Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Part-time Prospector

Part-time Prospector

The Captain first came to California with the dream of striking it rich, a dream he thought he had to abandon when he left Ione and moved to San Bernardino in 1857. At that time the county was not generally known for its mineral wealth, although a few mines had been discovered, so he could have had no expectations of taking up his quest again in the new locale.

It was not long after his arrival, however, that gold was discovered in the nearby mountains, first in Bear Valley in 1859, and shortly thereafter in Holcomb Valley and Lytle Creek. The prospectors from Holcomb Valley continued their search down the north face of the San Bernardino Mountains and out into the desert, where new finds resulted in the organization of the first Mojave mining district, known as the McKenzie District, in mid-1861.

The temptation to join the gold rushes created by these discoveries must have been great, but instead Lane, who was still convalescing, chose to invest his time and energy working on his new station at the crossing. Other finds also were made during the early part of the 1860s in the Colorado River area and east into Arizona, and the traffic to these mines passed right through Lane's.

Still, even though his health was on the mend, he continued patiently and steadfastly to develop his ranching interests. But in the mid-to-late 1860s there were new discoveries of some significance on the Mojave, first in the eastern portion of the desert, and then closer and closer to Lane's, until deposits were being located within sight of his front step. This was more than flesh and blood could bear. Beginning with the formation of the Ord Mountain Mining District in 1871, the Captain became heavily involved in mining ventures throughout the high desert.

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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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