World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Swansea, California

Article Id: WHEBN0000794216
Reproduction Date:

Title: Swansea, California  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Keeler, California, Swansea (disambiguation), Erigeron calvus, California State Route 136, Owens Lake
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Swansea, California

Unincorporated community
Site of the smelter in Swansea
Site of the smelter in Swansea
Swansea is located in California
Location in California
Country United States
State California
County Inyo County
Elevation[1] 3,661 ft (1,116 m)

Swansea is an unincorporated community in Inyo County, California.[1] It is located 8.5 miles (14 km) south of New York Butte,[2] at an elevation of 3,661 ft (1,116 m).[1]

Swansea was a boomtown located on the eastern shore of Owens Lake. Spawned by the success of the silver mining operations in the nearby Cerro Gordo Mines in the late 1860s, Swansea became a hub for smelting the ore and transporting the resulting ingots to Los Angeles, over 200 miles away. The smelter operated from 1869 to 1874.[2]

Swansea was named after the mining town Swansea in south Wales, from which many experienced miners emigrated to the United States.

The 1872 Lone Pine earthquake damaged the smelters and uplifted the shoreline, rendering the Swansea pier inaccessible by Owens Lake steamships. As a result, most of the smelting and transportation business moved to Keeler, approximately one mile to the south.

In the summer of 1874, a thunderstorm-induced debris flow inundated Swansea under several feet of water, rock, and sand.[3] By then the town had been almost deserted, and the debris flow marked the end of Swansea.

As of 2007, only one building and a smelter foundation remained alongside Route 136 (about 10 miles southeast of Lone Pine).


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Swansea, California
  2. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1206.  
  3. ^ Likes, Robert C., "From This Mountain", 1975, Sierra Media Inc.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.