Tragedy Strikes In The Ghost Town of Cerro Gordo


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Around 2am June 15th, 2020 the American Hotel burned down at Cerro Gordo.⁣

The American Hotel was the crown jewel of Cerro Gordo. It was my favorite building. It was almost everyone’s favorite building. You couldn’t take a picture of Cerro Gordo without the American Hotel. It’s where we gathered, laughed, entertained, and basked in an iconic piece of American history. It was a place I couldn’t wait to show off visitors when they came. I even would sketch the front of the building when I wasn’t there, thinking of it.

I’m beyond devastated and haven’t really slept since but did want to get an update out.

Around 2am I was woken up by propane tanks exploding in the kitchen of the hotel. The explosion woke me up, but by that time the flames had already engulfed the hotel in flames and the two buildings next to it.

Fire was creeping up a hill towards the Gordon Mansion, another building here, and was within 5 ft of the edge. We grabbed any water we could find and poured it on the hill to try to stop the flames from taking another building.

The fire took the hotel, the cabin next to it, and the old icehouse.

The cause is believed to be faulty electric and/or rodents by an electrician we had out today. The buildings up here are extremely old and the wood very dry and fires have always been an issue.⁣

As uncomfortable as it is to ask for help in times when there are much more important issues at hand, here I am, asking for help.

However you could help, we need it. If you have the ability, any amount you could donate would be greatly appreciated and will go to the rebuilding efforts in it’s entirety.

Thank you for the support thus far and we hope to see you in the American Hotel sometime.

We’re gonna need a lot of help. The American Hotel originally thought in 1871 and pretty much everybody’s favorite building here on site. It is the home of our saloon, so this is a place where, after a long day’s work in the mines, miners would come in check in there get a beer here. Is this not that I love entertaining people and they come up to Cerro Gordo. Now the bar is just stunning fun fact that I know is that painting there it was bought at a Nevada brothel and that dress was actually painted on afterwards, originally as a nude photograph, which is kind of an insider tip, then I’ll out. Who will know that woman down there, that is Lola, Travis and Lola owned all the brothels in town?

She was one they did not mess with. They said that if you disagreed with her she’d called a gun and answer your questions, pretty quick, so she’s, a pretty legendary figure here, around Cerro Gordo, the saloon has two old pianos in it still, which are pretty cool they’re out of soon. I know once the piano I know: happy birthday, but while It’s gonna be royally capital-intensive, I can’t wait to get this place humming again and imagine you know people coming up and once again enjoying a beer here, It’s gonna be a lot Of fun over here in this room is just more artifacts, so There’s this is actually a record machine.

I don’t know if you know this, but back in the day the records were around like that, and so they looked something kind of like this. They were coming a package similar to this, and the name would be the top. So this is an old record. Some beautiful sewing machine, different things and upstairs is where the rooms used to be, and there were bunk rooms. Those big for miners and no visitors have been allowed upstairs and quite a number of years. It’s not structurally sound up there. The views in this room are just gonna be incredible, and so I can’t wait to get that room going. They have a bore stopping it, but I hear There’s a deck that really nobody’s allowed on because you, through the windows out here, It’s beautiful, you know what I can’t wait to bring back.

The old owners put these carpet squares on top of this particle board. Stuff and they put it down to hundreds of small nails, screws and larger nails. Then you rip all that up beautiful hardwood, There’s just thousands of staples nails everywhere. So the next step is to get all those. that’s looking a lot better. Eventually, we’re upstairs in the hotel, this could be a beautiful suite all right, Let’s see how the progress is going up here, and that is what we’re working with in that room. Ah came a long ways from Ordos up night before that’s that’s the upstairs of the hotel.

Now about about five hours ago, around 2:00 2:30 in the morning, a fire burned down our hotel here at Cerro, Gordo the American Hotel – and we don’t know why could have been all electric. Never the fire happened. This used to be the Crapo house here. This is the little store with an antique sign out front. That was Dora cart. This was, though, It’s been very emotional day or two. I just don’t know weekend. You know this is a front door. So the view I used to give was walking up these stairs and out and up, I see the top of the hotel. Then pan down and see it. We’ve been working most days, till relief to get the place ready for people investing almost last three months and last night, I woke up to an explosion of the propane tank in the hotel, but I got outside the building was already halfway down. I called 9-1-1 around 3:00 a.m.

And by that point the hotel was essentially gone. This is the beautiful wood burning stove in the middle of motel. Here this would have been towards the kitchen that at the beautiful cast-iron stove refrigerator this used to be the ice house over here. The building with kind of the wood, as you can see, the fire units are you going out towards the Gordon we used all the water we could to protect the line of that until the fire department could get here, but we’re gonna need a lot of Help we need people to help clean, we need people to help, try to rebuild it and we need money to do so.

It’s at telling me means a lot to a lot of people, including myself, watching your hopes, dreams, life, savings, love, history that will never replace to go up in flames and It’s hard. This is three days later now and I still don’t like you leaving the building to look at it, but you know when something like this happens. A lot of people have supported us. Some people that really know the town wall know me well and they’ve been extremely supportive and they reminded me that hey you know like it or not, good or bad. This is part of Cerberus history.

Now you know what other option do we have? We could give up or we could rebuild and we have the original floor plans. We found those not even a week before you know this happened and somebody asked me or somebody wrote on something that I heard you guys are gonna throw in the towel and sell it. I’m not we’re not giving up. I’m gonna die at Cerro Gordo. You know this isn’t a project. This isn’t a start-up, I don’t think about it in month over month, growth. The timeline here is decades. It’s not years It’s not months, It’s not days or hours and Cerro Gordo is gonna be here after I’m gone and There’s gonna be a hotel here and that hotel is gonna.

Have the story of you know the fire of 2020 and It’s up to us to make that happen right now. We could use some help. A lot of you have been very supportive over the town in our progress and if you could donate, we can use any dollar. that’s given is going directly into this and you can buy a 2×4 for us. that’s a 2×4 we wouldn’t have otherwise. So anything would really really help. I would really appreciate it, so many people will appreciate it for history because they be able to you know, experience this town and a hotel if you health can fill if you’re close and you have any type of construction skills or cleaning skills, or even you know A truck to help move some stuff, we need the help, we need the manpower I have. This form we created to put in here info, we’ll figure out dates, and I thought they’d see something if you all here helping out.

I wish I was but under better circumstances, but It’s not. I really appreciate it. Everybody help so far. This is the time when I know There’s a lot bigger issues going on in the world and it seems silly to be asking for help with a old building, but It’s an old building. That means a lot to a lot of people and It’s it’s that time. Where, as a port, you know, timing is we need the help? So if you can help out at all, I’d really really appreciate it and told a lot of other people and if nothing else, if you just share the links, share this link, but thanks for making it this far and we’re gonna rebuild one of the option. Do we have but rebuild so, Let’s get to it, you

Jason Smith

Former Marine, IT Guy & Builder of Websites.  I have 5 US states left to visit. I enjoy hot springs, adventures, hiking, photography, sci-fi, wine, coffee & whiskey.  I am fluent in sarcasm, name that tune, & speak in movie quotes.  I spend most of my time building websites, fixing computers, metal detecting, magnet fishing and gaming occasionally.

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