Ballarat Ghost town

In the middle of nowhere we found a ghost town names Ballarat. There wasn’t much, there was only old jail left from the town. There isn’t much more I can tell about the town, what Wikipedia tells us. 

“Ballarat is a ghost town located in Inyo County, California. It was founded in 1896 as a supply point for the mines in the canyons of the Panamint Range. A quarter-mile to the south is Post Office Springs, a reliable water source used since the 1850s by prospectors and desert wanderers.- –

The town was founded in 1897. In its heyday (from 1897 to 1905) Ballarat had 400 to 500 residents. It hosted seven saloons, three hotels, a Wells Fargo station, post office (that opened in 1897), school, a jail and morgue, but no churches. Ballarat was a place for miners and prospectors in the area to resupply and relax.


The town began its decline when the Ratcliff Mine, in Pleasant Canyon east of town, suspended operations. Other mines nearby also began to play out, and in 1917 the post office closed and all that remained were a few diehard prospectors and desert rats.

In the 1960s, Charles Manson and the “Manson Family” of killers moved into a ranch south of Ballarat, and left graffiti in the town. The 1969 movie Easy Rider has a scene filmed in Ballarat; after arriving in the town, Peter Fonda’s character, Wyatt, removes his Rolex watch and throws it away before he and Dennis Hopper’s character, Billy, head east on their motorcycles towards New Orleans.


On Easter weekend, 1971, about two thousand people attended a “hippy” celebration at Ballarat. About two hundred contracted hepatitis (A) from contaminated drinking water.

Today, Ballarat has one full-time resident. As of June 2013 Rocky Novak and his dogs, Potlicker and Brownie, live in the town. Rocky runs the general store on afternoons and weekends to supply tourists, and is working on repairing the water pipes that supply the town, for which he is paid by the government. Every summer, a woman named June and her son move into the former jailhouse/morgue.”

So, if you want have a sneak peak of Ballarat before you visit there, it might be fun thing to see these two movies before the trip: Easy Rider and Obselidia

As Forest Gump would say: “that’s all I have to say about that.” Have a “great time” next time you are on Ballarat ghost town / jail. 
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