Mining in the Mojave

About the Exhibition

Mining in the Mojave exhibit highlights the mining operations that took place in California in the 1850s. A boom in mining claims in the latter part of the 1800s led to the discovery of minerals and metals throughout San Bernardino County, especially in the Mojave Desert which is rich in numerous metals and minerals including silver, gold, and borax. California minerals have since been shipped all around the world and continue to impact our local and national economies.

Although there are still 95 active mines in San Bernardino County today, the landscape of the High Desert has been shaped by its historically-rich mining past. The county is scattered with remnants of once-booming mining towns. When these mining towns stopped mass producing minerals and metals, their inhabitants left, leaving only the shell of the town. We call this a ghost town. Calico Ghost Town, one of the most well-known ghost towns in Southern California, still stands today. It has been converted into a county park that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past.