Ballarat, California

Ballarat is an unincorporated ghost town in Inyo County, California that was born in 1896 as a supply point for the mines in the canyons of the Panamints. A quarter-mile to the south is Post Office Springs, a reliable water source used since the 1850s by prospectors and desert wanderers. George Riggins, a young immigrant from Australia, gave Ballarat its name when he proposed it should be named for the city in the heart of Australia's gold country, Ballarat, Victoria.


parked near the general store still bears the stars the family used as their signature, on its headliner.

The movie Easy Rider had a scene filmed in Ballarat where Peter Fonda's character removes his Rolex watch and throws it away before he and Dennis Hopper's character head out again on their choppers enroute to New Orleans.

Today Ballarat has one or two full-time residents. As of June 2004, Rock Novak and his dog, Potlicker live in the town. The store is open most afternoons and weekends and Rock will sell you soft drinks and other snacks. Visitors are welcome. Rock Novak is currently busy repairing the pipelines that supply water for the ghost town. It's a convert|5|mi|km|sing=on walk out of Ballarat and every day Potlicker joins him. Rock gets paid for his services by the government. Every summer a certain June and her now (July 2007) 10-year old son visits Ballarat for some time. She and her son reside in the former jailhouse/morgue. The young boy is educated by his mother.Many 4-wheelers use the trailer park as a campground headquarters for expeditions into the Panamints and Death Valley. In wintertime some 200 to 300 travelers use the grounds of Ballarat as their campground. The scenery is still spectacular, virtually unmarred by signs of human occupation. If visiting, be mindful of the many wild donkeys (they are true descendants of the miners' donkeys) and stay on the roads; the solid sand valley floor is usually a crust of two or three inches (76 mm), underlying with soft moist earth or mud.

The town is located approximately at coord|36.04781|N|117.22397|W|.

The ZIP Code is 93562. Ballarat is inside area code 760.


ee also

* List of ghost towns

External links

* []
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