Harrisburg California

Harrisburg California is a ghost town is located at 4987 feed above sea level in Inyo County and currently part of Death Valley National Park. Originally, the town was to be know as Harrisberry combining the names of Frank Harris and Pete Aguereberry after the two men discovered gold at the location in 1905.

"Shorty" Harris founder of Harrisburg Ghost Town, photographed in Ballarat.
“Shorty” Harris founder of Harrisburg, photographed in Ballarat.

It is reported that “Shorty” Harris met Pete Aguereberry in Furnace Creek in July 1905. During the scorching hot summer months, the two men pared up and set off to do some prospecting in the cooler temperatures of the higher elevations of the Panamint Mountains. Upon reaching a plateau, now Harrisberg Flats, the two men began searching a rock outcropping.

A piece of rock which was chipped off the north side of a long low ledge, upon inspection by the seasoned prospector, was found to contain free gold. There is some question as to which of two men, actually found the initial claim. The two man continued on the Wildrose spring for water, and upon their return divided up the out croppings between them and each staked their claim.

The camp was named “Harrisberry”, which was a combination of their two names. Shorty Harris was emphasized to exploit his notarity and promote the camp for investors. The two men split up and headed down to Ballarat. In Ballarat, Shorty spred the news of his new find. Upon returning to their claim, the newest gold rush in Death Valley was on. Aguereberry had to reclaim his sites by persuasion and force.

Cashier Mill ruin and Pete Aguereberry, 1916. From Dane Coolidge Collection,
Cashier Mill ruin and Pete Aguereberry, 1916. From Dane Coolidge Collection,

By August 1905, Harrisberry was boasting 20 different outfits within 3 miles of the initial strike. The mining ledge found supporting the Wildrose mining district, Emigrant Springs and the the future town of Skidoo.

As was common with gold strikes, growth in Harrisberry was fast. The population of the camp was 300 strong in September and 200 claims. The cooler temperatures further expected to drain the populations of Ballarat, Darwin and nearby Rhyolite and triple the population of Harrisberry. Both Harris and Arguereberry sought outside investors and soon the Cashier Mining Company was formed with capital investment.

A prolific story teller and colorful character, Shorty Harris started referring to his new town has “Harrisburg” while on a trip to Rhyolite. Each retelling of the story further cemented the towns name as Harrisburg. Eventually the mines production faltered and the venture failed. Aguereberry continued to work the area until his death in 1945.

There are no remains of the Harrisburg California town. The site was essentially a tent city.

icon-car.pngFullscreen-Logo
Harrisberg California

loading map - please wait...

Harrisberg California 36.362400, -117.107000 Harrisburg California

Greenwater California

In 1904, a copper strike near Greenwater Spring and ensuing rush to profit caused the formation of Greenwater in Inyo County, California. Originally known by two other names, Kunze and Ramsey, the merger of these two small towns led to the formation of Greenwater in 1906.

Greenwater Mining District, CA 1906
Greenwater Mining District, CA 1906

The discovery of gold in Rhyolite triggered a flood of prospecting and brought civilization closer to this remote area of Death Valley. This waver of prospecting found many small mining camps spring into the area and Greenwater was just a town.

Greenwater California 1907
Greenwater California 1907

Greenwater was a short lived venture. The tent city grew to a population of of about 1,000 people. Although the town contained about a dozen saloons, water needed to be transport in and cost $15 / barrel. Despite newspaper promotions at the time and financial backing of investors, the town began to falter in 1907 due to lack of profits.

Greenwater California
Greenwater California

Today, very little remains can be found in Greenwater California. Like many mining towns of its day, the population lived in hastily assembled canvas sided tents. It is easy to imaging, the town literally packing up their tents and moving on the the next great boom.

icon-car.pngFullscreen-Logo
Greenwater California

loading map - please wait...

Greenwater California 36.272023, -116.448592 Greenwater California

Leadfield California

Leadfield California is a ghost town located in Inyo County and Death Valley National Park and found on the Titus Canyon Trail. The town boom in 1925 and 1926, however, Leadfield is a town that was started on fraud and deceit.

Leadfield Gost Town, Death Valley, California
Leadfield Gost Town, Death Valley, California

According to Legend and an article in Desert Magazine, and shameless promoter C. C. Julian wandered into Titus Canyon and started blasting tunnels. He then discovered lead ore which he purchased and brought down from Tonopah, Nevada. Julian then produced maps and other promotional materials and found investors from the East coast. The town of Leadfield was born and died on the imagination of this one man.

Continue Reading →