About a day-and-a-half's ride, southeast of the small Eastern California village of Los Uvas (The Grapes), a small group of Mexican prospectors, were combing the flanks of a high desert mountain, searching for mineral wealth. For a few years, the mountain had been known to them as Cerro Gordo (Fat Hill). They found color, but at the same time, somehow managed to enrage a local group of Native Americans and in a skirmish, whose details are lost in time, three of the five prospectors were killed. The two prospectors left alive were held captive and made promise to never come back. They kept their word for a few short years…
By early in 1867, tales of the strike at Cerro Gordo had spread to other mining camps and a full blown silver boom had blasted its way onto the new land of opportunity. Back then, it took at least two weeks to get to where the action was, from any place like San Francisco, Carson City or Virginia City. Inyo, as a county, was barely a year old, having just been wrought from Tulare County, over the top of the highest of the High Sierra. Even Los Angeles, where there were only about 2,800 people, was only a struggling little cow-town commonly known throughout the state as "El Pueblo." Cerro Gordo was just beginning to boom.
The "Comstock" to Los Angeles
Because of the vast quantities of silver and lead that needed to be transported, Visalia, Bakersfield, Ventura and Los Angeles, all competed for the trade that was developing from the mines at CERRO GORDO.
Ultimately, Los Angeles, and its port at San Pedro, became the most favored Cerro Gordo point of shipping. Trains of huge freight wagons delivered so much silver bullion from Cerro Gordo that the LOS ANGELES NEWS, on February 2, 1872 stated, "To this city, Cerro Gordo trade is invaluable. What Los Angeles now is, is mainly due to it. It is the silver cord that binds our present existence. Should it be unfortunately severed, we would inevitably collapse." El Pueblo's "silver-cord" remained un-severed.
Now, Los Angeles's economy is far larger than many foreign country's. Los Uvas is known as Lone Pine and Cerro Gordo is considered to be the one of the best "authentic ghost towns" in California. She is being maintained in a "restorative-reuse" fashion. Visit with us online, or make reservations to visit in person. "Vaya Con Dios" The Ghost