PANAMINT CITY

NAME: Panamint City
COUNTY: Inyo
ROADS: 4WD Required.
GRID #(see map): 3
CLIMATE: Cool winter and hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
If you like winter camping or backpacking, you're Ok. If you don't or can't, you may have some chilly times ahead -- or worse. There are several cabins with stoves. David A. Wright.
COMMENTS: Breathtaking scenery, some on private property with current mining. UPDATE: The road to Panamint City, CA (Inyo) is now blocked. I was there on August 3 and there is a sign posted in front of a house along the trail saying that the town was only accessible by foot, and that it was 10 miles past the roadblock. I dont think we took any pics of it but if I did, I will forward. Bill Field
REMAINS: The tower and many crumbling ruins.

Founded in 1873,74, Panamint City had many mills, saloons, stores, a red light district, a cemetery - all built along the uppermost end of the Surprise Canyon. Panamint City was regarded as a "bad and wicked" town, with Death Valley on one end of town and the Panamint Mountains on the other end. Due to the constant hijacking of the ore wagon, the miners soon cast the silver into one large ingot that was too big and heavy to be stolen. Then it hit. On July 24, 1876, a flash flood roared down the canyon and washed nearly the entire town away leaving nothing worth saving. This spelled the end of the town. Some people say they got what they deserved for their wickedness. The County of Inyo used to maintain the road to Panamint City until about 1983, when a terriffic series of cloudbursts completely washed the canyon out to bedrock. Today, only the most dedicated 4x4 enthusiasts using highly modified vehicles with winches can make a motorized trip up -- and then it often takes more time than it does to walk up. There is always water running down this section of the canyon, the source is Limekiln Springs, and the water runs above ground for about a mile and a half. April 1997. - Ghosttowns.com

This from the Saturday, January 9, 1875 Napa REGISTER [Napa, California] regarding Panamint City, California:THE NEW EL DORADO -- THE PANAMINT MINES PANAMINT, or Jonesville, as it is called by some, is situated in the Telescope mountains, Inyo county, California, about 180 miles eastwardly from Bakersfield, in Kern county, and 110 miles from Independence, county seat of Inyo county. Good roads leading to the mines from both places. Its elevation is about 4,800 feet above the level of the sea, at the head of Surprise canon. The road up the canon is a good natural grade, with an average rise of about 500 feet to the mile, and is being improved as fast as possible. HOW TO REACH THE CAMP The camps can be reached by three different routes: by rail to Bakersfield, and stage from there to Kernville and Indian Wells, where the road branches off from the Cerro Gordo route. The second route is by steamer and rail to Los Angeles, and by stage to Indian Wells, the rest same as by Bakersfield route. Third - by rail to Reno, Nevada, and Carson, and stage via Aurora to Independence. For the first named, see advertisement of the Bakersfield, Cerro Gordo, and Panamint Stage Line; and the last, Carson, Aurora, Independence, and Cerro Gordo, connecting at Lone Pine for Panamint. LIVING AND WAGES Living is reasonable, considering the distance to be freighted and the high price charged from Bakersville [sic], Los Angeles, and San Barnardino [sic] - 4 to 6 cents per pound. Flour is $9 per hundred; bacon, 25 cents, coffee, 50 cents, sugar, 25 cents, potatoes, 10 cents, onions, 10 cents per pound; wood, $5.50 per cord. Feed for horses is quite scarce, and consequently high: Barley, 8 cents per pound by the sack, 10 cents per pound by the feed; hay 7 cents per pound by the bale, 8 cents by the feed. Lumber, none in camp. The last sold at $130 per thousand feet. Miners receive $3 per day and board, or $4 and board themselves; laborers, from $2.60 upwards, according to demand. THE MINES In this district are noted for the immense richness and width of the ledges on the surface. How they will hold out at a considerable depth is problematic, none of the mines being developed to a depth of more than fifty or sixty feet, at which depth they hold good. It is the opinion, however, of many mining experts that they will be permanent to a great depth. Among the principal mines are Jacob's Wonder, now being worked, the company employing some twenty-five or thirty men in the mine and around their mill. They have a small five-stamp mill for concentrating the metals, which they will be sent to San Francisco or some other point to be reduced. The mill is expected to commence running in a short time. Stewart's Wonder is another promising mine, but not worked at present. The Wyoming, Venus and Great Sunrise are being worked. The Mountain View, Esperanza, Hemlock, Panamint and Hudson River are among the prominent claims which are lying idle at present. There are numerous other mines in this district of great promise, but being held by men of small means are not developed sufficiently to attract much attention. -------------------------- David A. Wright Great Basin Research


Looking up "Main Street" Panamint City
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Panamint Cabins
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint Ore Cart
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint Brick Arch
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint City
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint City
Courtesy Bill Cook

 


Smelter stack, Panamint City
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Smelter stack, Panamint City
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Smelter stack
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Townsite of Panamint City.
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


The "road" to Panamint City today
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Smelter ruins
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Smelter ruins
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Ruins of Panamint City's earliest dwellings
Courtesy David A. Wright
Great Basin Research


Panamint City Walls
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint Stack
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint Snow View
Courtesy Bill Cook


Panamint Walls in the Snow
Courtesy Bill Cook

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