Ghost Town Explorer
spacer
spacer
CHRIS WICHT CAMP CALIFORNIA
Deep In Surprise Canyon

Unoccupied Historic Mining Camp
Inyo County
Circa; Early 1900ís

Chris Wicht, a Dutchman arrived at the Panamint Mountains in the early 1900ís; where he set up camp near a spring in a deep canyon that was once the busy thoroughfare of the popular and wild Panamint City, which met its demise in a flood in 1876 that washed the town down Surprise Canyon. Wicht, (pronounced WIK), ran a saloon in the nearby bustling town of Ballarat where it is said he operated the only billiards table for miles around. In fact rumor has it that Wicht found the prize table in the ruins at the old Panamint City town site where he disassembled it and carried it down Surprise Canyon past his camp and on it to the Ballarat saloon.

Wicht tinkered with a couple mining claims, but he was really known for his good ole fashion hospitality. Having the only soaking pool for hundreds of miles, He entertained guests that welcomed the sight of the pool among their long and dusty desert travels.

The land was passed down to descendants of Wicht until it was placed in the hands of the Novak family by a Mary Thompson sometime back in the 1970ís. Unfortunately the camp burned to the ground in 2006 under suspicious circumstances. The BLM has reclaimed the site and organized recent clean-up efforts that were mostly attended by volunteers from off road groups and a few eco groups that have lobbied for years against off road access through Surprise Canyon.

Today a visitor of the camp would see mostly cement foundations and the remnants of the old cement pool.


Chris Wicht Camp

Chris Wicht Camp

Chris Wicht Camp

Chris Wicht Camp

Chris Wicht Camp

Chris Wicht Camp




spacer
   spacer
   Copyright 2006 High Desert Drifters, All rights reserved.
DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript