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Profiles in Mojave Desert History

Burro Schmidt

William Henry “Burro” Schmidt was a miner with several claims in the El Paso District of Kern County. Between 1906 and 1938, he drilled and blasted a tunnel measuring 2,087 feet in length through Copper Mountain, ostensibly for ore transport. Schmidt’s 1954 death was reported in Desert Magazine. The tunnel and Schmidt’s cabin attract visitors today and were featured on an episode of California’s Gold with Huell Howser. Burro Schmidt’s tunnel is listed in the NRHP, in part for its association with Schmidt and his Depression-era work in the El Paso Mountains.

Mining in the Southern California Deserts: Swope and Gregory


Burro Schmidt Tunnel, California Mojave Desert
Photos of Burro Schmidt Tunnel between Randsburg and Redrock Canyon.

Burro Schmidt Cabin, California Mojave Desert
Photos of Burro Schmidt Cabin and Tunnel between Randsburg and Redrock Canyon.

El Paso Mountains
North Mojave Desert: El Paso Mountains. Burro Schmidt Tunnel. William "Burro" Schmidt spent 38 years digging through Copper Mountain in the El Paso range.

Desert Gold Mines
In 1907 Bert Shively's burro decided he'd had it and went to get himself . ... William "Burro" Schmidt spent 38 years digging through Copper Mountain in .

Miscellaneous El Paso District Mines
The Copper Basin group was composed of 26 claims formerly owned by William “ Burro” Schmidt who had single-handedly dug a tunnel 1,872 feet long to ...

Ridgecrest CA
William "Burro" Schmidt spent 38 years digging through Copper Mountain in the .. . External links: Maturango Museum Cultural history, natural history and ...

Last Chance Canyon
... the gold fields in northern California were pretty much picked over. This was the canyon Burro Schmidt worked so hard to avoid by digging his famed "shortcut .

photo of Burro Schmidt

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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