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.