Red Mountain Town is a bit of an enigma and is a hard townsite to identify. The final resting place of Red Mountain Town is equal distance between Oury and Silverton Colorado off of U.S. Highway 550. However; the town was moved once and burnt twice. Meaning you can find a few versions of Red Mountain Town. The Denver Times described the town by saying “Red Mountain was the mecca for all who were allured into the San Juan by the fickle goddess of fortune.”
The original town was settled in 1879 when a group of silver deposits were found nearby. At that time it was a small mining camp and went by the name of Sky City. The camp was below the National Belle Mine; however, it would later be relocated. This is because the residents of Sky City first built their camp in wintertime when the ground was frozen solid. Once spring came around the townsite became swampy, fly-infested, and messy.
At the same time, several other settlements and tent cities were also being established in the Red Mountain Pass, including Barilla and Rogersville. Which were also situated below the National Belle Mine.
A surveyor from Silverton Colorado made his way to Rogersville and plotted out the first town plat. It was comprised of four streets and one business. Around this time the people from Sky City decided it was time to get out of the swamp. They packed up and relocated directly next to the Rogersville townsite. This was only a move of a few hundred yards, but it made all the difference for the miners of Red Mountain Town. They were closer to Otto Mears’ toll road (the million-dollar highway) and the National Belle Mine. Not to mention away from the increasingly swampy conditions of the then defunct Sky City.
They had established a town company and petitioned for a post office. The post office was established in January 1883; despite the fact that it was primarily made of tents and had few permanent wooden structures. When the post office was established, it was the first settlement to dawn the name “Red Mountain Town”. In short order, the town had two newspapers, numerous homes, a hotel (The Hudson House), and a multiple story Saloon called the “Assembly Club”. By this time the town of Red Mountain had incorporated the surrounding communities of, Sky City, Sweetville, and Rogersville.
Meanwhile back in Barilla; a competitive townsite had quietly been building up a little further north and today rests on the north side of the Million Dollar Highway (U.S. Highway 550). This town was less than a mile away and decided to take the name “Red Mountain City”. This was controversial and was intentionally designed to irritate the residents of “Red Mountain Town”. Keep in mind that all of the communities in the Red Mountain Mining District were competitive, but the proximity and similar names made the rivalry even more bitter between these two camps.
Almost immediately there was confusion between the two settlements. Shipments of supplies would be incorrectly delivered and seldom were returned. Several disputes were recorded concerning misunderstood deeds and bank transactions. To exacerbate the confusion, both newspapers referred to their town as “Red Mountain”. Acting as though “Town” or “City” were never a part of either town's name. The editors of each newspaper would exchange weekly barbs through open letters, editorials, and occasionally direct accusations.
The entire Red Mountain Mining district was talking about this rivalry. The naming dispute was finally put to an end when Red Mountain City petitioned for a post office. The U.S. Postal Service chooses to call the town “Congress”. Because the town was closest to the “Congress Mine”. The newly coined town of Congress was the loser in more ways than one. This is due to the fact that most of the silver deposits were on the south side of the Million Dollar Highway. By 1887; just 8 years after the feud began, only a few residents remained in Congress and Red Mountain City was a thing of the past.
It seemed as though the miners of Red Mountain Town and the National Belle Mine had a limitless supply of luck. Especially, when in 1887 they found a massive cavern filled with gold and silver. The lucrative find was reported across the United States. Overnight international investors began to pour money into the town and mine. By 1888 the Silverton Railroad was connected to Red Mountain Town. They were happily boasting as having “an escape-proof jail”. Basically; they had come a long way from their humble ad swampy beginnings.
Despite all of the civic improvements it only had a population of 598, by 1890. The town had a reputation as one of the roughest towns in the Red Mountain District. However; at its peak it hit 1,000 citizens and had numerous saloons and a theater.
In the summer of 1892 a fire began in the kitchen of the Red Mountain Hotel. It quickly spread through the wood structures, in spite of the brave efforts of the volunteer firemen and residents. The fire destroyed the majority of the town. By the time it stopped burning all 15 buildings along Main Street were gone. In-fact only the depot and the jail survived. The gritty group of residents that remained soon rebuilt the town. The town suffered its second fire in 1899, at that time, only 12 citizens remained in the town.
Red Mountain Town saw a brief resurgence in 1901. Along with most of the towns in the Red Mountain District. Many people predicted that the town and the mines would thrive again but they never did. At this time, several of the area mines were consolidated into the Idarado Mining Company (later to be acquired by The Newmont Gold Company). The National Belle, Guson, Terusry, Congress, and dozens of other mines were all consolidated. The new mining operation eventually created 100s of miles of tunnels. So extensive that they still connect below the city of Telluride and the remains of Red Mountain Town.
The town limped by until the Idarado mines and mill closed in 1978. At this point, Red Mountain Town was primarily used for seasonal and short-term housing for the miners. In 1983 the State of Colorado filed suit against the Idarado Mining Co. for natural resource damages and the subsequent lead poisoning. A few people remained in Red Mountain Town until 1986, when a study (financed by the Idarado Mining Co.) found 7% of the children tested in the area had above average lead levels, in 1993 the Centers for Disease Control concluded that the lead levels were 3% higher than previously thought and reported.
Today, the Newmont Mining Company (formerly the Newmont Gold Company) and the State of Colorado are working to remove lead, acids, zinc, and heavy metals from the region and its water supply. They are pioneering new methods of revegetation that will one day; hopefully, cover the tailing piles that litter the valley.
The remains of Red Mountain Town can be seen from the top of Red Mountain Pass, 13 miles South of Ouray. For a closer look, the Red Mountain District can be accessed with an ATV or high clearance vehicle on County Road 31; 12.8 miles south of Ouray.
Map of the Area:
While returning from a visit to Glenwood Springs we stopped for gas in the sweet little Mountain town of Gypsum Colorado. Gypsum is a relatively new city, which celebrated its centennial in 1982. Unlike most of the towns in the region, it is not a mining town. In fact, its primary industry is agriculture, specifically potatoes.
I found this unique little two-story abandoned home captivating. You don’t normally see an abandoned home off a major intersection, next to a brand new service station. It turns out this property was occupied as soon as 2017. In fact, the last owner operated a taco truck off the land, it was appropriately “The Orange Taco Truck”. From what I understand it had amazing salsa, but the food trucks life was short lived.
The house dates back to the 1930’s; however; the adjacent cabin appears older. The cabin has been well kept and shows signs of recent restoration. While the home shows signs of neglect; buckling roof, ancient shingles, and likely filled with asbestos or led paint.
My best guess is this property was sold for redevelopment or was condemned by the city. Judging by the byt the age of the property and the size of the lot, I feel this house has more of a story to tell. Unfortunately, little records exist; however, I was glad to have captured the house before it is leveled and repurposed. If you know anything additional about the property and its history please comment below.
As we explored a local Canyon, an old homestead caught our eye and we decided to take a closer look. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find an expansive property, with many signs of American settlers and historic wagon trails. I was surprised at how much historical information was available about the property and how well preserved it was.
In 1894, Patrick and Margaret Lucas paid $10 for this 160-acre homestead. For nearly 50 years they lived and worked here, raising a family of eight children and building many structures that continue to give us clues and inspire stories about life on a historic western homestead.
The Lucas home is built of concrete, an unusual choice for the time when most homes were made of wood. However; it allows us to have a glimpse into the life of an 1800's homesteaders. Since Margaret left the property in 1941, the house was empty but intact. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed much of the house years ago, but what remains gives us an idea of its original size and hints about the interior and exterior. For example, the opening in the back wall gives historians insights into what the family ate, what they used to heat the house, and what types of local medicines were made.
The Apple Tree planted by Patrick and his children can still be seen on the north side of the property. They still bear fruit in autumn and have been here for over 100 years. Each spring, On the eastern side of the property, you can see Margaret's lilacs bloom. Perfuming the air around rock outcroppings that her children once played on.
The 160-acre estate fell into abandonment for more than 100 years. Eventually, the descendants of the Lucas family donated the land to an organization called "Friends of Castlewood Canyon". Later the property was sold to the state of Colorado and was added to the adjacent state park, "Castlewood Canyon State Park".
In the early 1980s, Mike Tyson owned a monstrous mansion in, Ohio. The world heavyweight champion boxer built this 13,500-square-foot mansion in order to be near the facility of his promoter, Don King.
By 1988, he was at the top of the boxing world and throughout those years he lived in this garish mansion. Purchasing cars, expensive clothing, and many other things, including a $2 million bathtub (featured below).
The Ohio estate included lavishly decorated rooms with imported crystal chandeliers; it had five-bedrooms, tigers in cages, a full kitchen, and a mini-kitchen. His pool was larger than most houses. On the floors stretched zebra print carpets. The structure was garish, the rooms were huge, and the light flooding through the windows was a relief from the fluorescent track lighting.
The later abandoned mansion was Tyson’s home until March 26, 1992, when he was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for the rap and sexual assault of a member of the “Miss Black America Pageant”. Tyson was 25 at the time of the crime. He was sent to the Plainfield Correctional Facility.
Tyson was released three years later, but he was convicted again, this time for a traffic accident in 1998. Directly after the accident, he assaulted two motorists. He was sentenced to another year in prison. When he got out, he continued to struggle financially and was forced to put the Ohio mansion on the market.
In 2003, Tyson filed for bankruptcy. On the TV talk show The View, Tyson said he was “destitute and broke”. Tyson’s mansion sat abandoned throughout this time.
In 2010 Tyson’s mansion had a chance to be occupied. When it was purchased by the entrepreneur and businessman Paul Monea. For a steal at $1.3 million, but Monea never lived in the house. Monea was under investigation for money laundering. The FBI set up a sting by acting as a connection to a drug lord. Monea was arrested and eventually convicted of conspiracy and money laundering. He remained in prison until this year (2018).
Mike Tyson’s mansion sat abandoned partially due to its location and partly due to its size. Not many people wanted to spend this much to live in the Ohio countryside. The mansion remained empty until 2015 when a local church acquired the property through donation. Thankfully it has found a new use and did not go to waste.
If you've seen the videos of the abandoned millionaire mansion once owned by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, take a look at how magnificent the mansion was before it fell into a state of disrepair. This video also shows some footage of the recording studio.
Click here to see what the mansion looked like before it was abandoned. Thanks to YouTube creator GM for the property information below:
The manor house was originally built for the Bishop of Reading in 1580. Other parts have been built on at various times since. The house sits on 25 acres of grounds in south Oxfordshire, 6 miles from Reading. The house has seen many owners, some notable owners have been:
Sir Charles Clore who was one of Britain’s most successful post-war businessmen who owned a pharmaceutical company and later Selfridges.
Alvin Lee, vocalist and lead guitarist of the blues-rock band Ten Years After, bought the house in 1972 and built a recording studio in what was then a dairy and originally a barn at the side of the house which he named Space Productions. Lee also built a squash court which caused some structural problems and the building had to be knocked down. The recording studio is now housed in a purpose built building through the timber and some other materials used, came from the old dairy.
David Gilmour of Pink Floyd bought the house in 1980, Gilmour also used it to record some of Pink Floyd’s music in the studio. In 1987 David Gilmour sold the house to Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley of West Side Productions, producers of Madness and Morrissey.
Music producer, songwriter, musician and singer, Trevor Horn bought the house in the 1990s, Horn named the recording studio Sarm West Studios.
Mark White then bought the house in 2007. Mark White set up a production company and continued to use the recording studio commercially, the production company was dissolved in 2014 though it is believed that the studio has since remained in use. It’s not clear how long the manor house was unoccupied for but between 2007 and 2017 the house seemed to be neglected and fell into disrepair.
Several major rock bands have recorded albums at the studios. These include Manic Street Preachers' Gold Against the Soul, The Cure's Disintegration and Mixed Up, and Marillion’s Seasons End and Holidays in Eden. Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, Kaiser Chiefs, Jamiroquai, and Spandau Ballet also recorded at the studio.
David Gilmour used one of the large outbuildings at the back of the house to store the inflatable Pink Floyd pig.
The main blue bathroom suite dates from around 1900 and was manufactured by Royal Doulton who asked Trevor Horn if they could buy it back to put it in their museum. It would seem that Horn declined to sell it back to Royal Doulton!
Alvin Lee supposedly moved out due to the manor house is centuries old, he found it impossible to heat properly in the winter and something always needed repairing. He also reportedly said he found it ridiculous living in such a large house.
The Manor House is reported to be haunted and David Gilmour moved out when allegedly his wife could not stand the ghosts anymore!
Trevor Horn moved out after his wife was accidentally shot in the grounds of the manor. She suffered irreversible brain damage when son Aaron was practicing with his air rifle, not realizing his mother was close by.
It is believed that Mark White still owns the manor house which is now undergoing renovation work.
Thank you for visiting! This is a collection of media from the lost and abandoned corners of the world. Please have a look around, I hope you enjoy.