Eagle Mountain, California, a ghost town situated about 90 minutes from Palm Springs, just landed a new owner.
According to documents obtained by SFGATE, a mystery buyer purchased the desert town for $22.5 million on April 17. All that was listed about the buyer was something called Ecology Mountain Holdings, an LLC with nothing but a Cerritos, California business address. The seller was an Ontario, California company called Eagle Mountain Acquisition LLC. An anonymous employee of the town’s former owner told the outlet that a “for sale” sign at Eagle Mountain’s entrance promised rock products and minerals to lure potential buyers.
The remains of the town include a few hundred abandoned structures that were former homes, businesses, and community centers. Hollywood has filmed several movies at Eagle Mountain including in a scene for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet which featured mechanical wreckage.
Eagle Mountain was formerly a company town for Kaiser Steel where about 4,000 residents lived just outside of Joshua Tree Nation Park. Most of the inhabitants worked for the mine in search of iron ore. It eventually shuttered in 1981 when Kaiser Steel Corporation’s board of directors announced it would begin phasing out the mine, which evicted the entire population in 1983. At the time The New York Times chronicled how the 23 seniors from the high school were forced to abandoned Eagle Mountain right after graduating.
After Kaiser Steel left, a low-security prison called the Eagle Mountain Community Correctional Facility opened in 1988 which housed 438 inmates serving time for parole violations and other nonviolent offenses. But in October 2003, a riot broke out between inmates where two men were killed and eight other were later charged with murder. That caused the prison to be shuttered.
Indeed, the ghost town in the California desert has continued to attract attention since its untimely end, and now the new buyer will leave another chapter in its more than 70-year history.
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