Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the Mojave Desert.
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.
MRVM Field TripOn Saturday, October 24, 2020, Richard and Lori Shapel will lead us on a Coxey Road Field Trip. We will meet at the ARCO Station on the corner of Bear Valley and Kiowa Roads at 9 am. You will need a vehicle with high clearance but not necessarily a 4X drive. Have a tank full of gas, some munchies, a lunch, plenty of water, and of course a hat.
Everyone is welcome to come join us for the trip. You don’t need to be a member of our Museum to go along, but of course we think becoming a member here is always a good idea.
Coxey Road (so named because it went past Coxey Ranch and Coxey Canyon) is a part of the Van Dusen Road and there is a lot of history there. In 1861 the miners of Holcomb Valley needed a yearround road to use as a supply route, so they banded together, raised about $2,000, and paid Jed Van Dusen, the local blacksmith, to build a road to connect with John Brown’s Toll Road. In 1897 that part of the road than ran along the Mojave River in Hesperia became known as the Hesperia Stage Road. Jed Van Dusen’s bigger claim to fame was his daughter Belle, who by all accounts was the prettiest thing for miles around. The Belleville Township, which at the time stretched from Bear Valley to the Colorado River. was named for Belle. The earliest known census of Belleville Township was in 1870 and there were 56 people in the entire district; it was discontinued in 1952.Townships were also known as Judicial Districts
Van Dusen Road/Coxey Truck TrailFor more information, call the Museum at 760-256-5452
== Watch here for future meetings and announcements ==
MRVM Board of Directors Meeting: We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 5 pm.
From Our Guest Register
“Great collection and stuff”...Albuquerque
“I wanna buy everything here.”...Santa Rosa
“We love your museum”....Encinitas
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
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.
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:
November: Meeting is one week earlier than usual due to Thanksgiving.
December: Meeting is cancelled due to the Christmas Holiday.
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
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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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!
We are a tax deductable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1973