Nestled high in Inyo Mountains east of the Siera Navada, at an altitude of 8,500 feet, Cerro Gordo, Fat ill, was discovered to be rich in silver deposits by a group of Mexican miners led by Pablo Flores.The year was 1865.
By 1866, Victor Beaudry, a French Canadian, now a merchant at Fort Independence in Owens Valley, realized there were opportunities at the Cerro Gordo mining camp, and opened a general store on the mountain.
He began acquiring mining properties in lieu of overdue accounts and by January of 1868 arranged with Pierre Desormeaux to build ore furnaces.
By April of 1868, Beaudry acquired more properties which included the richest claims on the hill, the Union, the San Lucas, the San Felipe and more.
That Same April, Victor Beaudry claimed more and more properties around Cerro Gordo, Mortimer Belshaw came in to town.