San Bernardino County:
Until the coming of the Army in 1940, the central Mojave Desert seems to be a place to pass through, to get somewhere else, somewhat like the travelers on Interstate 15 today. But on their way through a few stopped, picked up some rocks and liked what they saw.
The mining history of area of the central Mojave Desert encompassed today by Fort Irwin is obscure, found scattered in dozens of newspapers and mining periodicals, and hard to find Federal and County documents. Mining in the region began in 1850 just outside of the fort at Salt Springs, and flourished intensely but briefly between 1904 and 1908. Within the Fort, towns were established, mining stock was bought and sold but very little metal came from the ground.