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It's the kind of story you think is the premise for a horror film, but Brent Underwood has spent the last six months in an abandoned ghost town called Cerro Gordo.

In 2018, Brent Underwood and his business partner spent his life savings on an abandoned ghost town in California called Cerro Gordo. Then, in March of 2020, he decided to stay there for a few weeks to avoid the coronavirus lockdown and temporarily relieve the then caretaker who wanted to spend time with his wife.

Shortly after he moved in, a snowstorm struck, effectively cutting him off from civilisation. Instead of seeing this a bad thing, Underwood embraced the situation and started making plans to revive the town.

In its heyday, Cerro Gordo was California's largest mining town, with around 5,000 residents. It was founded in 1865 but soon became notorious for its murder rate. Law enforcement from Los Angeles, three hours away, refused to go to the town, and the miners were left to their own devices. At the height of the rush, one person a week on average was murdered there.

It's been about 100 years since the silver dried up and everyone left. It's changed hands a few times, but now that Underwood owns it, he wants to turn it into a historic hospitality town.

Over the last six months, with the occasional help of out-of-town volunteers, he's started the process of rebuilding. Most of the work he does himself, teaching himself new skills as he goes. His latest project is to get running water to the town from a water source at the bottom of a 700-foot mine shaft.

This is an epic tale of finding a purpose in isolation. Underwood's goal is to keep the history of the town in the minds of everyone, where they can come for an overnight stay and see how the miners lived in the late 1800s.

To find out more about Cerro Gordo and the remarkable Brent Underwood, then smash the play button below and enjoy the show.

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