The featured images of Independence in 1888 are¬†courtesy of the best packers in the valley who created and maintain:¬†Owens Valley History Charles Putnam founded a trading post at the site in 1861. It became known as Putnam’s, and later Little Pine from the Little Pine Creek. Independence began as the US Army Camp Independence (two miles north of the current town) established by Lieutenant Colonel George S. Evans on July 4, 1862. Col. Evans established the camp at the request of local settlers who feared Indian hostilities. The camp was soon closed, but was re-established as Fort Independence when hostilities resumed in 1865. The fort was finally abandoned in 1877, and it is currently a reservation for the Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians. Independence became the seat of Inyo County in 1866 when its chief competitor for the honor, a mining camp called Kearsarge, disappeared under an avalanche. The first post office at Independence was established in 1866.