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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.
(click here for a brief history of our museum)


Mark Your Calendars!

General Meeting

General Meeting
7 pm on Wednesday February 27

Pretty Boy Floyd will be featured at our meeting this month. Floyd doesn’t sign autographs but he loves carrots! This is not the same Pretty Boy Floyd of the 1930s bank-robbing fame.

Our Floyd is a mule who traveled 800 of the 1,200 miles of the Old Spanish Trail from Los Angeles Plaza at Olvera Street to the Governor’s Palace in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Otis Caleb rode Pretty Boy Floyd all of those 800 miles.

The leader of the group was Richard Waller, a history buff and mule enthusiast who became obsessed with the historic Old Spanish Trail that was opened by Antonio Armijo in 1829 and became the main trading and immigrant route to California until the Mexican Cession in 1848.

In 2014 Waller was so addicted to traveling this historic mule trail with his mule that he even scouted most of it by motorcycle, introducing himself to some of the land owners of the present Trail lands and receiving permission for his two mules and one horse to cross their land and some Indian land.

In 2014 Waller, Otis Caleb, and Jim Clark traveled the Trail for four weeks and in 2015 they went for another six weeks, ending up in Santa Fe with a parade and a welcoming speech by the president of the New Mexico Chapter of the OST.

Come to the meeting and find out more about this historic trip and the historic Trail they traveled. Our meetings are open to everyone, are always free and refreshments will be served.

Join us at Rosita’s Restaurant at about 5:30 before the meeting for a no-host dinner and some good conversation.

Pretty Boy Floyd will be back at the Museum waiting for us— he prefers carrots to margaritas.

== Watch here for future meetings and announcements ==

MRVM Board of Directors Meeting: We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 5 pm.

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From Our Guest Register

“Great collection and stuff”...Albuquerque
“I wanna buy everything here.”...Santa Rosa
“We love your museum”....Encinitas
“Very interesting”….France


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 New Year's Day, July 4, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

Preservation:

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

Membership:

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.

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Special Section

Daggett Historical Society

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
760-256-5452
e-mail:
mrvmuseum@gmail.com

Open everyday except New Year's Day, July 4, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

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Annual Mini-BBQ

The Museum has expanded twice since then to a little over 4,000 square feet, but WE ARE OUT OF ROOM! Every month we obtain artifacts and documents of our desert heritage and families and have no more space to display them and little place to store them. So now we are seeking money to expand our Museum so we can PRESERVE THE HERITAGE OF THE MOJAVE DESERT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. And you are helping us save our heritage by being a member, attending your Museum’s Annual BBQ and other events, and by shopping in our Book Store and Gift Shop, and we thank you! We still need volunteers to help us and we’ll train docents!



Demonstrations


Educational lectures


Field trips

Historical Information

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