Description

    [California Gold Mining] Amazing Activity Looking East on Butte Avenue 1897. 9.75" x 7.25", mounted on mat board. This photo of Randsburg's Main Street appears to have been taken in very early 1897. Little development of the mines on Gold Hill is apparent and there are many tents on Butte Avenue. William H. Hevran, a native of Connecticut, and H. S. Meyer both recently of Visalia, opened the Great San Juan Valley Supply Company in January of 1897. It was the largest wholesale liquor dealer in this part of the state. They hired the popular Jo P. Carroll, who was a correspondent for a Visalia newspaper as their bartender. Mr. Carroll also had the distinction of being one of the first members of the Randsburg School Board of Trustees, along with J. M. Crawford and Ed Hammond. The first board of trustees was appointed in March of 1897. The Saloon was located on Butte Avenue in the heart of the business district. The building was lost in the May 1898 fire at a loss of $6,000. It was among the first buildings rebuilt and continued operation until it was burnt again in the 1903 fire. In 1899 Mr. Gerhardy was listed as having replaced Mr. Meyer in the partnership. After the fire of 1903 the building was rebuilt and sold to J. E. McGinn. Mr. Hevran had interest in the mines in the local areas among which were the Sisters and Blackhawk. In later years after doing a stint as part owner and manager of the Grand View Hotel in Avalon, he became President of the Consolidated Mines Company of Los Angeles and made frequent trips to the Randsburg area on mining business. A superb image with light crazing and loss to the emulsion, else 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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    Nov-Dec, 2011
    30th-1st Wednesday-Thursday
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