In January of 1905 Maroni Hicks and Chet Leavitt discovered gold here. In the next two years dozen of claims were established in Echo Canyon. Inyo was the largest in what became the Echo-Lee mining district.
Production began in the winter of 1906, most of the ore assayed at $300 per ton with some running as high as $650 per ton. By the fall of 1907 the Inyo had three vertical shafts and 755 feet of tunnels hosting equipment, blacksmith shop, boarding house, and a store. Most of the work was done in the winter months when the temperatures were cooler.
In the fall of 1907 attempts were made to raise money through a public stock sale but 1907 was also a year of financial panic throughout the west. In 1912 the owners tried and failed again. From 1907 through 1927 very little work was done and in 1928 the mine was sold. The new owners found themselves victims of the mines earlier difficulties, gold was in the ground, but was costly to extract and water wasn't available for milling. Little was done until 1937 when the mine was leased to the Inyo Consolidated Mining Company. The company then installed a ball crushing mill with a 25 ton a day capacity and began hauling water from Furnace Creek, 8 miles away, and had plans for a pipeline. This would all be short lived, by the spring of 1938 the mine closed due to the lack of water.
The mine was leased again in 1939 and produced gold at $230 per ton, but the deposit ran out. The last shot was in 1940 with the same results and then closed for good.