The Story Behind This Ghost Town In Colorado Is Bizarre But True
If you are a Colorado history buff (or an avid Only in Colorado reader), you have probably come to notice that Colorado is home to hundreds of deserted ghost towns that have remained untouched and forgotten after all of these years. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence not only in Colorado, but around the world. However, when it comes to this one Colorado ghost town, the buildings and land were not only repurposed, but now serve as a vital location for biological research in the nation.
Nestled in Colorado's West Elk Mountains, the town of Gothic was once home to a thriving silver mine that operated from 1879 to 1896.
After the collapse of the silver boom, the town of nearly 1,000 was next-to abandoned, leaving behind only a handful of residents and 200 empty buildings.
During its heyday, the town of Gothic welcomed a number of dignified guests, including that of President Ulysses S. Grant (1880) and the wealthy "Bonanza King of Leadville" Horace Tabor, who financially backed the area newspaper.
In 1928, more than a decade after the town had been declared a ghost town, the land was purchased by Dr. John Johnson and converted into the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, which specializes in the research of climate change, ecology, the study of marmots, and more.
Today, an average of 160 scientists, professors, and students live in the former town during the summer.
Since it first opened in 1928, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory has had more than 1,500 scientific publications based on work conducted at the site.
Through the years, the outdoor research lab has welcomed such dignified guests as Professor Paul R. Ehrlich (author of the best-selling The Population Bomb), John P. Holdren (President Obama's National Science Advisor), and Michael Soulé (founder of Conservation Biology).
Discover even more ghost towns by taking
This Haunting Road Trip Through Colorado Ghost Towns.
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