Only five and a half more miles to go, I sure am glad we remembered to pack extra socks!
| In 1873 silver chloride
was discovered and the claim was named the Wonder of the World, this brought about the
creation of the Panamint Mining District. Two Nevada Senators, John P. Jones and William
M. Stewart, invested over $250,000 in buying up most of the original claims and formed the
Surprise Valley Mill and Water Company. Both of these men had made considerable fortunes
in the Comstock Lode and were known as the "Silver Senators".
The main street of Panamint City was a mile long and consisted of about 200 houses, a hotel, over two dozen saloons, a brewery, the bank of Panamint, and the office of the Panamint News. The local butcher shop's wagon also served as the town hearse. The population of Panamint City during its' peak was between 2000 and 3000.
Panamint was known as a rough and lawless place with over fifty shootings occurring during its short life of only around 3 years. Because of the constant threat of robbery, silver from the mill was cast into ingots weighing over 400 pounds so no one could carry them off.
It has been written that Panamint City was washed away in a great flash flood in 1876 carrying away over 200 of the towns inhabitants.
WRONG!!! interviews with locals who were there, and research done by Historian Richard Lingenfelter have concluded that Panamint City was washed away in 1901 by a flash flood long after it was deserted. Some of it's buildings had already been moved to Darwin after it was deserted.
Panamint City played an important part in California's history and makes for some very interesting reading, check it out.
The road to Panamint City was closed in Feb. 2001 due to a lawsuit brought against the BLM by "The Center For Biological Diversity". A group of arm-chair eco-types who have never even been up Surprise Canyon. For if they had, like us, they would have seen that there was no damage done to Surprise Canyon by the 4-Wheelers who used the canyon. I doubt they have ever even seen a endangered "Panamint Daisy", hell they didn't even mention it in their lawsuit.
We will start our journey at the old Stage Station and then head up Surprise Canyon to Panamint City and end at Thompson Camp.
Let's explore Panamint City
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