In the Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2015 - Present - Don & Linda Gilmore
Panamint Valley, California
See the map below!
This was a popular place in history, it was home to "Seldom Seen Slim" - "Shorty Harris" and of course "Charles Manson" Interesting ghost town to say the least.
Ballarat is located 3.6 miles from the pavement of the north-south Trona-Wildrose Road (California 178), north of Trona. There is a historical marker at the turnoff.)
Ballarat Topography Map
Sitting at the base of the Panamint Mountain Range, Ballarat began in 1897 as a supply point for the mines in the canyons of the Panamint Mountain Range. The main mine supporting the town was the Radcliffe in Pleasant Canyon just east of town. Between the years of 1898 and 1903, the Radcliff would produce 15,000 tons of gold ore.
Ballarat was named after an Australian gold camp by one of its first residents, an Australian immigrant named George Riggins. It was in the original Australian town of Ballarat that the first gold was discovered in that country in 1851.
It was also there that the largest gold nugget in the world was found, weighing in at almost 143 pounds. Perhaps the first settlers of the "new" Ballarat thought the name would bring them luck.
Today, this lonely ghost town still sports a couple of full-time residents and the little store is open most afternoons and weekends. Though the land is privately owned, visitors are welcome. Four-wheeling is the most popular activity, but for those who like to sightsee, the scenery is stunning and virtually unmarred by human signs.
These 4 photo are courtesy of Kathie Costigan-Gage
Top right photo is of the old Jail House. The photo to the right / bottom is an old truck that was said to belong to one of Charles Manson's buddies.