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

About 1905, another railroad entered the Mojave River Valley. Sen. William a Clark built the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad diagonally northeast from Daggett. It used the Santa Fe tracks from Riverside to Daggett. Around 1922, the Salt Lake line was bought by the Union Pacific, which established its main division point in the Mojave River Valley at Yermo.

A new form of transportation began to take shape before World War I when a few hardy folk started trying to see how far overland they could travel in automobiles. The dirt road paralleling the Santa Fe east to Needles carried the brave name of the National Old Trails Highway. after the war, automobile travel stepped up in earnest despite ruts, rocks and dust. Then, in the early 1920s a shortened version of the Old Mormon Trail to Salt Lake became the Arrowhead Trail, a second major highway. It was built by Arthur L, Doran, pioneer Barstow resident who served for many years as a county supervisor. by 1929, both the National Old Trails and Arrowhead Trail had been surfaced to the state borders. The former became U.S. 66 and the latter received the new name of U.S. 91.

Despite the fact that the silver and borax mines were no longer a factor by 1907, business and population in the Mojave River Valley continued to expand year-by-year over the past half-century. Farming became of increasing importance in the economy. With the ever-increasing migration of newcomers to California, it was obvious that railroad and highway activities would surge forward at an unprecedented pace. World War II brought in the vast military bases, U.S. Marine Corps Supply Center in Camp Irwin, with new payrolls. And now, with the operations of the Goldstone tracking station ushering the "space age" into the desert, the future holds promise far beyond the wildest dreams of the rugged pioneers.

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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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