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Profiles in Mojave Desert History

William Tell Coleman

William T. Coleman lent his name to the 1880s colemanite-borax discoveries at the Lila C. Mine in Death Valley (Desert Staff 1984:28; Hildebrand 1982:31). He had been a figure in San Francisco, particularly as a vigilante committee leader (Gerstley 1969:vii). Surface borax deposits were an important commodity (Belden 1962) when the colemanite discovery caused borax production to shift to hard-rock recovery methods. Coleman was involved in the implementation of 20-mule teams for transporting borax ores (Gower 1969:10). He was among those who found a lucrative role in secondary support industries.

Mining in the Southern California Deserts: Swope and Gregory



Colemanite (USGS photo)





William T. Coleman
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