Rt 66 - Daggett, Cal

Visited on September 20, 2014

Next stop, Daggett, Cal. I rather enjoy the stretch of Route 66 between Barstow and Newberry Springs and have driven it a couple of times. There's hardly any traffic and some very interesting sights along the way. And you can race with the trains that ramble by almost every ten minutes or so.

I spotted this old stone and cement ruin just before reaching Daggett. Places like this fascinate me for some reason and I love running across them. I wonder about the history of what may have happened there over the years, who lived there, why this spot, the life stories, all forgotten now. There was quite a bit of rubble and it was obvious that this building had been on fire at some point.

Daggett is a neat little desert town with a rich history. Founded in the 1860s as Calico Junction, the town was later renamed Daggett in honor of California Lt. Governor John Daggett. The town's main purpose was originally being a supply center for the nearby silver mines of Calico. One of its later claims to fame was being a location in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The California Inspection Station mentioned in the book was located in Daggett and the 1940 movie used that station in the film. Several buildings remain today in town that date back over 100 years. Here are some of the interesting sites in town.

The stone hotel on the right was originally a two-story building. Constructed in 1875, it survived three fires during its lifetime. After the 1908 conflagration, the building was restored into the one floor building we see today. The building on the left? Maybe a mercantile or dry goods store.

The Desert Market was reportedly the first fire-proof building constructed in the Mojave Desert. It was built from a railcar load of cement after the original wooden Desert Market burned to the ground in 1908.

This cool building with the curved roof reportedly once served travelers along Route 66 as a Cafe back in the 1930s - 1940s. I would love to add further history here if any reader might have information.

I drove around the small town a bit and ran across some interesting sights. I'm hoping the above images had something to do with Hallowe'en.

The Daggett Pioneer Cemetery is located just a short ways east of downtown. There are quite a few graves in this old cemetery, some dating back to the mid-1800s, some very recent. Most of the graves are marked with simple wooden crosses. I'm guessing there are probably many unmarked graves here as well. It was a quiet place when I visited.

Travel along Route 66 from Daggett to Chambless by watching the video above.