The story of the westward expansion is the story of the railroads. Beginning in 1862, the Union Pacific Railroad sought expansion opportunities along the western coast of the United States. To secure a foothold into California the railroads must cross the Mojave Desert and the depot in Kelso was crucial to accomplish this goal. Located at the junction of Kelbaker Road and the Kelso Cima Road, the Kelso Depot stands in testimony of the technological progress of the nations trains.
The Success Mine is an gold mine site located just off Masonic Road, the between McMillan Springs and the Chemung Mine in Mono County, CA.
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.