|Inyo Mine around 1938 during the rebooted operations.|
The famed Inyo Gold Mine is one of the most popular mine attractions within Death Valley National Park, and also is rather historically significant; being one of the first discoveries in this part of the Funeral Mountains, and also the mine that proved the most successful out of all mines in the Echo-Lee mine district. It had been a promising claim since its location in 1905, but the railroad reaching Rhyolite made it economically productive, and production soon shifted into high gear. Unfortunately, the Panic of 1907 harmed the mining inuctry too hard, and the company faced bankruptcy by the end of the summer, and slowed production to a crawl, ending by the end of the year.
In 1938, the company had started up again, and installed a large ball mill on the property which was processing 25 tons of ore per day, with eight men employed in production. Among the mill equipment were two concentrating tables, a massive jaw crusher, and a the large ball mill. Water had to be hauled in, and the high costs overran the high grade ore, and the Inyo died for a second time. The final debut of mining activity was a smelter constructed high above the mill site, owned by a Thompson and Wright, ended in the wrong with a crippling debt and no ore to speak of. Reports stated that the furnace had been fired no more than once.
The Echo-Lee district is famed with failure, and none of the many mines in the area amounted to half of the booms in the Panamint Valley or the nearby Keane Wonder district. The area was bounded by large strikes, and although the Inyo never emerged as a contender for a rail spur, it remains as a sentinel of the past, its wooden remains standing patiently against the roaring of the desert wind and the test of time.