Turning his near-ghost town into a clean-tech boomtown

Turning his near-ghost town into a clean-tech boomtown

Gerald Freeman was prospecting for gold in the Mojave Desert when he stumbled on Nipton.

In 1984, it had become a virtual ghost town. Its sole resident lived in the trading post selling sodas to the occasional wayward traveler who might briefly stop to watch freight trains rumble past on the nearby Union Pacific railroad.

But where most saw desolation, Freeman saw “a little place to make a home” and maybe some money too. The Caltech-trained geologist shelled out $200,000 to buy the tiny, tattered outpost.

For a quarter-century, Freeman struggled to make much of the place, spending roughly $1 million on restoration costs. About 20 people eventually moved into town, most living in recreational vehicles and trailers.


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