Latitude / Longitude:
36°29′14″N 117°52′26″W / 36.48722°N 117.87389°W / 36.48722
3,602 ft (1,098 m)
Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
Keeler, formerly known as Hawley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Keeler is located on the east shore of Owens Lake 11.5 miles (19 km) south-southeast of New York Butte, at an elevation of 3602 ft (1098 m).
When the 1872 Lone Pine earthquake rendered the pier in nearby Swansea inaccessible by uplifting the shoreline, a new pier was constructed to the south at a community named Hawley. In 1880 a new mill was constructed at Hawley by the Owens Lake Mining and Milling Company for processing ore from the Cerro Gordo Mines in the mountains to the east. A town was laid out by the company agent Julius M. Keeler, for whom the town of Hawley was later renamed.
The population was 66 people at the 2010 census, unchanged from the 2000 census.
A second boom of zinc mining in the early 1900s brought new life to the town and a tramway was built to bring the ore from Cerro Gordo to Keeler. There were small surges in the mining of silver, lead, zinc, and limestone; however, by the 1950s all mining had ceased. Train service was stopped in 1960 and the tracks were removed in 1961. Water exports from the Owens Valley to the City of Los Angeles in the 1920s led the Owens Lake to eventually dry up, causing alkali dust storms to blow through Keeler, driving many residents away. Dust remediation efforts in the early 21st century reduced this problem, but few residents remain.