Trek Date: July 7th, 2013
Independence…..Citrus….Kearsarge Station. Place names often change during their evolution. Originally established as a stagecoach depot in 1866, Independence transformed to a railroad station in 1883 and soon became known as Citrus. The station served the Carson and Colorado Railway, a narrow gauge railroad that ran from Mound House, Nevada, to Keeler, California. The locals referred to it as the “Slim Princess.” It served the community until it was closed in 1932.
Citrus changed to Kearsarge Station in 1913. During the busy years, there was also a residence for the section boss and a bunkhouse for the workers near the depot. Even though the depot was torn down in 1955 and there isn’t much left to explore, I still found it an interesting place to visit. There is a stone monument, a short section of the original track and a small sign to mark the site of the former stagecoach stop/train depot. I had the place to myself all the while I was there and chances are you will too, which makes it easier to imagine yourself backwards in time. Wait a second, is that the Slim Princess coming into the station, or only a mirage?
Kearsarge Station is located just a short distance off Hwy 395, due east of today’s Independence. For a more information on the station, check out Death Valley Jim’s page here. His site is a great resource for the entire Mojave area.