When the government said we should isolate, Brent Underwood followed instructions perhaps a little too much.

In 2018, the former investment banker bought the California ghost town, Cerro Gordo for $1.4M, an entire town for the price of an apartment in other places in the country.

Out in Death Valley, Cerro Gordo is a former silver-mining community built in the 19th-century.

Brent's been stuck in the town for about 6 months, after the road to the town was snowed in, and then you know, a pandemic hit.

During an AMA on Reddit, he said the town has about 30 miles of mining shafts, which he explores for 3-4 hours a day.

"I find all sorts of things from the past, and I really like it," he wrote. "I keep them all in this small 'museum' I'm making. Dynamite boxes, old clothing, pocket watches."

What he hopes to find is a pair of Levi jeans. Being the first pair was made in California, for silver-miners in 1873.

"They are THE thing to find for denim collectors and Levi corporate can buy them back for close to $100k ($139,000) because they're so rare. They've found original Levi's here before in the mines and in the buildings. So I know they're here. I just have to find them."

Being a 19th-century mine town, there's some interesting stories he's talked about, including:

  • Butch Cassidy once hid out in the town for an extended period of time
  • 30 miners were trapped in the cave beneath the building he lives in (One can only assume he deals with the occasional wendigo), and the bodies are sadly still trapped.
  • A murder a week during the town's busiest times, between robbers, alcohol, and looking for personal fortune.

The plan is to restore the town for people to come and stay in one of the 22 buildings. The church, hotel, and general store are still standing.

He's been documenting his time on YouTube and Instagram.

"I came up here in mid-March to act as a caretaker. I imagined coming up for a few weeks. It's been over 6 months now. During that time here was a few snowstorms, a devastating fire, earthquakes, a flood that washed out the road, and a lot more."

Read more at 1News

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