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Ghosttowns.com
01-28-1999, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Cary L. Nickel

: Last April I visited a site known\r\nas Clair Camp, just up Pleasant Canyon from Ballarat, CA. On the edge of Death Valley. I am hoping someone will have some history of the site.\r\n\r\nThank You!

Ghosttowns.com
01-28-1999, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by David A. Wright

: : Last April I visited a site known\r\nas Clair Camp, just up Pleasant Canyon from Ballarat, CA. On the edge of Death Valley. I am hoping someone will have some history of the site.\r\n\r\nThank You!

: Try Rod at jeeprod@ndti.net. He's up there constantly.

Ghosttowns.com
01-28-1999, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Lewis Shorb

: : Last April I visited a site known\r\nas Clair Camp, just up Pleasant Canyon from Ballarat, CA. On the edge of Death Valley. I am hoping someone will have some history of the site.\r\n\r\nThank You!

: Hi Cary,
: I am in the process of adding pictures of Clair Camp to my site, And I have been reading the book "Death Valley & the Amargosa" that this site was originally the Ratcliff mine dating back to about 1897, the adobe building there dates from that period, the site featured a 10 stamp mill and a tramway. The site was picked up by W. D. Clair in the late 1920's and was run into the 30's. Aparently he had skirmishes with 2 gun toting sisters, Orpha & Mary Thompson who held nearly all the claims in Pleasant Canyon and tried to run him out. Now to the story of "Shotgun Mary",
: A few years ago we hiked up to Panamint City, but we first stopped at Ballarat to talk to Don, the former caretaker "the official Mayor, sheriff, and city counsel" of Ballarat and he told us about a little old lady who lived at high up at the end of Suprise Canyon at Thompson Camp called "Shotgun Mary". He said Mary would greet travelers with her shotgun and ask what you are doing here?, where did you come from?, did you come here to steal from me?, or did you come here to rape me?, Don said she was quite a character. Today if you go to Panamint City, continue to the end of the canyon and there in the trees and brush you will find Thompson Camp.
: Thus in reading about Clair Camp I finally found out who "Shotgun Mary" was.

: We were last up Pleasent Canyon Nov. 97, and the road was fine, since then the road has suffered a washout, were you there before or after the washout? if after, what was the road like?

: Lewis

Ghosttowns.com
01-29-1999, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by David A. Wright

: Hi Lewis:
: I used to know an elderly woman, since deceased, who lived in Trona for many years. She once told me about her relationship with Shotgun Mary, which I regretted I never wrote down or recorded. She was one of the few people that Mary would allow into Thompson Camp. Ann would go each Christmas Day and take Mary a pie or cookies or the like, and stay for a visit. But it was only on Christmas Day Mary would allow Ann to come. Ann did that all through the 1940's and in the 1950's until Mary died. Ann used to drive her big Buick to Panamint in those days, ain't that a hoot compared to what we have to go through now to get to Panamint! Dave Brenner recently told me that Mary's sister called and said that somebody was poisoning the water supply at Thompson's Camp and that he and Phil Butler hiked to Panamint and Thompson's during a heavy snowstorm, only to find out that the place was totally abandoned, as usual.