An Overview of Mining in the California Desert
Larry M. Vredenburgh


Placer gold, eroded from its host rock, and deposited as nuggets or flakes in stream-bed gravel, provided the first non-native American mineral production in California. Shortly after the establishment of a Spanish community at the present site of Yuma, Arizona, placer gold was discovered about ten miles to the northeast on the California side of the Colorado River at the Potholes. The deposit was worked from 1779 to 1781. (The Yuma Indians wiped out the Spanish community on July 17, 1781.) About this same time placer gold was discovered and worked briefly in the nearby Cargo Muchacho Mountains. The Potholes again began to yield gold following Mexican independence in 1823.

On the western-most fringe of the Mojave Desert, Francisco Lopez, Domingo Bermudez and Manuel Cota discovered gold on March 9, 1842 just some 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles and 50 miles from Palmdale in Placerita Canyon. Gold was mined here actively until 1845.

However, these early gold discoveries are simply historical footnotes in comparison to John Marshall's find on January 24, 1848 on the South Fork of the American River. Marshall made his discovery nine days before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo. This treaty called for Mexico to cede 55% of its territory, present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Colorado, Nevada and Utah, in exchange for fifteen million dollars in compensation for war-related damage to Mexican property. In May 1848, Kit Carson, acting as official courier for the U.S. Government, left Los Angeles, carrying a dispatch to Washington D.C. announcing the discovery of gold in California. On the trip east, following the Old Spanish Trail, he would have naturally have stopped at Salt Springs at the south end of Death Valley. The reports of astoundingly rich placer gold finds caught the imagination of the entire civilized world. Soon it seemed that everyone was on his way to California to strike it rich.

In October 1849, some 500 gold seekers in 110 wagons, who had arrived too late in the season to safely cross the Sierras, chose to head south guided by Jefferson Hunt – at $10 per wagon. The route from Salt Lake City approached the gold fields via snow-free southern California. On November 1, near the Utah – Nevada boundary, a group 100 immigrants decided to follow a doubtful map to cut hundreds of miles off the route. Those that left, soon disintegrated into a number of smaller groups, that found themselves lost in the Death Valley country. Somewhere in the Panamint Range, Jim Martin picked up a rock which was nearly pure silver. Later, when he had arrived in Mariposa he had the specimen made into a gun sight. This discovery has been known as the “Lost Gunsight Mine” ever since.

Shortly after the scattered survivors of the “short cut” arrived in the gold country, a man named Turner returned with a party to search for the source of the gun sight's silver. Turner headed south from Mariposa and set out for Death Valley from the ranch of Dr. E. Darwin French near Fort Tejon, now in Kern County. This expedition returned empty-handed. In September 1850, Turner mounted another expedition. This time Dr. French accompanied the group. This second group also returned without finding the lost silver ledge.

Meanwhile, Jefferson Hunt led the rest of the party south, eventually joining the Old Spanish Trail. Near the south end of Death Valley they came to the resting point, Salt Spring. The same spring Kit Carson would have stopped at a year earlier. Here two men who had been in the California gold fields the previous year discovered placer gold. The gold flakes were traced up a small ravine that drained nearby hills. The source of the gold, a quartz vein that contained pea-sized nuggets, was easily found. Within months a company was organized to mine gold at Salt Springs.

Following John Marshall's discovery, prospectors quickly fanned out to test nearly every river and ravine in the Sierra Nevada. The last of the Sierra Nevada placer gold discoveries occurred on the lower Kern River in May 1854. By January 1855 exaggerated reports of riches at the “southern mines” began to fill newspapers from San Francisco to Los Angeles. By this time all of the easily recovered placer gold had been mined out further north, and men looking for another chance at easy riches, immediately poured into the area. The reports of easy riches soon proved highly exaggerated, and by April the rush was over. However, after most of the adventurers had gone home, a string of gold discoveries were made in the adjacent mountains. In 1855 and 1856, lode gold was discovered in the Greenhorn Mountains, at Keyesville and in Erskine Creek Canyon, and placer gold immediately south of Tehachapi. The small community of Keyesville was soon established just up from the Kern River, near the lode gold mines. A few miles north of Keyesville, the rich Big Blue Mine was discovered in 1861. That same year placer and lode gold was found about 15 miles to the southeast, high in the Piute Mountains giving birth to the community of Claraville. Ten miles to the northeast of Claraville, also in 1861, lode gold discoveries resulted in the formation of Sageland. In 1864, located little more than 6 miles south of Keyesville, gold was discovered on Clear Creek. The adjoining lode discoveries resulted in the establishment of the town of Havilah which, in 1867. became the first county seat of Kern County. Many of the men who were actively involved with mining in the Southern Sierra between 1855 and the mid-1860s would turn up in mining camps though the Mojave Desert and Great Basin.

Far to the north of the Kern River, about 20 miles east of the northern shore of Lake Tahoe, and just north of the Carson River, prospectors began recovering placer gold as early as 1852. This small-scale mining continued until spring 1859 when Peter O'Riley and Patrick McLaughlin discovered the top of the Ophir bonanza. Within days they were extracting as much as $1,000 a day in placer gold. In July a local rancher had ore assayed in Grass Valley from O'Riley and McLaughlin's discovery that was found to contain $3,000 per ton silver and $876 per ton in gold. The “blasted blue stuff” which had fouled gold rockers since 1852 was found to be high-grade silver ore. With this assay, the Comstock Lode had its beginning. California's gold towns were emptied as thousands poured into the “Washoe” region. A new rush for riches had begun. The late-comers, finding the surrounding ground completely staked, immediately fanned out into Great Basin and eastern California looking for a second Comstock.

Fueled by the Lost Gunsight Mine story, prospectors began to scour the Death Valley region. Dr. Darwin French decided to give the search another try. In 1860, following the Comstock discovery, he led a group of about a dozen prospectors from Oroville and Sacramento in a search for the lost ledge of silver. While the expedition failed to find the source of the gun sight silver, they did find rich silver ore in the Coso Range. One member of the French party was Dennis Searles. He returned with his brother John not long later. Together the brothers found gold and silver mineralization in the Slate Range. By the fall of 1860 there were hundreds of prospectors in the area. By early 1861 the Telescope Mining District had been established in the Panamint Mountains, and the Washington District in the Amargosa Range on the east side of Death Valley. In the early 1860s mineral discoveries in the desert of southeastern California came in quick succession. At the base of the mountains at the eastern edge of the Owens Valley several gold discoveries were made in the 1860s. From south to north these were Bend City (1863), San Carlos (1862), and Owensville. In 1863 the Kersarge Mine was discovered high on the crest of the Sierra Nevada west of Independence. To the south, gold and silver was also found in the El Paso Mountains.

In the East Mojave silver ore was found in 1863 essentially right beside the route of the Government Road in Macedonia Canyon in the northern Providence Mountains. Located just 15 miles inside Nevada the Potosi lead-silver mines in 1861 were attracting considerable attention. At the same time the gold placers of El Dorado Canyon (east of present-day Searchlight, Nevada) and La Paz, Arizona (seven miles north of Ehrenberg) were also active. These discoveries drew men either overland from the coastal regions of California or up the Colorado River.

During the Civil War the relatively easy transportation along Colorado River, rich copper deposits adjacent to the river, and growing demand and the high price of copper combined to yield small tonnages of high-grade ore. During this time copper was mined in the Dead Mountains, Whipple Mountains, Turtle Mountains and in Riverside County in the Ironwood Mining District. What little ore that was mined was shipped around the globe to Swansea, Wales for smelting.

In the late 1850s, just prior to the outbreak of “Washoe fever,” miners were successfully recovering placer gold north of Mono Lake at the camps of Dogtown and Monoville. Then, in July 1859 Waterman “Bill” Body found placer gold some 20 miles east of Dogtown at the location that bears the name Bodie. A year later gold was discovered some 16 miles farther to the east, just inside Nevada, at Aurora. In 1861, lode gold was discovered at Bodie and shared the limelight with nearby Aurora. Aurora grew rapidly into a town. Many of the houses and stores were built of fine brick. Samuel Clemens worked here briefly in 1862. It was even the seat of Mono County for a short time until a boundary survey proved it to be in Nevada. It boasted two newspapers and a population of several thousand. But more importantly, the inflated value of the mining stock, extreme speculation in mining property, and costly mills that largely stood idle led to a collapse in the price of mining stock. It began in January 1864 with Aurora's Wide West Mine, but soon spread to all the mining stock associated with Aurora and ultimately the Comstock mines as well. At the time the mines of the Comstock were themselves struggling, and would until the discovery of bonanza ore in 1871.

As mining capital dried up in the mid-1860s most of the mines within the California desert region were deserted. An outbreak of Indian hostilities at this time also contributed. One bright spot in the region during this time occurred in 1865, high in the Inyo Mountains with the discovery of the Cerro Gordo Mine. The first wagon of silver bullion from this mine arrived in Los Angeles in June 1868 for shipment to Selby Smelter in San Francisco (which had been erected in 1867). Regular shipments began arriving in Los Angeles in December 1868 and continued until the summer 1872. At that time the bullion was hauled over Tehachapi Pass to the Southern Pacific railhead near Visalia. However, this arrangement proved a disaster, and again in June 1873, Los Angeles became the recipient of Cerro Gordo's output. The flow of silver-lead bullion continued through Los Angeles until April 1875 when the bullion route was again shifted over Tehachapi pass to the railhead of the Southern Pacific Railroad at Caliente, located at the base of the pass. In late July 1875 rails finally reached Mojave. The teams of bullion, from Cerro Gordo soon were connected here. But by December 1876 the mine's output had essentially come to an end.

The discovery of Cerro Gordo in 1865 and the 1871 discovery of bonanza ore at the Comstock proved a stimulus through out the desert. As a result of the immense quantities of silver extracted from the Comstock between 1871 and 1878 several men became fabulously wealthy, and in general the investment climate greatly improved.

In the East Mojave the Ivanpah silver mines were actively mined beginning mid 1870 with ore shipped to the Selby smelter in San Francisco. A mill was erected at the New York Mine, located in the New York Mountains, in December 1873, though it ran only briefly. The McFarlane brothers later moved it to Ivanpah. By the mid-1870s two mills located near the town of Ivanpah were processing ore. About 10 miles south of Ivanpah, the Bullion and Cambria silver mines were productive in the early 1880s, and the Bonanza King Mine was found in the spring of 1880 when two prospectors from Ivanpah discovered silver ore in the Providence Mountains.

In Inyo County silver ore was discovered at Panamint in January 1873, at Darwin in October 1874, at Lookout in January 1875, and near Resting Springs in August 1875.

Silver and gold were discovered in the hills above Oro Grande in the summer of 1879, and a substantial water-powered mill was erected along the Mojave River by April 1881. Silver was also discovered in 1879 at the Waterman Mine located just north of the Mojave River at what is now Barstow. A mill to work this ore was constructed in November 1881. At nearby Calico, silver ore was discovered in April 1881. Initially ore was hauled from the Silver King Mine at Calico to the Oro Grande mill. But within a couple of years there were a number of mills located in the vicinity of Calico.

The significant output of silver during this time was influenced by events that were transpiring far away in Washington D.C. Silver was a relatively scarce commodity prior to the discovery of bonanza ore in the Comstock mines in the early 1870s. On the open market, it was worth $1.02 an ounce. However, prior to passage of the Coinage Act in 1873, the U.S. Mint would only pay one dollar to purchase an ounce of silver. With the passage of this Act, the United States demonetized silver, and silver dollars were no longer were produced (although the half dollar, quarter and dime continued to be minted). In addition, U.S. bonds had to be redeemed only in gold as silver was no longer a monetary metal. During the mid-1870s the market became flooded with newly mined western silver. Also, France and Germany had adopted the gold standard, dumping millions dollars worth of silver on the market, as a result, its price had dropped to ninety cents an ounce by 1878. Mining interests clamored for repeal of the Coinage Act that they labeled as the “crime of 1873.”

In 1878 the Bland-Allison Act, passed to reverse the effect of the Coinage Act of 1873, mandated purchase of between $2 million and $4 million worth of silver each month from the western mines. The Bland-Allison Act of 1878 was repealed by the passage of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890. The 1890 act required the U.S. government to purchase nearly twice as much silver as before, and pay for it with legal tender, treasury notes redeemable in gold. The silver was to be purchased at market rates. After the financial panic of 1893, President Cleveland called a special session of Congress and secured, in 1893, the repeal of the act.

The Bland-Allison Act and the Sherman Silver Purchase Act provided stable silver prices at a time when market forces would have otherwise depressed silver prices due to over supply. As a result silver was king in the California desert between 1878 until 1893. The repeal of the Sherman Act in 1893 sounded the death knell to silver mining. One victim was the New York Mine, also known as the Sagamore, located in the East Mojave. Issac Blake, the mine's principal promoter had invested much time, energy and money in the construction of the Nevada Southern Railroad to primarily serve this mine. The railroad, constructed north from Goffs, reached Manvel by July 1893. However his entire empire collapsed at nearly the same time.

Bodie, one of the premier gold mines in the region, was an exception to predominance of silver mining during the 1870s and 1880s. Rich gold was discovered in the underground workings in 1872, reviving the mine. By 1888 more than $18 million was produced. The gold mines of the Cargo Muchacho Mountains and at Picacho in Imperial County were also exceptions. In 1877, with the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in the area, the mines here began to be worked.

Gold reigned as king with the loss of silver price supports in 1893. As if on cue, several important gold deposits were discovered. These included Vanderbilt (1893), Red Rock Canyon (1894), the Summit Diggings (1894), the Yellow Aster Mine (1895), the Mojave Mining District (1894), the Ratcliffe Mine in the Panamint Range (1897) and the Bagdad-Chase Mine (1901). Mining revived at Picacho, in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains, and many other older districts.

In June 1903 a standard gauge railroad, the Ludlow and Southern, was completed from Ludlow to the Bagdad-Chase Mine. Ore was shipped to the Randsburg-Santa Fe Reduction Company's 50-stamp mill at Barstow for processing. This mine was to become one of the premier producers in the entire desert. The Yellow Aster Mine at Randsburg was another major producer. In November 1897 the 28 mile long Randsburg Railroad was constructed north from Kramer on the Santa Fe to Johannesburg near the mines.

In addition to economic considerations that favored gold, there were several technical innovations. Foremost was the introduction of cyanide to recover gold. In 1890 John MacArthur and Robert and William Forrest of Glasgow, Scotland introduced the cyanide process to the Witwatersrand gold mines in South Africa. The process was found to extract 96 percent of gold from the ore. This enabled recovery rates unimagined with mercury amalgamation alone. The use of cyanide breathed new life into many older gold districts. Bodie, whose production by then had slumped, became one of the first mines in the United States to utilize cyanide. Soon its use became the industry standard. Also, men with portable cyanide plants reworked old mill tailings.

After the Southern Pacific Railroad reached Mojave in 1875, the line was pushed into Los Angeles, then south through the Coachella Valley. In May 1877, the line crossed the Colorado River at Yuma. The railroad had an immediate impact on the mining industry. Silver-lead ore was hauled from Darwin, Lookout and Panamint City to the new railhead at Mojave. Borax ore, which had been shipped from Searles Lake to San Pedro since 1873, was now only hauled 80 miles. Beginning in the winter of 1882, and continuing for the next six years, William Coleman hauled borax from the Harmony Borax Works in Death Valley to Mojave in the world famous “twenty-mule teams.” The Bonanza King Mine located far out in the east Mojave Desert had its mill delivered in July 1882 from Mojave.

The Southern Pacific began construction at Mojave in February 1882 of a new line to Needles, on the Colorado River. The destination was reached April 19, 1883. At the same time the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad had been building westward from New Mexico. It reached the Arizona bank of the river a month after the Southern Pacific. On August 8 the A&P completed a bridge across the river. The Southern Pacific built its line to halt the A&P's advance into SP's lucrative California markets. However, A&P stood ready to make good on its threat to build a parallel line into California. This would have rendered the newly built Southern Pacific line redundant and of no economic value, and as a result the Southern Pacific agreed to sell the new line. On October 1, 1884 the A&P paid about $7 million for the rail line to Mojave. In alliance with the Atlantic and Pacific, the California Southern Railroad was built from San Bernardino over Cajon Pass to Barstow where it connected to the A&P in November 1885. (After 1893, the Atlantic and Pacific was known as the Santa Fe.) The mines at Oro Grande, especially the limestone quarries for cement, immediately benefited from the improved transportation.

Daggett was by far the most important source of revenue along the new line between Mojave and Needles. The mining activity at Calico was in full swing. In addition, Daggett became an important receiving point from desert mines. Between 1882 and 1883 borax ore was hauled from the Eagle Borax Works in Death Valley to Daggett. Borax was also hauled from William Coleman's Amargosa Borax Works located at Shoshone. In 1890 the borax deposit at Borate, located just east of the silver camp of Calico, was developed. In 1898 an eleven-mile railroad was built from the deposit to Daggett.

With depletion of the borax deposit at Borate, near Calico, and the discovery of borax southeast of Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley – Francis Marion “Borax” Smith was looking for a transportation solution that didn't involve mules. In his first attempt, a road was graded from the California Eastern Railroad terminus at Ivanpah to the Lila C. Mine. In the April 1904, inaugural run, a steam powered tractor pulled a “train” of open ore cars 14 miles, then quit operating. Smith concluded constructing a railroad was the only alternative. On July 19, 1904 the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad was incorporated. The first rails were laid in November 1905 from Ludlow on the Santa Fe, by June 1907 the rails had finally reached Zabriski, north of the Amargosa River gorge, near Shoshone. Briefly ore was teamed from the Lila C. Mine to the railhead. The line reached the mine on August 16, 1907, and was completed on October 30, 1907 to Gold Center, just south of Beatty, Nevada. When the Lila C. Mine became exhausted, operations were moved twelve-miles to the northwest to the Biddy McCarty Mine. The Death Valley narrow gauge railroad was constructed to connect the mines with the Tonopah and Tidewater. This line was completed on December 1, 1914.

Just a year earlier, in 1913, John Suckow, drilling for water on his homestead claim, at a depth of 40 feet discovered the largest borax deposit in the world, scarcely three miles north of the Santa Fe Railroad, about 10 miles northwest of Kramer. Immediately Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company bought up the property. In 1927 the Death Valley operations were moved to the Baker Mine near Boron.

Just as the discovery of the Comstock Lode rocked southeastern California, the discovery of silver at Tonopah on May 19, 1900 and the subsequent discovery in 1902 of gold at Goldfield scarcely 25 miles away, sent prospectors scampering through out the region looking for gold. Gold discoveries in the immediate aftermath of Goldfield include Skidoo (1906), Harrisburg (1905), Hart (1907), and Crackerjack (1906).

In 1905 the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (later the Union Pacific) was constructed south through Las Vegas, connecting with the Santa Fe at Daggett. The close proximity of this new line to mines located south of Mountain Pass proved to be a stimulus to that district.

A rail line was built in 1907 from Barnwell (Manvel) to the booming gold camp of Searchlight. The line skirted the north edge of the newly established town of Hart.

At this time the use of the automobile was becoming widespread, and soon became as essential to desert prospector as the burro had been. Also, gasoline motors were beginning to be used in mills replacing steam powered equipment. By the mid 1910s trucks began to be utilized to haul ore. Electric power was furnished by lines from the newly constructed Los Angeles aqueduct or, as was in the case of Bodie and Calico, generated locally.

Another stimulus to mining in the late in the 1800s, and in the early years of the 1900s, was the relatively high price of copper. The Copper World Mine, discovered in 1869 was systematically mined beginning in 1898. Ore was smelted west of the mine at Valley Wells. After reduction at the smelter, the nearly pure copper was teamed to the California Eastern Railroad at Manvel, 30 miles southeast. Supplies, and coal from New Mexico were hauled in on the return trip. Three or four times a month a 20-ton carload of copper matte was shipped to New York for final smelting. Each rail car of matte was worth $7,000. By late 1899 the Copper World was said to be one of the four largest copper mines in the United States. Even though the California Eastern Railroad was extended 13 miles closer to the property in 1902, the mine sputtered and closed. The costs were simply too high. Between 1906 and 1908 the mine was again active. During this time ore was shipped to the Needles Smelter.

At about the same time, the widespread copper stained volcanic rocks of the Greenwater Range, east of Death Valley, convinced many that a literal mountain of copper ore lay at depth. (Not a far-fetched idea – considering that in 1906, Kennecott began open-pit mining the Bingham Canyon Mine.) The town of Greenwater sprang up, fueled by frenzied stock speculation, encouraged by investment by some of the biggest names of the day in mining. By 1907 over 1,000 called Greenwater and its satellite communities home. The fact that the promised ore never materialized, coupled with the financial panic of 1907 caused the demise of Greenwater. Speculation in the railroad and banking industries led to a short but painful depression in 1907-1908. Many mines had to suspend operations; banks from Goldfield to Los Angeles failed.

In a discovery that is reminiscent of Comstock, Randsburg prospectors recovering gold using dry placer methods had been bedeviled by “heavy spar” from the beginning. In 1904 the confounded heavy white mineral was found to be the tungsten ore, scheelite. Mining began in 1906 and continued through World War I. Production soared during the war years, as did the number of employees.

Primarily built to service construction of the Los Angeles aqueduct, the Southern Pacific completed a branch line from Mojave north to the southern Owens Valley in 1910. However, one of the largest mineral deposits in the United States was to benefit significantly from the new line. Borax recovery from Searles Lake had ceased in 1895, but in 1905 potash was identified in the lake brines. In 1913 the American Trona Corporation was incorporated to extract potash, soda ash, sodium sulfate, salt, and borax from the brines. A standard gauge railroad was completed to Searles Lake September 1, 1914, and at the same time a plant was constructed at Trona. A German embargo of potash fertilizer during World War I sharply raised potash prices, creating a rush of activity at Searles Lake – the only American source of potash at the time. With the decline of prices at the end of the war – potash was no longer economically recoverable. However the deposit continues to produce a host of products from the lake brine.

Between 1905 and 1910 the Santa Fe constructed a line from Phoenix, Arizona – crossed the Colorado River at Parker, then continued north to the main line at Cadiz. On August 9, 1916 a branch line was completed to Blythe. In 1925 limestone mining began at Chubbuck located midway between Cadiz and Rice. A short narrow gauge railroad was constructed from the mines to the kiln located along the railroad. Also in 1925, mining operations began at the large gypsum deposit at Midland, situated north of Blythe two miles west of the railroad.

In 1910 a nine-mile long rail line was constructed from Tecopa, on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad, to the Noonday and Gunsite lead-silver mines. The mines operated until 1918. Many other mines were able to operate economically along the T&T's route as well, due to the cheap transportation it afforded.

In April, 1918 Congress passed the Pittman Silver Act. Under provisions of this law the United States purchased about $260 million dollars worth of silver at $1.00 an ounce. This silver was used to coin silver dollars. As a result there was renewed mining at Calico, but most importantly, the well timed discovery of the Kelley-Rand silver mine in 1919 soon became the largest silver producer in the state. This deposit was discovered right beside the road that is now U.S. Highway 395 in an area that had been intensely prospected since 1895.

By the end of World War I the frontier was gone. Accurate maps had existed for decades. Roads and railroads crisscrossed the desert. The Automobile Club of Southern California placed road signs through out the desert. Soon dirt roads would be replaced by pavement. Truck transportation would replace rail for many operations. Electrical lines already served the largest operations. High volume low-grade operations were replacing the high-grade deposits that led to the discoveries in the first place. During the 1920s, inflation and the fixed price of gold put a damper on mining. Increasingly industrial minerals would play a more important role in the mining mix. During the 1930s the price of copper bottomed out, however the increase of the fixed the price of gold in 1933 stimulated gold mining for a while. But by government order gold mining was shut down during World War II in order to concentrate on the mining of strategic minerals such as iron, tungsten, copper and lead. After the war, gold mining did not recover. Again, inflation and fixed gold prices were the primary reason. In 1968 the price of gold was no longer fixed. The high price of gold coupled with new innovations in the fields of exploration, mining, and recovery led to a new gold rush through the western United States. During the last few decades, large low-grade gold deposits have been mined in California. But it is the huge deposits of salines, borax, gypsum and limestone that will continue to be mined for many dozens of decades yet in the future, providing the nation and the world some of the basics of every-day life.


Clark, William B, 1980, Gold Districts of California. California Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193.

Hensher, Alan and Larry Vredenburgh, 1986, Ghost Towns of the Upper Mojave Desert, Volume I: San Bernardino County (typescript).

Hensher, Alan and Larry Vredenburgh, 1991, Ghost Town of the Mojave Desert, A Concise and Illustrated Guide. Los Angeles: California Classics Books.

Hensher, Alan, and Larry M. Vredenburgh, 1997, The Early History of the Resting Springs Mining District in Robert E. Reynolds and Jennifer Reynolds (eds.) Death Valley the Amargosa Route, San Bernardino County Museum Association Quartly Vol 44 (2).

Lingenfelter, Richard E., 1986, Death Valley and the Amargosa, a Land of Illusion. Los Angles: University of California Press.

McAfee, Ward, 1973, California's Railroad Era 1850-1911 , San Marino: Golden West Books.

Morton, Paul K, 1977, Geology and Mineral Resources of Imperial County, California, California Division of Mines and Geology County Report 7.

Myrick, David F., 1963, Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California . Berkeley: Howell North Books.

Nadeau, Remi, 1965 , City Makers . Los Angeles:Trans Anglo Books

Nadeau, Remi, 1972, Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of California . Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie Press.

Paher, Stanley W., 1970, Nevada Ghost Towns and Mining Camps , San Diego: Howell-North Books.

Paher, Stanley W., 1973, Death Valley Ghost Towns . Las Vegas: Nevada Publications.

Paher, Stanley W. and Robert L. Spude, 1976, Colorado River Ghost Towns , Las Vegas: Nevada Publications.

Paul, Rodman Wilson, 1974, Mining Frontiers of the Far West 1848-1880 . Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Troxel, Bennie w. and Paul K Morton, 1962, Mines and Mineral Resources of Kern County, California, California Division of Mines and Geology County Report 1.

Vredenburgh, Larry M, Shumway, Gary L, and Russell D. Hartill, 1981, Desert Fever , Canoga Park: Living West Press.

Vredenburgh, Larry M., 1996, Early Mines of Southern Clark Mountain, the Northern Mescal Range and the Ivanpah Mountains , in Robert E. Reynolds and Jennifer Reynolds (eds.) Punctuated Chaos, in the Northeastern Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County Museum Association Quarterly Vol. 43 nos. 1 and 2, pp. 67-72,

Wright, Lauren A. (editor), 1957, Mineral Commodities of California , California Division Mines Bulletin 176.

This paper was published as:

Vredenburgh, Larry, M., 2005, An overview of mining in the California Desert in Robert E. Reynolds editor, Old Ores, Mining History in the Eastern Mojave Desert: California State Uiversity, Desert Studies Consortium and LSA Associates, Inc. pages 22-27