Ryan, California, is a small unincorporated community located in the southeastern region of San Bernardino County, California. The town is located in the Greenwater Range in Death Valley National Park. This community has a long and fascinating history, spanning from the early 1900s to the present day.
The Beginning of Ryan, California
Ryan, California, was founded in 1908 by the Ryan brothers, who were attracted to the area for its rich mineral deposits. The Ryan brothers were mining entrepreneurs who owned several mines throughout California, and they saw the potential for a profitable mining operation in the southeastern San Bernardino County.
The brothers built a mining camp and named it Ryan, after themselves. The camp quickly grew into a bustling town, with hundreds of workers and their families living in the area. The Ryan brothers continued to expand their mining operations, and the town grew to include a post office, school, and several businesses.
The Ryan brothers were successful in their mining endeavors, but their success was short-lived. In 1913, a devastating flood destroyed much of the town, including many of the mines. The Ryan brothers were unable to recover from the disaster and were forced to sell their mining claims.
The Rise of Borax
After the flood, the town of Ryan struggled to survive. However, a new opportunity arose when the Pacific Coast Borax Company began mining operations in the area. Borax was a mineral that was in high demand at the time, and the Pacific Coast Borax Company saw the potential for a profitable operation in the Ryan area.
The company built a railroad to transport the borax from the mines to processing plants in other parts of the country. The railroad was a major economic boost for the area, and many new workers came to the town to work in the borax mines.
The town of Ryan grew once again, and new businesses opened to serve the needs of the growing population. The Pacific Coast Borax Company also built a new school for the children of the workers and provided other amenities for the community.
During this time, Ryan was a bustling community with a population of over 500 people. The town had a hotel, a general store, a post office, and several other businesses. The Pacific Coast Borax Company was the main employer in the area, and the town depended on the success of the company.
The Decline of Borax
The town of Ryan continued to thrive for many years, but the decline of the borax industry led to a decline in the town’s population. The Pacific Coast Borax Company closed its operations in Ryan in the 1920s, and many of the workers moved away to find work elsewhere.
The town struggled to survive without the borax industry, and many of the businesses in the town closed their doors. The school closed, and the post office was shut down. By the 1930s, the town of Ryan was mostly abandoned, and only a few people remained.
The Revival of Ryan
In the 1950s, a new industry brought life back to the town of Ryan. The United States Air Force began using the area around Ryan for training exercises, and a new airfield was built in the area. The airfield brought new jobs to the area, and the town began to grow once again.
The Air Force base, known as the Ryan Airfield, was in operation from the 1950s to the 1980s. During this time, the town of Ryan saw a new era of growth and prosperity. New businesses opened, and the population of the town grew to over 500 people once again.
However, when the Air Force base closed in the 1980s, the town of Ryan once again faced a decline. Many of the businesses that had opened.
Ryan is closed to the general public for safety and historic preservation reasons, the Death Valley Conservancy offers occasional public tours. Tour participants can be selected by signing up on the Death Valley Conservancy’s website.
|Also Known As||Colemanite, |
|Location||Death Valley National Park, San Bernardino County, California|
|Latitude, Longitude||36.3213, -116.6697|
|Elevation||928 meters / 3045 feet|