Photo by Kirk Kittell
The story of Panamint City is like a western movie come to life, which is probably why there were several films loosely based on it (do a search for "panamint" on IMDB). It all started in 1872 when a few outlaws were hiding out in the mountains (Panamint Range) from johnny law and discovered silver in Surprise Canyon. The city was founded in 1873/74, peaked in '74 and the boom was over at the end of '75. Then, on July 24, 1876, a flash flood took out most of the city. Some folks say they got what they deserved for their wicked ways. Before this outlaw town was founded the Shoshone people resided in this area and it's home to the most elaborate Coso Style pictographs. You can read more about that here.
Photo by Joe Grant