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    Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association

For the love of history- Our third Crush(er) is resurrected!

For the love of history -
Our third Crush(er) is resurrected!

Sunday, April 22, 2017 VOLUNTEERING AROUND GOFFS. NOT JUST A JOB, IT'S AN ADVENTURE

Gibson Gyratory Crusher
The Gibson Gyratory Crusher demonstrated for the first time by Charlie Connell on April 22, 2017.

Mining minerals from the earth is a labor-intensive endeavor, and the Mojave Desert has a rich past of tenacious wealth-seekers; some of them succeeded, but most of them were not anything more than “prospectors”.  Extracting riches from the earth involves much more than simply digging a hole, you have to have a way to reduce large rocks into smaller rocks. Smaller rocks, in turn, need to be crushed and refined from ore into dust or powder before the precious metals can be separated from the rubbish. In order for mining to be a profitable endeavor, the work needs to be done more efficiently than by using simple hand tools; thus, many kinds and styles of rock crushers have been invented for this purpose throughout history.  As part of the ongoing mission of MDHCA, we have not only preserved some examples of authentic rock crushing machinery that were used locally by miners, but we have succeeded in restoring them into working order so that they can be run and demonstrated.  This has been achieved by and through the hard work and determination of our volunteers.

Our newest success was the restoration of the Gibson Gyratory Crusher. This crusher was formerly located at the Golden Queen Mine in the Soledad Mountain area (Mojave Desert) , California vicinity where it languished until it was purchased by the MDHCA in 1999.  Member Bill Fullerton, along with a crew of volunteers, recovered and relocated the Gibson Gyratory Crusher to the MDHCA at Goffs, where it remained as a static display until recently.  It was decided to try and bring the crusher back into operational conditions in 2016 by Charlie Connell and his dedicated crew. Connell’s crew did successfully restore the Stott’s Stamp Mill (two stamps)  and The American Boy Stamp Mill (ten stamps), both of which have cam-shafts and tappets that pound ore like a hammer. The Gibson Gyratory Crusher is a smaller scale machine which operates simply by rotating a huge metal pestle. To the knowledge of the MDHCA, there are no Gibson Gyratory Crushers that are still operating or functional.  The Gibson was evaluated and scrutinized to find out if the present condition of the mill had adequate structural integrity and to identify any missing parts.  The Gibson did not come with the benefit of any written instructions, so one of the first tasks for the crew was to seek out resources and self-educate themselves by studying the actual patent documents.   It was determined that there were some parts missing from the machinery, but the device would still function as designed whether the parts were replaced or not.  The wooden structure that anchored the Gibson was fortified with additional timbers for strengthening. All of the bolts were tightened up until the mill structure was rigid and stable.  Finally, the crew needed to set up a device that could catch the concentrated fine material as it was washed out of the crusher. A replicated sluice table was fabricated and mounted on the front of the crusher, and the crusher was at last ready for a working demonstration.

After over 80 years of inactivity, Charlie Connell and his crew ran water through the mill and crushed our first ore on Saturday, April 22, 2017. We are proud of this monumental accomplishment, as we do not know of any other operating gyratory crusher in the USA.


To learn more about this project, visit this link

New Book - Claude Compton

NEW BOOK – CLAUDE COMPTON, INDIAN TRADER

February 2014. The MDHCA is pleased to announce a new book:

Claude-Compton-Trading-Post-.80

  • Claude Compton, Indian Trader: Fort Mojave, Arizona 1899-1904

ClaudeCompton-143

Claude Compton, Indian Trader is a fascinating historical account of the activities and developments around the trading post at the Fort Mojave Indian School in Arizona Territory from 1899 to 1904.

Compton headed west at the age of 23 to find his fortune, eventually becoming the Post Trader and Post Master at Fort Mojave on the east bank of the Colorado River, just below today's Bullhead City. Rich in historical detail, the book contains over 70 early photographs and is illustrated with maps and drawings.

Free-lance writer and historian Jere Baker has written several works on early life in Arizona. Jere is a particular authority on this subject as Claude Compton is his grandfather. The publication is 132 pages long and is softbound. We are selling this book for $15.95.

Jere's books can be purchased from our online book store.

Happy 2014

2013 IN REVIEW * LOOKING AHEAD TO 2014

January 2014. New Year’s Message from the Executive Director.

Casebier-Midden-Paintbrush(East Mojave Indian Paintbrush by Chris Ervin)

Here it is the end of another year. We’ve had our ups and downs, but all in all, it has been a good year. Major accomplishments of the MDHCA include:

*     *     *

American Boy Stamp Mill Thanks to the leadership, expertise, and hard work of Charlie Connell, the volunteers he has recruited, and the generosity of board member John Fickewirth, we have made major progress on the American Boy Ten-Stamp Mill during 2013. To the delight of all who were at Goffs, the mill was operated during the recent Mojave Road Rendezvous. Our goal for 2014 is to have this huge artifact fully on line and functioning by the time of the Spring Encampment in April. We plan to have a dedication ceremony for the mill at that time.

*     *     *

Mojave Road During the year the MDHCA entered into an agreement with the National Park Service, Mojave National Preserve, to periodically patrol the Mojave Road to pick up trash and provide for early detection of any emerging problems. The terms of our agreement with NPS MNP are such that we can do these monitoring trips up to four times a year. These trips will be under the oversight of Dennis Casebier.

*     *     *

Mojave Desert Archives Major progress has been made during the year organizing the collections of the Mojave Desert Archives. Our single most extensive collection is that of Harold and Lucile Weight. Much progress has been made by Loris Mitchell organizing materials and constructing finding aids. Other volunteers have put in many hours re-housing the Weight materials in archival quality sleeves.

I have nearly completed digitization of the hundreds of audio tapes of oral history interviews with desert old-timers done by the Weights years ago. Also, I sleeved nearly half of the thousands of Weight Collection photograph negatives and developed an electronic finding aid to them.

Also during the year, Jackie Ridge has continued her work organizing the massive collection formed over a period of many years by San Bernardino County historian Germaine Moon.

From June through September, Claire Dubois was an intern-in-residence. With our high-end scanner she digitized about 4,000 of our more than 100,000 historic photographs.

*     *     *

Looking Back and Looking Ahead It has now been a little over year since I took over as Executive Director of the MDHCA at the 2012 Rendezvous, relieving Dennis Casebier, who had been in the role since 1993. Providing leadership and coordinating most MDHCA affairs at the Goffs Cultural Center is a challenging, yet rewarding, job.

Looking back over my 2013 accomplishments, I can report to you that I continue to work with the County of San Bernardino to gain the necessary permits to construct a new Exhibit Hall with a county block grant. This structure, measuring 24' by 40' will be located on the Boulevard of Dreams across from the Dennis G. Casebier Library. We expect to see it go up during the first half of 2014. It will be used to house artifacts that have been in storage for want of space.

Here at the end of 2013, the MDHCA is financially solvent. Thanks to you, our recent raffle fundraiser and Rendezvous were successful. We met our goal of $20,000. That sounds like a lot of money, but keep in mind it costs upwards to $100,000 a year to run the Goffs Cultural Center.

As is true with much of America, the Association has suffered financially through the economic downturn of recent years. For that reason, those of us on the board managing the purse strings are naturally frugal... we call ourselves "frugalites!" Therefore I should note that we need your financial support more than ever. Remember, your donations are tax deductible, as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Hugh Brown, Goffs

Spring Encampment 2014

SPRING ENCAMPMENT 2014

April 2014. What our volunteers were up to at our annual working weekend.

Debbie Miller-Marschke
Debbie Miller-Marschke adds new paint to a numbered signpost. (Photo by Scott Braley)

On April 11-13, the MDHCA held its 25th annual Spring Encampment at the Goffs Cultural Center.

The full story on the working weekend is detailed in the latest issue of the Mojave Road Report, #299. Also, an album of Encampment photos is here.

Do you have a great photo to add to the album? Add it to the Google+ Photos of Mojave Desert Archives. Be sure to "tag" it with "Mojave Desert Archives" so we see it. Or, just send your image to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll post it.

The Mojave Project

THE MOJAVE PROJECT

June 2014. The MDHCA is a proud partner of The Mojave Project.

The Mojave Project
The Mojave Project Web Site

The Mojave Project is an experimental transmedia documentary by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association and KCET Artbound are project partners.

The Mojave Project reconsiders and establishes multiple ways in which to interpret this unique and complex landscape, through association and connection of seemingly unrelated sites, themes, and subjects thus creating a speculative and immersive experience for its audience. It will explore the following themes:

  • Desert as Wasteland;
  • Geological Time vs. Human Time;
  • Sacrifice and Exploitation;
  • Danger and Consequence;
  • Space and Perception;
  • Mobility and Movement;
  • Desert as Staging Ground;
  • Transformation and Reinvention.

The expected launch of the completed project is 2017. Stay tuned.