WEALTH MAGAZINE | 05.24.2019
A 33-acre cliffside home in Big Sur, California with postcard coastal views is located on a former gold mine that was in use until 1960, and the mine is still accessible. The original miners’ quarters have been preserved and repurposed as the current kitchen, bringing the history of the site close and tangible. Just 60 miles south of Carmel, the property is for sale at $2.25 million.
When gold was discovered in the 1880s, Big Sur was already well known for its natural beauty but was extremely remote and transportation was treacherous. Access was only by horse or foot and the state was slow to provide funds for expensive and dangerous road construction where few people lived. It wasn’t until 1919 that approval was finally given to build Route 1 along the Big Sur coastal area. Since regular laborers refused to work in such a dangerous environment, prisoners were used and prison camps set up in various locations to work on the road and later to build bridges. Even after the road was completed in 1937, heavy rains would bring landslides causing the road to be closed for weeks or months at a time. Anticipating the arrival of new people, some of the original Big Sur families donated or sold thousands of acres to the state for park land in order to restrict development that would destroy the coastline’s natural beauty. Today, most of Big Sur belongs to the state or federal government, strict regulations make new construction difficult, and billboards are prohibited.