By Damon Jacoby and John Rose
As far back as the 1920s, the isolated desert town of Empire, Nev., was a thriving company town that mined and processed gypsum into sheetrock, supplying a necessary resource to America’s booming construction industry.
The building material manufacturer, United States Gypsum owned the entire town, which included its land, homes, school, golf course and two churches.
In December 2010, following the housing crisis that hit America and brought new home construction to a grinding halt, USG ordered the permanent closure of its operations at Empire. In the months that followed, more than 300 people, USG workers and their families were forced to leave their jobs and their homes in Empire.
Today, a chain link fence surrounds the entire town and Empire is now touted as ‘America’s newest ghost town.’
September 24, 2012, 8:39 pm
What a great report! Love it!
September 25, 2012, 6:31 am
This is a direct result of the Toxic American Made Drywall and CDW that was imported, restamped, recycled whatever one chooses to call it. Why 2010, because this was and is the height of the Lawsuits, Families becoming ill, Hearings being held. Our United States Gypsum drywall has poisoned us. We are labeled as such through the Consumer Product Safety Commission. They did an in-depth-investigation. United States Gypsum refuses to fix our Home and Monitor our Health. We are already Disabled, we lived in a tent for 7 mths. The Poisoning from off-gassing of Carbonyl Sulfide, Carbon Disulfide, Chloroform, Acetone, and other Cancer Causing Chemicals put us in the Hospital for months at the time and now , damaged more on top of our already disabilites, mine in remission before moving into our new home built in 2006 specifically for our disabilites, unknowingly with this toxic material deemed as a Hazardous pollutant by our County, our State and was not even accepted into the landfills. One can spin the closing of this plant how they choose but the same happened at their plant in Jacksonville Fl, just one year prior United States Gypsum spent millions upgrading that plant and then the story broke of Defective American Made Drywall and Chinese Drywall, then the plant closed. It is not a coincidence and a sad chain of events for all of the victims of this Drywall Disaster whether it is American Made Toxic Drywall or Toxic chinese drywall….United States Gypsum knew of the impending disaster, it is in Court Records and did nothing.
September 25, 2012, 8:41 pm
This is too sad. We feel for these Families. Great Article, thank you for getting the word out. We had no idea that this took place and we are sure others did not either. What will become of the land. Will it remain another Corporate wasteland ? One can only Pray that United States gypsum will sell out to someone who cares and revitalize Empire.
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