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    Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association

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

MOJAVE ROAD DETOUR OVER PIUTE RANGE

25 April 2016. From the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association

Leiser Ray Detour Map

Map of 14.2 mile detour around Mojave Road closure. Click image to download. [Chris S. Ervin 2016]

As of April 19, 2016, the National Park Service has closed the Mojave Road between Mile 27.0 and 30.5 in the Mojave National Preserve. This closure is due to a washout on the old underground telephone cable road connecting Piute Valley with Lanfair Valley. No date has been set for completion of repairs to the road.

The National Park Service recommends a 29-mile bypass on their Web page. We, the publishers of the official Mojave Road Guide have developed an alternate 14.2-mile detour for Mojave Road travelers who would prefer a shorter, more historic and scenic route. A PDF with a map and road log is available for download here.

SPRING IN The MOJAVE 2016

March 2016. Thanks to some well-timed rainfall, the East Mojave is experiencing a beautiful spring.

2016 Spring Mojave Yucca 540Mojave Yucca blooming in front of the Goffs Schoolhouse. Click image for more (Photos by Chris and Leslie Ervin)

At the end of March we had a local "superbloom" of wildflowers just down the road from the Goffs Schoolhouse (click on attached photo). In addition to the very obvious yellow brittle bush everywhere, we identified another dozen or so desert plants blooming.

Click here or on the photo for an album of East Mojave spring 2016 photos.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY —  2015

July 2015. From the Mojave Desert Archives

Flag on the Depot 7-4-2015

The Dennis G. Casebier Library was built in 2008 in the image of the Goffs Santa Fe Railway depot (1900-1956) with funding from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) and the membership of the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association. This wonderful repository houses the research collections of the Mojave Desert Archives. (Photo: Leslie Ervin)

SNOW IN GOFFS! — LOOKING AHEAD TO 2015

January 2015. New Year’s Message from President Steve Mongrain.

2015-Goffs-Schoolhouse-Snow-Greeting31 December 2014. Wednesday. A storm came in yesterday evening. On the last morning of 2014 the ground was covered with about half an inch of snow. That is the first time in the 25 years the Casebiers have been in Goffs. Flurries in the air will occur once or twice most years, but this is the only time it has stuck on the ground. (Goffs Schoolhouse photo by Hugh Brown)

The Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association (MDHCA) enters 2015 financially sound, goal-oriented, and strengthened in volunteer support.

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Schoolhouse Centennial - 2014 saw the very successful celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Goffs Schoolhouse. Reaching this goal was a culmination of some fifteen months of planning and coordination. A big thank you to Board Member and Centennial Chair, Jacqueline Ridge.

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Mojave National Preserve - The MDHCA also strengthened its relationship with National Park Service (NPS). Superintendent of the Mojave National Preserve, Stephanie Dubois, has been very supportive of our goals during her tenure, and it is with great reluctance that we witness her departure from NPS, but most certainly wish her well in her retirement.

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Goffs Cultural Center - We launched the Memorial Brick program to assist in moving the GCC into perpetuity. We improved security to the grounds, worked within our budget, successfully ran the American Boy 10-stamp mill, oversaw a Cal Humanities grant, and produced a number of Goffsgrams. Our goals for 2015 include the continuing recruitment of oral history interviewees, the publication of at least one of the desert-related histories we have in works, and the continued organizing of the collections.

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Mojave Desert Archives - 2015 will see the addition of two new residents to the population of Goffs. Long time MDHCA members, Chris and Leslie Ervin, will be moving to the GCC in the early part of the year. Chris has been an active member since 1988, has served as a director and president of the Board and was instrumental in acquiring the original funding and the actual building of the $1M Dennis G. Casebier Library.

Chris recently completed his master's degree in Archival Science and will become Archivist of the Mojave Desert Archives. Leslie manages our social media presence, does the set-up and artwork for the Mojave Road Report, and manages our mailing lists and membership. We could not accomplish what we do without the two of them and they will be most welcome additions.

Looking forward to a successful 2015, and thank you for your continued support.

Steve Mongrain, President

MOJAVE ROAD RENDEZVOUS 2014 and GOFFS SCHOOLHOUSE CENTENNIAL

November 2014. Thank you to our members for a special and memorable celebration.

2014 Rendezvous-Centennial
2014 Mojave Road Rendezvous and Goffs Schoolhouse Centennial. (Photos by A. Cohrs and C. Ervin)

On October 10-12, the MDHCA held its 35th annual Mojave Road Rendezvous and the 100th anniersary of the Goffs Schoolhouse at the Goffs Cultural Center.

The full story on the celebrations are detailed in the latest issue of the Mojave Road Report, #301. Also, an album of Rendezvous and Centennial photos is here.