MNN Galleries

12 U.S. places where your visit could double the population

By: Laura Moss on Dec. 22, 2017, 9:30 a.m.
First Ave and Main Street in Bonanza.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons [CC by 4.0]

11 of 14

Bonanza, Colorado

This Colorado silver mining town is largely abandoned. The majority of it burned down in 1937 — today, deteriorated structures outnumber those that still stand. Bonanza was never much of a boom town, or one for counting its residents. According to one former resident, the town's population was often estimated by the number of saloons and pool halls that were open. Today, Bonanza doesn't have a functional single business and it has no post office. Despite that, it has at least one resident.

As recently as 2014, Mark Perkovich is the only person living in Bonanza. Perkovich is a retired Hotshot firefighter and Army veteran, and he's lived in Bonanza for almost 25 years. Perkovich spends his days wandering the wilderness, and when he wants company, he reads the Bible. He revels in the isolation that Bonanza affords him.

Which is why efforts to abandon the town by the state in 2014 and why people who own land in Bonanza but don't actually live there — of which there are about 200 — fought the state over the issue bemused Perkovich. He pays property tax to the county, but the county itself has no jurisdiction over the town, he doesn't receive any services for those taxes. Should a government ever form, something required by state law to avoid the town being abandoned by the state entirely, Perkovich would expect that to change.

"No matter what happens, it's still going to be Bonanza. It’s still going to be on the map," he told AlJazeera America.