Step right up and buy an inch of the Emma B. Lode Gold Mine Claim for only $10. Inch by inch, the land, subdivided to the max, is the prize in a quirky fundraising scheme for Habitat for Humanity of Teller County.
Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Co. donated the 8.1 acres and Habitat will pay the property taxes, thus, relieving the stress and angst of anticipating a bill for taxes on land in a gold claim district.
“In today’s economy, what could provide a more secure feeling than the knowledge that ‘there’s gold in them thar hills?’”said Steve Hall, Habitat’s chief fundraiser. “Of course, you’ll never see it and, of course, even if it’s there, it will never be mined.”
Undaunted by the idea of hawking miniscule land ownership, Habitat is going for the gusto, tapping into the human need to brag. “CC&V continues its active operations today, slowly and steadily removing ounce after ounce of the precious metal,” Hall said. “Many investors continue to tout gold as the safest investment of all.”
Along with the $10 inch, the gold-claim owner will receive a deed of land printed on quality parchment which is suitable for framing.
While investors in this claim get zilch on the gold market, each one yields the rewards of selfless giving, helping someone selected by the board to own a new home. Since 2000, Habitat has built 22 homes, single- and multi-family units in Teller County.
For board president Bruno Mattedi, the campaign could yield a mother lode of homes. “There are 6.2 million inches per acre, so we hope to raise $62 million,” said Mattedi, barely cracking a smile.
For CC&V, the donation to Habitat highlights what’s in those hills. “It’s like owning a piece of history in the mining claim district,” said Jane Mannon, the mine’s manager of communications. “The land is actually a parcel outside CC&V’s mining area. But it’s a mining claim that was staked by somebody back in the day, so we were able to transfer ownership to Habitat.”
For information about the inch, go to www.tellerhabitat.org or call 687-4447.