Palmetto was established in 1866 when silver ore was found nearby. A 12-stamp mill was quickly built, but the mine played out in only two months. The town was abandoned.
The name Palmetto came about because of the significant number of Joshua Trees in the area. At the time the miners thought that Joshua Tree were related to Palm Tree.
In 1903, Palmetto rose from the ashes, when the mines reopened. By 1906 the town had two-hundred tent homes and several businesses including restaurants, a bakery, bank, doctor’s office, post office, and of course several saloons. That same year the mines again played out, and the town was again abandoned.
There was a third attempt to revive Palmetto in 1920, it too was not successful.
All that is left of Palmetto today is the remains of the mill, and the ruins of two structures.
Here is an interesting article about Palmetto from the Inyo Independent dated February 23, 1906:
The weather during the past week has been very disagreeable, but it seems to have no effect upon the spirits of those who were bent upon engaging in business. A tent would no sooner be rolled off a wagon than readily hands would have it take to some location already selected, and it would quickly be the domicile of its owner. Several buildings have been moved over from Lida, and these have been erected for business purposes. Some eight or ten teams brought in building material during the week, and saws and hammers were soon busy getting the material ready for a business building. The town now has a feed yard, of whick [sic] Blake Aubery is proprietor, and is doing a rushing business. The first thirst parlor in the new camp was erected by Lester Laird and W.H. Green, who had no competition for ten days and, consequently, made considerable hay while the sun was shining for them. Frank Duval, of Lida, and Jas. Foley, are both erecting places where the bibulously inclined may imbibe to their hearts content. Mrs. Chas. Andersen had the first restaurant in the camp, and has been having all she could attend to. Mrs. S. Woods has since opened the Florida, and, as she has many acquaintances, is doing her share of the business. McBoyle & Hain brought the first beef into the town. Several lodging houses have already open their doors, and by the middle of the coming week the number of these will be increased by probably a half dozen more. In addition to the above there are a score or more of others preparing to engage in business and as rapidly as business houses can be erected, their shingles will be floated to the breeze. A well was started Wednesday in the Robinson & Wilkes townsite and should have water tonight. This will make three wells in the town and should supply all the water necessary for all purposes. Surveying and platting are about completed and the different plats will all have been filed with the county commissioners within a few days. Mare Latham, of Goldfield, and Nesbitt Bros., of Columbia, have assay outfits on the ground, the former having kept busy since his opening a few days ago and the latter will be ready for business by the first of the week. E.E. Blake, who represented Wells Fargo’s express company at Goldfield in the early days of that now famous camp, is on the ground as the representative of Robinson & Wilkes and will open an office for express business as soon as conditions will warrant it. The Nevada Power company, whose lines are but six miles away, has announced their readiness to supply light and power at as reasonable rates as are given Goldfield whenever the demand will justify their building into the district, which, from present appearance is a matter of only a few days — Lida Enterprise.