Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Heritage of the Mojave River Valley -=-

Roving Paiute Indian bands were troublesome and one day an Indian rode off with one of Mecham's saddle horses. the Indian had a good start and as the owner trailed his tracks into the calico colored hills to the north, he noted some likely signs of ore. Darkness called off the pursuit. Months later, Lafayette Mecham recalled the likely ore signs. His memory sparked the famous Calico silver discovery.


Similar to the station and Fish Ponds was one operated by Ellis Miller at Grapevine. While camping one day at the station, Robert W. Waterman and John L. Porter heard of an abandoned prospect nearby where one George C. Lee had located what he thought was quicksilver in 1875. They looked over the location and found a silver ore in the dump. In December 1880 a claim was filed for what became the famous Waterman mine.

About the same time Sheriff John King heard of the possible ore vein previously noted by Lafayette Mecham and agreed to grubstake a party any hunt for it. Thus, Frank Mecham, a son of Lafayette, John C. King and the latter's deputies, Tom Warden and Hues Thomas, tentatively made up a party. The sheriff couldn't leave his office at the time, so "Doc" Yaeger, uncle of the Mecham boys, went instead. Several claims were staked and some ore located but nothing sensational. Later, when assessment work was due on the claims, Frank Mecham's brother, Charlie, and Thomas went out. Mecham climbed up a hill where he sank his pick in what proved to be horn silver. That was the start of the Bonanza Silver King mine, which produced millions and started the county's biggest silver rush to the Calico Hills.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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