Saturday, September 22, 2007

Calton's Log: still a sick day.

Randsburg is in Kern County, California. The population was 77 at the 2000 census. Located between Kramer Junction to the south and Ridgecrest to the north. Randsburg is in the Rand Mountains, and is separated by a ridge from the neighboring community of Johannesburg.

In 2000, there were 49 households, with 22 families. (According to the census, the average household size was 1.57 and the average family size was 2.09.) The median age is 57 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males. (do the math on that one...there are only 77 people to begin with!) The median income for a household is $48,000, and the median income for a family is $49,875. Males have a median income of $53,750 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income is $23,602. None of the population and none of the families are below the poverty line.

From Henry Chenowith's account: "No mine in recent history has been plagued by more legal problems than the Rand mine. First discovered in 1895 by three prospectors who had spent time in the Mojave and Death Valley area with little to show for it, the find created a rush to the area despite the merciless heat and the absence of available water. The mine's legal problems started with two of the original owners agreeing to sell a half interest to an investor as a means of raising cash to construct a mill. The third original owner did not agree and set off a round of legal problems that lasted well into the 1920s. However, the original three owners had by 1897 received some $250,000 for two years work. Eventually, revenues would amount to over $25 million from the Randsburg mines."

Jim Bremner says: "The Rand Area extends over a hilly plateau at an elevation of 3500 feet. The climate is typical of the high desert -- summers are hot and dry, reaching average highs of 110 degrees F. Winter temperatures can drop as low as 10 degrees above zero and snow is not infrequent. With Spring comes the desert wildflowers -- Primroses, Prince's Plumes, Indigo Bushes, Lupines and Asters. Late summer is the season for thunderstorms.
Kit Foxes, Jackrabbits, Cottontails, hawks, eagles and Coyotes are some of the animals that live in Randsburg year-round. The Costa's Hummingbird visits during the summer. Tarantulas and Desert Tortoises migrate through the Rand Area."

There is a "Cottage Hotel", "Opera House and Cafe", "Saloon", "Museum", "Antique Store", Post Office" and "General Store" to help you pass the time. The entire town is about five square miles, so trust me when I say that you can find easy parking and walk everywhere.

Next time you are traveling north on old 395 through the Mojave take a left when you see Red Mountain or Randsburg. You'll spend an interesting few minutes and drive away thankful for where you currently live.

add to sk*rt


melissa c said...

what wonderful pictures! I especially loved the first one. I love these old towns. They are very nostalgic to me.

It is sad to see them die.

chronicler said...

You and my husband. still sick. I'm not gonna talk to either one of you soon! well, not really, but I certainly don't want what either of you have.

Sarah said...

Hey S'mee! Just wanted to let you know you won the haiku contest over at my place! Drop me a note with your mailing address so I can stick your prize in the mail :)

bare walls, sniff...