Believe it or not, this is one of the 'better shape' buildings left standing at Ballarat ghost town in remote Panamint Valley - ballarat21x
Ballarat ghost town, Panamint Valley. One of the almost-falling-over buildings near the center of town. With the stiff wind that whips across the valley, it's no surprise that there's not much left around here.
Ballarat is one of the most remote ghost towns in one of the most remote corners of California. Settled between the salt flats of Panamint Valley to the west and the impassable mountains separating it from Death Valley to the east, Ballarat was founded in 1895 as a resupply camp for the rough-and-tumble mining camps in the nearby hills. But as the mines at Ratliff, Panamint and Pleasant Canyon played out, Ballarat slowly returned to dust. In the 1960's a local businessman built a cinderblock building and set up an RV park with the hopes of turning the region into the next Palm Springs, but Ballarat's extreme remoteness foiled any commercial prospects. The town has been home to various colorful desert rats, including Seldom Seen Slim and Charles Manson, but these days Ballarat is usually home to one or two permanent residents, tending the crumbling buildings that remain at the town center and supplying the off-roaders and explorers heading up into the mountains to the north and east. Ballarat is one of California's more interesting ghost town relics of the past, partly due to its extreme isolation and because it hasn't been touched by commercialization; but also for the colorful caretaker and historian that tends the town.
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October 21, 2007. Photo #21 of 50 of my 'Ballarat Ghost Town' photoset.