Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the Mojave Desert.

About the

Mojave River Valley Museum

The Mojave River Valley Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the Mojave River Valley.

Through the efforts of a group of interested residents, the Museum was founded in 1964 and established as a nonprofit corporation in 1973. Donations of money, time and labor have resulted in the present Museum facility located at the corner of Barstow Road and Virginia Way.

The Museum continues to operate through the efforts of its members and by donations from the public.

Mark Your Calendars!

General Meeting

Wednesday, January 31 at 7 pm Paula Arredondo -One of Hinkley’s brightest becomes Barstow’s First Police Matron

Our guest speaker will be Linda Parsons, daughter of Paula Arredondo and niece of author Bennie Arredondo. Paula was raised in railroad towns along the tracks of the Santa Fe Railroad through the Mojave Desert and especially in Hinkley.

This program is about one amazing young lady from Hinkley who graduated Number One in her class, went to Barstow High School and was tied for #1 senior in 1936, she was the valedictorian and received a trophy, went to the prestigious Woodbury Business College in LA, graduating cum laude. She later worked at the Marine Base and then for Police Chiefs Floyd Howard and Max Pierce as Barstow’s Police Matron. What a story and impact she had until she passed away .

She had life-long heart problems and unfortunately did not obtain her dream of working at the new Barstow Police Department on Buena Vista Street in 1962.

This program will allow locals to see how family histories can pass on precious stories to future generations. Bennie Arredondo’s book A Railroader’s Family Life in the Mojave Desert: From the Heart of Mexico to the Heart of the Mojave is selling well as a wonderful history of a wonderful family. There is never a charge for Museum programs and refreshments will be served.

Anyone who would like to join Paula and several museum members for a no-host dinner before the Museum meeting, come to Rosita’s on West Main about 5:30 pm. . --

Our programs are always free, are open to everyone, and refreshments will be served.

For more information or questions, call the Museum at 760-256-5452.


MRVM General Meeting: Wednesday, January 31st at 7 pm. Linda Parsons about Paula Arredondo—Barstow’s First Woman Police Matron..

MRVM Board of Directors Meeting: We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 5 pm. Our next meeting will be February 6. Everyone is welcome to join in and see what we do and how we do it.

Daggett Historical Society: The next General Meeting will be on Thursday, February 7 at 6:00 pm at the Daggett Community Center. Call 760- 254-2201 for more information. Everyone is welcome.

Lucerne Valley Museum Association: On February 3rd at 3 pm at the Lucerne Valley Community Center, come hear Lois Papner and Cyndy Mandell tell us “Where to Find Rocks in Our Southern California Desert.” There is no charge and everyone is invited. Call 442-243- 2515.

Amargosa Opera House: On February 9 and 10 join the celebration for Marta Becket’s 50th Anniversary at the Opera House. Call 760-852- 4441.

Spring Swap Meet: Orange Empire Railroad Museum on March 3, Call 951-943-2676.

52nd Annual Museum BBQ and Open House: Saturday, May 5. Come help us celebrate or 54th year as a museum and Cinco de Mayo from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.


”I find television to be very educational. Every time some one turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book”…...Groucho Marx

Exhibits & Archives:

The Museum houses a series of displays and exhibits that portray the history of the Mojave River Valley from the arrival of Father Garces in 1776 on through pathfinders, pioneers, miners, railroads and the present space program.

Our archive of local area newspapers dates back to 1911 and our photo collection contains over 20,000 photos.

Location & Directions:

We are located in Barstow at 270 E. Virginia Way at the intersection of Barstow Road and Virginia Way. Exit I-15 at Barstow Road, go north two blocks then turn left.

Click here for a map

Open everyday except Christmas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.


Join us in helping to preserve the heritage of the desert. Your membership and participation are always welcome.


We have four levels of membership (see Membership Application). Membership benefits include receiving Desert Tailings, (our monthly newsletter,) participation in all field trips, and a 10% discount in our bookstore.

Membership Application

General Monthly Meetings

Our General Meetings are at 7:00 pm at the Museum (270 E. Virginia Way) on the last Wednesday of each month except:
    July and August: Meetings are cancelled due to our hot summers.
    November: Meeting is one week earlier than usual due to Thanksgiving.
    December: Meeting is cancelled due to the Christmas Holiday.
The Meetings feature guest speakers who cover a broad range of subjects related to our desert heritage. Meetings are open to everyone.


Special Section

Of Mines and Mules: A History of Daggett

The quiet, unassuming town of Daggett, California, nestled in the desert south of the Calico Mountains near Barstow, has a big history to tell. From silver rushes to borate refining, Daggett’s economy depended on mining. While historians disagree about when the former boom town was first settled, there is no doubt that its real beginning came in 1882 with the arrival of the railroad. For decades, the cluster of buildings with cottonwood and pepper trees would be a sight for the sore eyes of travelers crossing the inhospitable desert.

All that Remains: Daggett’s Borate Archaeology

Along the side of Route 66 east of Barstow, California sits the little town of Daggett. This settlement flourished for a few decades starting in the 1880s before losing its train station to Barstow in the early 1900s. During its heyday, Daggett boasted an active borate mining industry unsurpassed in the Mojave Desert. Visitors today can still find evidence of Daggett’s mining past. Archaeologists have recently conducted studies of the large mill site of the American Borax Company, recording what remains. More than 130 years later, information is still coming to light on this important period in southern California’s heritage.

270 E. Virginia Way
Barstow, CA 92311

Open everyday except Christmas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

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Annual Mini-BBQ


Educational lectures

Field trips

Historical Information