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Unearthing the Secrets of Leadfield Ghost Town: California’s Forgotten Mining Hub

Leadfield California

Step back in time and discover the hidden tales of California’s storied past at Leadfield, an abandoned ghost town that once buzzed with life and mining activity. Nestled within the rugged beauty of Death Valley National Park, this short-lived boomtown has a captivating history waiting to be explored. Join us as we journey through the rise and fall of Leadfield, a testament to the human spirit of perseverance and ambition in the face of nature’s harshest elements.

Leadfield California Overview

Leadfield is a ghost town located in Inyo County, California, deep within the heart of Death Valley National Park. A once-thriving mining community, the town was founded in the early 20th century during the mining boom but was abandoned just as quickly due to a combination of factors, including exaggerated mining prospects and harsh living conditions. Today, Leadfield stands as a testament to the fleeting nature of fortune and the resilience of the human spirit.

Learn more about Ghost Town in California and Ghost Towns in the Southwest.


  • 1904: Prospectors discovered rich deposits of lead and copper in the area.
  • 1905: The initial mining claims were filed.
  • 1925: Mining promoter C.C. Julian founded Leadfield with the establishment of the Western Lead Mines Company.
  • 1926: The town experienced a brief boom, with the population reaching up to 300 people at its peak.
  • August 1926: A post office was established.
  • October 1926: The post office was discontinued as the town was rapidly abandoned.
  • 1927: The last mining operations in Leadfield ceased.
  • 1930s: Some sporadic mining activity was recorded, but the town remained largely abandoned.


The mines around Leadfield primarily produced lead, silver, and copper. However, the yield was not as abundant as initially claimed, leading to the town’s rapid decline.

Post Office

A post office was established in Leadfield in August 1926 but was discontinued just two months later in October 1926, as the town was quickly abandoned. 


There is no record of a newspaper being published in Leadfield during its brief existence.

The Population of Leadfield California

At its peak, Leadfield had a population of approximately 300 residents, mostly miners and their families.


Leadfield is situated at an elevation of about 3,100 feet (945 meters) above sea level.


Leadfield is located within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park, in Inyo County, California. It can be accessed via Titus Canyon Road, a scenic and rugged route through the park.

GPS Coordinates

The GPS coordinates for Leadfield are 36.9114° N, 117.2274° W.

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Photos and Videos

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References Used

Click here to view our list of History of the Southwest – Books and Online Resources to learn more about our amazing area!