The original townsite, 2 miles (3.2 km) west of the current site and called Kunze after its founder Arthur Kunze, was abandoned in favor of the current site, which was originally called Ramsey. A post office operated at Greenwater from 1906 to 1908.
Founded around a copper ore strike in 1905 the town of Greenwater was a short lived Death Valley community. So dry was its region that water had to be hauled into the town. The lucrative business of water barrel salesman fetched any entrepreneur $15 per barrel; in 1913 that equaled over $250 in 2004 dollars.
Eventually the town grew to 2,000 people and became known for a local magazine, The Death Valley Chuckwalla. By 1909 the copper mining had collapsed without ever turning a profit and the residents left town for other areas. Today, there is nothing left of Greenwater.