Ballarat, California

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This sign is carved using a welding torch on 1/4" steel, signs like this can be found at various locations within Panamint Valley

Ballarat boomed from 1887 to 1905 with a population of around 400 people. Ballarat got its name from a famous Australian gold district. The town boasted a post office, a jail, a school, 7 saloons, a Wells Fargo station, 3 hotels, including the 2 story Ballarat Hotel. Ballarat served as a supply center for the mines in the Argus, Panamint, and Slate Ranges, but was mostly supported by the Ratcliff and World Beater Mines in Pleasant Canyon. Some of Ballarat's more colorful characters included; the prospector "Seldom Seen Slim" who claimed he hadn't taken a bath in 20 years because water was too scarce to waist. Shorty Harris who helped locate the Bullfrog strike, He fell in love with and proposed to a woman in town who was 6 ft. tall and weighed 210 LBS., she turned him down by saying: "You're a good friend and a handy little fellow to play with; but you're too little for hard work". Shorty never proposed again. Decades later Charles Manson and his "family" would also occasionally stop by Ballarat after a night on the town.

Let's explore Ballarat

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