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Salvation Mountain -- Leonard Knight's vision, creation and passion. Salvation Mountain is located on an old abandoned Marine training base (Slab City) in Southern California near the Salton Sea.
Construction of the Mountain began in 1985 using a mixture of mainly thinned concrete and sand. However, the thinned mixture of concrete could not withstand the weight of the Mountain and the first Mountain collapsed after about four years. Undeterred, Leonard Knight set out to build a better and stronger mountain using adobe clay, hay bales and reinforced natural wood beams utilized from resources laying around the desert and from materials donated from many generous supporters. Today the Mountain stands 50 feet tall and about 150 feet wide.
In the mid 1990's, county officials threatened to demolish the Mountain, claiming that the area contained toxic levels of lead and other contaminants in the soil. Upon hearing news of the proposed demolition, many locals and other supporters rallied around Leonard Knight and helped to save the Mountain. Independent tests of the soil around Salvation Mountain failed to demonstrate any toxic levels of lead or other contaminants. In 2002, Salvation Mountain was entered into Congressional Record and officially protected as a National Treasure.
Twenty years and over 100,000 gallons of paint later, Leonard Knight and Salvation Mountain live on and continue to attract, delight and amaze thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. Additional information about Salvation Mountain and Leonard Knight can be found at the official website here -- Salvation Mountain