Parkfield is the center of a handful of ranches held by the same families for a hundred years and more. It started as a mining town named Imusdale when coal was found in the 1850s, but the mine soon flooded and the settlers slowly petered out to a few ranchers. Today Parkfield's population is around 20. If not for the large earthquakes that have struck the area roughly every generation, only a few backroad types would know about it.
Parkfield is special among California geologists, especially those who study earthquakes. There is a cachet to having visited Parkfield because of its important role as a laboratory of field seismology. But it's also a beautiful place in its own right.