There was never a point in time that I was not aware of Joshua Tree’s. Growing up in Southern California, they are a common site in the high desert and after all there is a National Park named after them. Many nights I have spent camping in the national park and asking my dad about the Joshua Trees. They are just so weird. Their limbs twisted in the wind. They thrive in the harsh desert environment, yet don’t offer much shade. The are a symbol of the desert southwest, and perhaps would be THE symbol of the desert south west if not for the saguaro cactus.
Located off the Masonic Road between Bridgeport, CA and the Masonic town site, are the remains of the Chemung gold mine. The Chemung gold mine operated from from 1909 to 1938 and produced over one million dollars in gold. In the 1920s, the Chemung mine was producing low grade and high grade ore. The ore was processed onsite, and then shipped to near by Bodie for smelting.
Downeyville is an old mining camp and ghost town located in Nye County, Nevada. In May 1877 silver-lead discoveries in the area caused a large influx of start up mining camps and development. Most of a local site, Ellsworth, made the journey to the yet to be named location. So many people made the trip, that frequently, they were greeted with no accommodations and would be forced to sleep outside or camp.
The town of Downeyville was founded in 1878 and had a populationsof 200 men, stores, stables, Wells Fargo Express, saloons and stage lines. A post office was added in March of 1879 and the town was named after the first postmaster, P. Downey. By 1881 ore was shipped to the nearby Carson & Colorado railroad for processing, until a lead smelter was constructed several years later. Like many boom towns, Downeyville passed into history with the next big discovery and by 1901 the post office was discontinued.
Located at 4947 feet above sea level, Marietta was formally established in 1877 near Teel’s Marsh and is now a ghost town in Mineral County, Nevada. F.M. “Borax” Smith a silver and gold prospector, found his place in the world, when he established a borax works in Teel’s Marsh in 1872.
Soon after the town was founded, the populations swelled to several hundred people, however exact figures are unknown due to inaccurate record keeping among the Chinese populations who worked in the borax plant. The town soon boasted 13 saloons, a post office and several stores.
The town had a rowdy image and due to its remote location made it an easy target for robbers, and for criminals to run free. At one point in the 1880 the stage was reported robbed 30 times. Continue Reading →
Rawhide was a mining town located approximately 55 miles south of Fallon, and 22 miles down a dirt road south of highway 50. The town was founded in 1906 when gold and silver deposits were discovered by prospector Jim Swanson in the hills surrounding Rawhide. Charles B. Holman and Charles “Scotty” A. McLeod soon join him and also found gold on nearby Holligan Hill.
Rawhide is an example of a town that existed on the promise and promotion of gold rather than the production of gold. Fueled by rampant speculation the population swelled. Rawhide boasts four churches, three banks, twelve hotels, twenty eight restaurants, thirty seven saloons, a theater and a school to support a population of 7,000 in 1908. However, the over promise and under delivery of gold doomed the town, at its glory began to fade.