"Nothing is impossible," so the saying goes, and is apparently a mantra that billionaire William Koch takes to heart.
The oil tycoon whose net worth is estimated at $4 billion, was recently discovered as the anonymous buyer of faux Old West ghost town and part time Hollywood movie set of Buckskin Joe.
Koch had the entire 50-plus building town dismantled where it stood near Canon City and rebuilt brick-by-brick on his 5,000-acre Bear Ranch in Gunnison about 10 miles away.
Since being relocated onto Koch's property however, the town is heavily guarded, gated, will not be populated and will not even be open to the general public.
"It's the kind of stuff I guess you would expect a billionaire to construct. It's like something out of a 'Gunsmoke' movie set," Ramon Reed, chairman of the Gunnison County Planning Commission told the Denver Post.
The 805-acre Old West replica that once played host to one of Colorado's haunted attractions on the History Channel's "Haunted Rockies" series, will now likely serve as an elaborate safe for Koch's private Old West collection.
“My wife thinks I should be on hoarders,” Koch told arts blog the Fine Arts Notebook of his memorabilia, referring to his third and current wife Bridget Rooney Koch.
In the summer of 2010 along with the town of Buckskin Joe, Koch purchased the last known surviving picture of Billy the Kid at auction for $2.3 million. He owns over 150 guns from historic Old West figures, including weapons once owned by General Custer and Sitting Bull. Koch owns Jesse James' gun, the gun that killed Jesse James, a historic Wells Fargo stagecoach, wagons, Wyatt Earp's vest, a restored full-size Western saloon and even erotica from an old brothel.
Koch even bought the Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad.
Upon touring the gallery of Koch's Old West collection in Florida, Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwich Gallery reportedly said:
I am blown away. We have a wonderful collection, but this puts it to shame.
As a Hollywood set, Buckskin Joe hosted scenes from movies like "True Grit," "The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox" and movies starring John Wayne.
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