Friday, September 19, 2014

Abandonment: Tropico - Rosamond, California

A Western Home - Rosamond, California
Tropico, located on a hill in Rosamond, California, began as a clay mine in 1894. It was originally called the Linda Mine. Gold was discovered at the mine shortly after it opened and the focus was shifted to that instead.

In 1908 the mine was sold to the Tropico Mining and Milling Company, and the mine's name was changed to Tropico. A ten-stamp mill and thirty-ton cyanide plant were constructed. At its peak production in the 1930's the mine employed over 400 people. It is estimated that as much as eight million dollars worth of gold came from Tropico. 
Better Days Behind - Rosamond, California
Tropico closed in 1917 due to the first World War, but reopened in 1930. The federal government shut the gold mine down in 1942 due to the second World War. The mine continued to operate as a rock quarry, then it quietly closed for good in 1956.

In 1958 the mine was sold, and the new owners created a tourist attraction. A handful of historic buildings from nearby mines and communities were brought in and the (faux) Tropico ghost town was created. Many of the structures at Tropico are from the late 1800's and almost all of the structures are over 100 years old.
Old West Remnants - Rosamond, California
Throughout the 1960's and 1970's tours were offered at Tropico. It was a popular local tourist attraction. Some scenes from the movie Blazing Saddles were filmed at the site. Rising insurance costs in the late 1970's and early 1980's made the museum less profitable, and in 1982 the place was closed for good. It remains closed to this day.

Now Tropico sits abandoned, closed off to the public by chain-link and barbed wire. "No trespassing" signs are placed around the property. The "ghost town" can be clearly seen from a public road, but you cannot get any closer than that. Everything is slowly falling apart, and it is just a matter of time before this historic site is lost forever.
Old & Dilapidated - Rosamond, California

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