, an abandoned Wild West silver mining town, was a dangerous place in the 1870s, with at least one murder a week.

The rundown village surrounded by rugged terrain was bought by hospitality entrepreneur Brent Underwood and PR mogul Jon Bier
The rundown village surrounded by rugged terrain was bought by hospitality entrepreneur Brent Underwood and PR mogul Jon Bier
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The saloon, complete with swinging doors fit for a John Wayne film, is a haunting reminder of town’s deadly past.

With a piano covered with bullet holes and blood spattered on the walls, you would have to be brave to set foot inside the former watering hole.
But buyers Underwood and Bier have decided to take on the challenge and will invest a further £770,000 to conserve the old American town as a relic of the past.

The 22 decaying buildings still standing include a hotel, church which doubled as a cinema, general store, museum and a hoist house designed for mining.

Cerro Gordo, translated from Spanish as literally “Fat Hill”, is located 200 miles north of Los Angeles. Founded by Pablo Flores in 1865 who discovered the presence of silver, it became a hotspot for wandering prospectors who quickly began mining operations.

This ghost town 200 miles north of Los Angeles has been sold for around £1.1million
This ghost town 200 miles north of Los Angeles has been sold for around £1.1million
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It was considered the biggest producer of sliver and lead in the entirety of California by 1869.

The US Army even had to establish a fort in the region to protect the town from hostile Native Indian attacks.

The Los Angeles News stated in 1872: “What Los Angeles now is, is mainly due to Cerro Gordo trade”.

Falling prices for silver ended the mining activity, and despite a brief resurgence in 1900 when zinc became the new demand, by the 1950s the town was virtually abandoned.The 300-acre Lone Pine plot was once a prosperous mining town

The 300-acre Lone Pine plot was once a prosperous mining town

The abandoned site, which still bears the hallmarks of its mining past, spans around 24,000-square feet
The abandoned site, which still bears the hallmarks of its mining past, spans around 24,000-square feet
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Its new owners plan to transform Cerro Gordo into a major tourist attraction
Its new owners plan to transform the historic town of Cerro Gordo into a major tourist attraction
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Listing agent Jake Rasmuson of Bishop Real Estate eagerly explained that the town was “really part of the Wild West”.

“The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artefact looters and Mother Nature herself”.

The buyers, Brent Underwood and Jon Bier, concluded the deal by a spooky coincidence on Friday the 13th last week in “true ghost town fashion”

“[The date] was strictly by chance but very fitting for the property” said Rasmuson. As with any forlorn and abandoned location, there have also been many reported ghost sightings in the town, he added.

Around 20 rundown buildings still stand in the old mining town of Cerro Gordo
Around 20 rundown buildings still stand in the old mining town of Cerro Gordo
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Cerro Gordo is made up of a collection of abandoned mines in the Inyo Mountains in California
Cerro Gordo is made up of a collection of abandoned mines in the Inyo Mountains in California
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Workers mined silver, lead and zinc ore from its mines from 1866 until 1957
Workers mined silver, lead and zinc ore from its mines from 1866 until 1957
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Most of the metal mined from the caves was transported to Los Angeles
Most of the metal mined from the caves was transported to Los Angeles
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Since going on sale in early June Rasmuson claimed there had been hundreds of enquires for Cerro Gordo, with “about a dozen serious offers”.

Despite Underwood and Bier not even making the highest bid the property was eventually sold to them as the future they had planned for the town was the most appropriate.

The previous owners who have remained anonymous “really liked their vision”, which was “beneficial to the preservation and public use of the property”, Rasmuson clarified.

Underwood and Bier are planning on investing at least a further £770,000 towards their new venture, with the hope of being able to conserve the old American town as a relic of the past, but with the introduction of “amenities that will allow more people to enjoy this piece of American history”.

The buildings which remain in the city include a general store and the American Hotel
The buildings which remain in the city include a general store and the American Hotel
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Visitors will also notice many of the original carts miners once used to bring ore up to the surface, where it was smelted down
Visitors will also notice many of the original carts miners once used to bring ore up to the surface, where it was smelted down
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Early mining efforts in the region were very limited due to hostile relations with Native Americans
Early mining efforts in the region were very limited due to hostile relations with Native Americans
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Discovery of the silver ore is credited to Pablo Flores, who began mining near the summit of Buena Vista Peak in 1865
Discovery of the silver ore is credited to Pablo Flores, who began mining near the summit of Buena Vista Peak in 1865
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Long before the area was developed, Mexicans had been crawling the mountain they called Cerro Gordo looking for silver
Long before the area was developed, Mexicans had been crawling the mountain they called Cerro Gordo looking for silver
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The buildings still standing include the historic hotel, the Belshaw bunkhouse, hoist house and superintendent's home
The buildings still standing include the historic hotel, the Belshaw bunkhouse, hoist house and superintendent’s home
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Underwood, 31, was looking for a different business enterprise from his hostel in Austin, Texas.

With a plan to create a unique hospitality destination, Cerro Gordo may just fit the bill as an authentic mining town far from civilisation.

Underwood told the Chronicle that: “I’ve read all the books I can find on the town. I can’t express our excitement to be able to continue the care of this beautiful location”.

“We want to create a place that pays tribute to this historic part of American history”.

The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artefact looters and the elements
The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artefact looters and the elements
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Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay
Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay
Cover Images
Cover Images
Visitors must have prior permission to visit the town, which was put up for sale in June 2018
Visitors must have prior permission to visit the town, which was put up for sale in June 2018
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A number of decaying buildings are still standing
Cover Images

A number of decaying buildings are still standing[/caption]

The mining operation was partially responsible for the growth and economic development of LA
The mining operation was partially responsible for the growth and economic development of LA
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The entrepreneurs hope to add overnight accommodation, a restaurant, running water, a music studio and create attractions such as theatre, hiking and writing retreats.

One man to help them with the restoration is Robert Desmarais, the current caretaker of Cerro Gordo who has resided in the town as the sole occupant for 21 years.

Despite his wife leaving him as she couldn’t stand the hostile weather and solitude, Desmarais proudly stated: “I don’t even want to leave”.


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