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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.

Mark Your Calendars!

General Meeting

7:00 pm on Wednesday, June 29
Speaker: Charles F. Wood, Chairman of the Chemehuevi Tribal Council

The Chemehuevi Indians are basically Southern Paiutes who, according to linguists, are a Numic Branch of the Northern Uto-Aztecan Language, one of the largest language Indian groups in North America. Some anthropologists say they migrated about 4,000 years ago from Sonora to the western Mojave Desert-Tehachapi area, living so long that they formed four language branches. Then they expanded to become Utes in Utah and Colorado, then various Paiute groups. Some became Hopi in Arizona, and others migrated to the San Bernardino Mountains, then to the coast of Southern California.

Museum members and guests will find out who the Chemehuevi are, what they think about, how they teach their children, and their adjustments to the dominant white culture. It will be an interesting program.

They have lived in the eastern Mojave Desert from perhaps about A.D. 1600 and along the Colorado River south of Needles for perhaps over 200 years.

When the New Mexicans started using the Old Spanish Trail and stealing Paiutes for slaves and selling them, the Chemehuevi, according to Wood, moved away from the main water holes and trails to survive.

Everyone is welcome to the meeting, which is free, and refreshments will be served. If anyone wishes to enjoy a no-host dinner with Chairman Wood and his guests, come to Rosita’s on West Main at 5:30PM.

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.

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

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:
mrvm@verizon.net

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

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Annual Mini-BBQ


Demonstrations


Educational lectures


Field trips


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