10 Toxic Towns You Still Can’t Live In
Gilman, Colorado, USA
Perched on a steep cliff above Eagle River in Eagle County, Colorado, the ghost town of Gilman was established in 1886 during the Colorado Silver Boom and had a population of several hundred by the early 20th century.
The nearby Eagle Mine was the state’s leading producer of silver for decades, but by the early 1930s the mainstay of the town’s economy was zinc and lead mining.
The population of the town, which had a post office, grocery store and even a bowling alley, remained at several hundred up until 1977 when the main mine ceased operations.
The town was eventually abandoned in 1984 by order of the Environmental Protection Agency, which detected dangerous levels of contaminants in soil and groundwater.
Parts of Gilman remain toxic to this day, including the old mine. It has noxious levels of arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead and zinc.
A proposal to fast-track clean-up operations and transform the site into a ski resort fell through in 2009. The town, which is privately owned and sprawls over 235 acres, has been allowed to fall into rack and ruin.
The majority of Gilman’s structures, many of which have historical value, have been vandalized, so much so that almost every window in the town has been broken.
Though strictly off-limits to the general public, Gilman has become a haven for explorers and photographers, as well as graffiti artists and vandals.