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

The Captain and Borax Mining

At the same time Lane was involved in the discovery of gold and silver, it became known that borax was an important mineral and that it existed in certain regions of the Mojave Desert. In April the newspaper stated that borax was "the subject of the prevailing excitement," and described the locations where the mineral had been found:
    Extensive deposits of this mineral have been lately found within the borders of this county, at Fish Ponds and at a point between Camp Cady and Soda Lake. In both instances hot springs occur in the immediate proximity to a large dry lake-bed.

    Many other dry lakes were prospected for borax but with no encouraging result. It seems to be met only in the neighborhood of warm springs. The deposit near Fish Ponds is doubtless one of the most extensive ever discovered being several feet in thickness, and in extent covering several hundred acres.
The Captain always liked being in the forefront when a new discovery or technology was in the making, and this new mineral caught his interest. In June, the Assessor was out at Lane's, and while there he was shown some "excellent specimens" from borax beds Lane had located about fifteen miles west of Point of Rocks.

That following October, Lane made a "flying visit" to the newspaper office to inform the editor of a big discovery of borax. He said he had already sold one borax field, but before he could give any details, "he was then off in less than a minute." Lane appeared to be everywhere and it seems he was determined to take full advantage of the mining boom on 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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