Mojave River Valley Museum
Mojave Desert History
Historic Periods in the Mojave Desert
The Mojave has been used by many groups through time. During this time climatic changes
have taken place and conditions have become more arid. Humans have been influenced by this
change and adjusted lifestyles accordingly. As with nearly everything in this
land of undefined borders, these periods have few, if any hard and fast dates when one
historic time changed to another--they overlap and merge together.
No one is sure when man first came to the Mojave. Recently, Mojave Desert petroglyphs
(rock pictures) have played an important role in debates about the age of the first human occupation ...
The Chemehuevi, Mohave, Serrano and Shoshone were American Indian groups that occupied
the Mojave Desert when Anglos first came. These Indian groups occupied ...
Deserters from the Spanish army were the first Anglo to enter the Mojave Desert. They
were rumored to be living with the small bands of Indians living in ...
Jedidiah Smith used the Mohave Indian Trail to cross the Mojave Desert in 1826. The
same trail was used by Kit Carson in the 1830s and when he was guide for Captain John Fremont in ...
There were those wishing to settle in the new lands of California, they came in wagons with
their families. After Edward F. Beale rode to the east with news of the discovery of gold,
hundreds and then thousands came across the Mojave...
The Mohave and the Southern Paiute began to harass and attack the travelers as they increased
in number. To thwart this practice and provide safe passage, the military established redoubts along ...
Prospectors & Miners
The gold fields of Northern California began drying up. Prospectors came back to the desert to
find their fortunes. Once the prospectors made their discovery, they would become miners and work the claim or ...
The miners had to eat and their were those who would rather make their money feeding them. Ranchers would bring
in beef and grow vegetables for the boom towns and mines...
Railroads played a key role in the development of the desert. They could haul in food and haul out
ore faster and cheaper than the large wagons designed specifically for the job. They transported ...
During the 1900s a series of homestead acts brought many wishing to settle in the desert. These folks either
came to the desert for their health or to get away from the ...
Route 66 & Hoover Dam
During the 1920s, Route 66 appeared out of a desire to improve the road network in the West, which
featured a hodgepodge of tracks and trails that had been established by American Indians and pioneers. ...
As people moved to the desert villages and towns developed, populations increased and these centers of
civilization and culture grew into the desert communities we are familiar with today.