Ghost Towns & Gold Mines

Earp, California

Earp, California is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County in the Sonoran/Mojave Desert transition next to the Colorado River at the California/Arizona state line in Parker Valley. In 1910 the little town was named Drennan. In 1929 Drennan was renamed Earp in 1929 in honor of the nefarious Old West lawman and entrepreneur Wyatt... Read More »

Techatticup Mine

Techatticup Mine – Nelson, Nevada [huge_it_gallery... Read More »

Death Valley’s Titus Canyon

by Betty J.  Tucker –  Desert Magazine April, 1971 (photos – Walter Feller) The road and scenery through Titus Canyon in Death Valley produces all the ups and downs of a young love, then steadies out into the young matronly area. Further on, it matures and gains the stature of sedate old age. That’s a... Read More »

They Never Locked the Door of the Jail at Ballarat

By LeROY and MARGARET BALES Desert Magazine – May 1941 The bonanza days in the Death Valley region have long since passed, but grizzled prospectors are still picking away in the hills, confident that rich ledges of gold and silver are yet to be uncovered. Ballarat was one of the boom towns in that area... Read More »

Randsburg’s Dancin’ Skeletons

I called in all my Ghost-Writers here at Old Fort Oliver to help on this Ghost Town edition. As we sat around the fireplace in my combination atom-bomb-shelter and wine cellar, the old timers told many of their Ghost stories, all have a slight flavor of the bottle. I have them scattered throughout this packet,... Read More »

Shorty’s Grubstake

Once I asked Shorty Harris how he obtained his grubstakes. “Grubstakes,” he answered, “like gold, are where you find them. Once I was broke in Pioche, Nev., and couldn’t find a grubstake anywhere. Somebody told me that a woman on a ranch a few miles out wanted a man for a few days’ work. I... Read More »

Dorsey, the Dog Mail Carrier

During the great silver boom in the Calicos, a small community grew up around the Bismarck mine in the next canyon east of Calico camp. Together with the miners of the Garfield, Odessa, Occidental and other mines, there were perhaps 40 persons in the area, which was known as East Calico. While Calico was less... Read More »

The Lost Breyfogle Mine

The most famous lost mine in the Death Valley area is the Lost Breyfogle. There are many versions of the legend, but all agree that somewhere in the bowels of those rugged mountains is a colossal mass of gold, which Jacob Breyfogle found and lost. Jacob Breyfogle was a prospector who roamed the country around... Read More »

Charles Vincent Dougherty

– A.K.A. Charles Tom Vincent – This story was derived from Chapter 5 of Pearl Comfort  Fisher’s “The Mountaineers,” written by Dorothy Evans Noble and edited by George F. Tillitson Dorothy Evans Noble, former postmistress at Valyermo and wife of geologist Dr. Lee Noble, wrote this memoir of the Serrano Old Man Vincent whose name... Read More »

Massacres at the Amargosa Mine

As the first group of Mormon pioneers made their way across the Mojave in 1849, two of them looking for a water source for their livestock explored a canyon and found streaks of gold in the rock. They moved on to Southern California, purchased supplies and equipment, and immediately returned to develop the prospect. In... Read More »

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