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    [California Gold Mining] Main Street, Garlock, California 1898. 10" x 6", mounted on photographer's studio board to an overall size of 10" x 7.25". Garlock was a short lived town that existed to provide milling support to the Rand Mining District, with the arrival of the railroad in Johannesburg and water in Randsburg in 1898 the demise of the town was assured. Most of the buildings were moved to Randsburg in 1898 to replace those lost in the January and May fires that destroyed most of the business district. Readable signs in this photo include:
    C. C. Mathews - The Desert Red House: Mr. Mathews, a Tehachapi merchant and miner, opened a store in Garlock sometime in 1896 known as the Desert Red House. The earliest entry in the Rand Mountain Mine Company ledger shows that they were doing business with the Desert Red House as early as September of 1896.
    Losasso & Henry - Club Saloon: William (Billy) A. Losasso and Will Abrahms Henry opened the Club Saloon in Garlock in 1896. Billy Losasso was issued the license on the 1st of July 1896 and by August they had erected a 24x36 foot building and opened for business. Billy Losasso was still in business in Garlock in January of 1898 when he was reported to have been playing the harp at a masquerade ball that was held to benefit the school.
    Zachary Taylor Lillard: Sometime prior to 1898 Mr. Lillard opened a hotel on Main Street in Garlock. It is not known how long he remained in Garlock, but by 1904 he had relocated to Randsburg and was managing the Houser House Hotel.
    Andrew Jackson Doty: A native of Illinois, Mr. Doty came to Garlock in 1896 and went into the hotel/boarding house business. The Doty family moved on to Randsburg and in 1900 A. J. Doty was the Justice of the Peace in that town in addition to being listed as a hotel keeper.
    A small area of emulsion is missing at the center top right and there is some modest soiling, otherwise it is in fine condition.

    More Information:

    Clarence W. Tucker Photograph Collection

    Randsburg, California - Mojave Desert, Circa 1896 - 1898


    Simply spectacular! This collection consists of twenty-seven studio-mounted photographs and ten glass plate negatives taken by pioneer California photographer Clarence W. Tucker (1874-1964). The archive represents the most important and rare grouping of mining camp images to come to market in many years. The photos were found at the bottom of a mine in the Mojave Desert in the 1950s by amateur prospector William Young as documented by a series of articles in Westways Magazine in 1971 and 1972. Not a great deal is known about C. W. Tucker's early days in photography. He was born in Indiana on September 22, 1874 and in 1893 he became a photographer's apprentice in Warsaw, Indiana. In 1895 he came to San Jose, California to visit a cousin and ended up staying in California and working as a photographer until his death in 1964. Tucker settled in the rough mining camp of Randsburg around 1896 and remained there until about 1898. During that time he met and married Grace Doughty and she worked as his assistant from thereafter. In the early 1900s the Tuckers moved to Covina, California where they ran a photography studio until 1950. Tucker could not have avoided being affected by the raw energy of the mining camp at Randsburg and his keen photographer's eye fortunately chronicled its rise from a tent city to a small but booming mining town. His images are possibly the only photographic record extant of Randsburg's glory days as an Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) search shows no images by Tucker taken during his time in Randsburg in institutional holdings.


    Randsburg's decade-long boom began in 1895 with the discovery of rich gold and mineral deposits in the El Paso mountains in the northwestern Mojave Desert. John Singleton, a hard-rock miner, in a last attempt at striking it rich, got lucky with the discovery of rich gold deposits which would become the famous Yellow Aster mine. The claim was named the "Rand" giving a nod to the rich mines of South Africa and the early mining camp was called "Rand Camp". The discovery touched off the inevitable flood of prospectors and a crude tent camp was hastily established. By the end of 1895 there were thirteen buildings, most of them canvas but by the next year the population had swollen to 1,500 and more permanent wooden structures began to appear. The town suffered a series of devastating fires and as mining played out in the area, the town effectively reverted to ghost town status.

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