Update, July 16:
A ghost town in Northern California sold for over a million dollars on Friday, July 13, to a group of investors from Los Angeles, according to SFGate. The website reports that a bidding war broke out over the abandoned property, with dozens of offers made before the final selling price of $1.4 million.
California is in the news a lot for the state’s skyrocketing housing costs — but did you know there’s an entire town up for sale for less than a million dollars?
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
That makes it less expensive than a home in the Bay Area that sold for $1.23 million back in April — despite being condemned.
The town is Cerro Gordo, just east of Lone Pine in Inyo County. It includes about 22 buildings that total about 24,000 square feet and 300 acres of mining claims, according to the property’s listing. And it could be all yours for $925,000.
“The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artifact looters and Mother Nature herself,” the listing reads, adding that Cerro Gordo was the first major mining camp south of the Sierra Nevada. “Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.”
The ghost town was privately owned by the same family for decades, the listing says, and the family “felt it was the right time to sell it,” Realtor Jake Rasmuson told Mental Floss.
Rasmuson added that there are no conditions attached to the sale, but he told the publication “one would hope that some of the history would be maintained and that it would still be open to the public.” Rasmuson also told Mental Floss that the property has already received interest, primarily from history buffs who’ve visited the ghost town.
In the 19th century, Cerro Gordo was a booming mining town that became known as the “silver thread” to Los Angeles, according to the town’s website. A 2006 Los Angeles Times story corroborates that account, noting that silver miners in Cerro Gordo shipped what they dug to Los Angeles.
Cerro Gordo’s heyday lasted from just after the Civil War until the late 1870s, when a fire and falling silver prices caused prospectors to abandon the mine, according to the town’s website.
However, mining operations revived in 1905 and continued for the next few decades, the website states.
The town’s late owner, Michael Patterson, told the Los Angeles Times that he intended to keep Cerro Gordo in a state of “arrested decay” in memory of his late wife, who grew up in Owens Valley, according to that story.
Want to check out Cerro Gordo, but don’t want to buy it? You can take a tour of the town until it’s sold.