The Gothic town site was established in 1879 following
a silver strike up Copper Creek in what is now the Maroon Bells-Snowmass
Wilderness area. The town grew rapidly and within two years contained
as many as 3000 residents. The town of Gothic had a brief life
and was fading into oblivion. In 1928, Dr. John C. Johnson
formerly of Western State College, with others founded the Rocky
Mountain Biological Laboratory on the town site, purchasing several
of the buildings and land. Initially the Lab used many of the
original buildings from the mining days as laboratories, classrooms
and dormitories. Over the years RMBL has developed a reputation
as one of the leading terrestrial field stations in the world.
Each summer 150 scientists and students conduct research and classes.
Seven buildings in the town site have been designated for their
historical value including the Gothic Town Hall, Swallow’s
Nest, Ore House, Mammal Lab, Barclay Cabin, Mc Cloud Cabin, and
the Richards Cabin.