This Man Bought A $1.4M Ghost Town And Self Isolated There During The Pandemic Lockdown For Over 6 Months

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This man spent his life savings and bought this ghost town. Initially, when he bought it he planned to stay there for 3-4 weeks but had little idea that he would have to self isolate there for six months. Now six months of living along, Brent has managed to renovate a few buildings and has started working on his project of turning this town into an attractive tourist site. Oh, and did we tell you that actual ghosts also reside in this town?

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Meet Brent Underwood who spent his life savings on buying this ghost town for his dream project!

Brent Underwood is a 31-year old entrepreneur who not only owns a ghost town but also chose to live in it. Brent along with his friend Jon Bier, bought a ghost town called Cerro Gordo back in 2018 for a whopping 1.4 million dollars.

The man spent not only his life savings on this investment but money from his partner John, friends, and clients too in hopes of transforming this ghost town into a beautiful tourist spot. 

However, little did Brent know that in 2020 he would be stuck here in this ghost town for a period of six months. The plan was initially to self-isolate in Cerro Gordo for 3-4 weeks because he assumed that is how long the pandemic lockdown would last.  He ended up staying there for 6 months now—first because of the snowstorm and the pandemic, and then because he fell in love with the place.

Image credits: Ghost Town Living
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Brent and his friend Jon bought the 300-acre ghost town in 2018 for $1.4M in hopes of rebuilding it and making it into a tourist attraction

So, Cerro Gordo, the 300-acre ghost town, used to be the largest silver producer in California with about 4,000 people across 400 houses. Over its entire history, the inhabitants managed to mine around 17 million dollars worth of silver—500 million bucks today after adjusting for inflation. The mines ran dry, and so did the town. Brent is now the only resident in a 22-building town—along with 7 cats, and 4 goats.

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During the COVID pandemic, Brent stayed in this town to start working on his project

Brent recently took to Reddit for AMA (Ask Me Anything) session and did a Youtube video, urging people to ask him anything question given his unique experience. 

“The more time you spend in Cerro Gordo, the more it enchants you,” explained Brent. “It’s weird to say that out loud that a property can do that, but, like, maybe see it in the video, it looks beautiful, but here, there’s something about this place, it casts a spell on you, this is the only place you wanna be.”

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At first, he thought he’ll be there for several weeks, but ended up spending 6 months there

The six months Brent spent at the ghost town, he did not let his time go in vain instead he worked on many projects, he’s reworked the bunkhouse into a place for people to stay in, cleaned up and restored the former garage-turned-chapel, transformed a shed into a simple and cozy writer’s retreat, and turned the general store into a museum to exhibit all the cool things he found on site.

The most important task he has done so far is restoring the town’s water supply system. The town has a 900-foot-deep mine shaft with a hoist from the 1800s. He teamed up with some of the more distant locals and went down 700 feet to find the spring used for the water supply. They replaced the pump, restored over 500 feet of piping, and now the town has running water for the first time in almost 15 years.

Image credits: Ghost Town Living

He has cleaned and renovated 22 buildings so far!

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There’s a general store he’s looking to transform into a museum to house all of the stuff found onsite

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Brent has already explored a number of mines in this ghost town

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He managed to find many old treasures including leftover denim clothes, a rusted gun, and even dynamite!

Image credits: Ghost Town Living

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Among the many projects he did around the ghost town, the biggest one is restoring the water supply

“Our goal is to maintain the historical nature of the property and respect the piece of history,” Brent in an interview with NBC. “We want to continue this piece of American history.”

Now, this is no task undertaken by a single person and Brent took help from his friends. But mostly he has been doing everything alone in a town whose location is not easy to access: “Out here, you learn to depend on yourself. If you forget something, too bad. Figure it out. If you don’t have the right screw, figure out some other way.”

While cleaning up the buildings and the town in general, besides finding scrapes and junks, Brent also found many valuable museum treasures. These include an old rusted pistol, denim mining clothes (jeans and jacket), various tools and hats, pots, pans, utensils, even leftover dynamite in the mines.

Image credits: Ghost Town Living

Some distant locals offered help with replacing the underground water pump using the 1800s hoist (seen below) to go down a 900-foot mine shaft

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There’s only one house in the whole town that has a functioning stove, as well as a bathtub and a toilet

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The 1871 American Hotel, unfortunately burnt down due to old wiring, a Patreon fundraiser is now up to restore the loss

It is obvious that Brent's six-month stay in Cerro Gordo was not easy. There was also a crown jewel of the town, the American Hotel, which has stood there since 1871, has burned down due to some tinkering with 100-year-old wiring. Then there was an earthquake that shook things a little bit and an extreme hail storm that damaged the road and the power supply.

Oh and to top it all, the town is believed to be home of many ghosts. One day, Brent went down to the bulk house and noticed that the light was on in the kitchen—the curtain moved and a face peeked out. At first, he thought that was the contractors but soon found out that they had left weeks ago. After locking the door, he noticed how the light turned back on again despite the house being locked. Needless to say, he has been reluctant to enter it since then.

Image credits: Ghost Town Living

Brent thinks the town is called 'ghost town' in a literal sense

Since the 6-month update, all of this went viral with the YouTube video garnering over 645,000 views, and his AMA drawing in over 40,000 upvotes and 4,600 comments.

Brent plans to continue living in the town working for another month until winter comes and continuing work in the spring. His plan is to have it all open for next summer.

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The town even has a chapel—a former mining equipment garage before the mines dried up

Besides his YouTube channel, he also has an Instagram where he also posts updates and lucky finds, and he has also launched a Patreon to fund the rebuilding of the American Hotel, so consider checking it all out.

Image credits: Ghost Town Living

Brent saw a face and curtains move in the window of the bulk house weeks after the contractors stayed there

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Watch Brent’s recap of his 6-month experience in the ghost town

Interaction Brent had on AMA on Reddit with people

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