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    Description

    [California Gold Mining] Stagecoach Arriving in Randsburg. 6.75" x 4.75". C. W. Tucker, Randsburg, Cal. studio stamp on the verso. Frank Morgan came to Randsburg in the early part of 1897 and realized that there was a need for an oil distribution business. He opened a store to specialize in that product in partnership with a man by the name of Rogers. He brought the oil in to town in large tanks and provided custom made cans to his customers for their oil. The oil was delivered from a large wagon with a tank on it. He also ran a passenger and baggage wagon between Randsburg and the train station in Johannesburg. In December of 1907 Jack Harrison was involved in a shooting which resulted in the death of Constable John Arnold of Randsburg. The shooting took place aboard a horse drawn bus which had come from Johannesburg carrying a group of young men who had been celebrating the holiday season. The bus stopped at Pat Byrne's Mountain View Saloon for a while and then proceeded down the road toward Andy Nixon's Saloon. During the short ride down the hill Constable Arnold sat at the rear of the bus and Jack was standing on the back step, when a flash was observed and according to the Bakersfield paper the Morning Echo, John Arnold said "I am shot, Jack you pulled the trigger." The bullet entered John's thigh and would have passed straight through had it not encountered a ten-cent piece, which changed its course. This was not considered to be dangerous, however, John took cold and his liver was not in good condition and he died several days later. An inquest was held in Randsburg and testimony was given that Jack had joined the party in going to Randsburg. There were conflicting statements as to whether the gun that fired the shot was Arnold's gun or Jack's gun and the jury rendered a verdict that they were unable to determine who fired the bullet. The photographer C. W. Tucker's shadow can be seen in the foreground. 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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    Auction Dates
    Nov-Dec, 2011
    30th-1st Wednesday-Thursday
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