Thirteen miles south of Lone Pine/seven miles north of Cartago, an unremarkable dirt road heads east off U.S. 395 to the remains of two charcoal kilns and thence to the shoreline of the dry Owens Lake. The beehive-shaped kilns were built of clay bricks, and were then covered in plaster as protection against the elements. But why are they here?Read More
The Mojave Desert
The Mojave is a desert of wind, temperature extremes, Joshua Trees and solitude. When most people hear the word ‘desert,’ images of tumbleweeds, rattlesnakes and bleak desolation typically come to mind. In reality, the Mojave is anything but a wasteland. Amongst the sand and sagebrush lie many places of beauty and wonder, and of historic importance. Some are the result of time and the elements, some are the result of man and his efforts to live in the Mojave, both in recent and prehistoric times. Let’s go see what we can find.
Dublin Gulch is located on the southern edge of Shoshone, California. I wasn't able to track down a lot of history on the place, but here are some generalities which are most likely accurate. The caves are dug into solidified volcanic ash that reportedly came from a Lava Creek eruption in Yellow Stone National Park, over 600 thousand years ago. One account claims they were dug in the early 1900s, another puts their creation during the late 1870s when a silver boom at the nearby Noonday Mines was in full swing. Regardless of when they were created, they are pretty amazing.Read More
Mining activity in the Clark Mountain Range dates back to the 1860s. It’s likely that prospectors found some color in this desert region, but copper would prove to be the ore to bring prosperity to the area. A man by the name of Johnny Moss is credited with discovering the Copper World mine in 1868, which he wouldn’t have known to look for if a Piute chief hadn’t given him a chunk of metallic copper.Read More
So the first thing to say about the Death Valley Mine is, it's not located in Death Valley.
A man by the name of J.L. Bright discovered the Death Valley Mine in 1906, why he chose that name is anyone's guess, as the location was some 70 miles from Death Valley.
With the prospect of gold or silver, it wasn't long before a mining camp known as Dawson sprung up nearby. Named after the directors of the Death Valley Milling and Mining Company of Denver (who had bought the property from Bright shortly after his discovery), the inhabitants of Dawson worked not only at the DVM, but at other mines in the area as well.Read More
Established in the early 1860s, Benton was born with the discovery of silver in the nearby Blind Springs Hills and White Mountains. Also known as Benton Hot Springs, the town thrived for a few short years. As is the tale with many mining towns, when the precious ore gave out, so did the town. Folks moved away and buildings were left for nature to reclaim.Read More