‘The Town Averaged a Murder a Week': A Ghost Town With Some Skeletons in Its Closet

Cerro Gordo, a ghost town near the Inyo Mountains, has been purchased for more than its $925,000 asking price

This ghost town ain't big enough for the both of us.

Cerro Gordo, an abandoned mining town south of the Sierra Nevada near the Inyo Mountains, is officially off the market.

With over 24,000-square-feet of buildings remaining and over 300 acres of patented mining claims, the ghost town was privately owned by a family for decades until the sale this June. 

The abandoned property was listed at $925,000 and Jake Rasmuson of Bishop Real Estate said it sold above asking price. 

It's been abandoned since the early 20th century. In its peak in the 1860s, Cerro Gordo was the largest producer of silver and lead in California. 


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"In its heyday the town averaged a murder a week," Rasmuson said. "In the Bellshaw Bunkhouse, one of the former owners of the town had an escape tunnel out for labor disputes."

Standout buildings include the the hoist house, the hotel and the traditional saloon.

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"You are sitting in a piece of an old American Wild West saloon," Rasmuson said. "There are gunshot holes and bullet holes still in the walls of the saloon."

Tourists previously were welcomed to explore Cerro Gordo but had to obtain permission prior to the visit. That is expected to remain the same under the new ownership. 

The new owner's top priorities are preserving the town and adding a hospitality element to it, Rasmuson added. 

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