Story and photographs
copyright 2006 by
Inside views of the depot and
museum installations are shown here. The ground floor is mostly
dedicated to Native American culture, local geography, topography and
nature. The National Park Service has done an outstanding job
restoring the depot and filling it with interesting installatons.
Back at the
depot, Ranger Nichols pointed out a Gypsum point spear point he found
years. It is in the lower left photograph on the extreme
left. The National Park Service logo is a spear point with a snow
covered mountain peak, a tree, and a buffalo.
A cultural determinant
between native Americans was
the manufacture of basketry versus pottery. The Chemehueve
which does not last. Pottery made by the Mojave has been found
in the area. One nice specimen (below
left) had been removed from the desert
and then recently returned to the depot as part of a display. The Kelso Dunes were
surveyed in 1962 and between
that time and 1972, many artifacts were taken and/or desecrated
illegally. Metate and manos (below right), basically
stone system were taken.
Below, murals describe the native
more modern American
history, the railroad and its workings. There are system maps of
both the Union Pacific Railroad and the Santa Fe Railway. Union
Pacific even advertised to lure people to the Grand Canyon even though
their rails were not very close. Second row down on right shows
how the builders of the railroad through the desert made the grade from
Primm Nevada to the top of Cima grade and then downhill to Kelso.
Lower left is
European "discovery" of the Mojave area. In late 1857, Lt. Edward
Fitzgerald Beale, USN, led the U.S. Camel Corps into the Mojave Desert
for army freight and road building work. This experiment lasted
until 1866. At its peak, the Kelso
area had 2,000 residents working the railroad and supporting the WWII
effort. The main influx was miners to work the Kaiser Vulcan
Mine. The ore mined here with lots of extra sulphur was converted
to steel for use in WWII Liberty merchant ships. After the war,
the mine was closed.
Below left shows different types of
ore and tools used for mining ranging from a basic pick to drill
head. Below right shows Kelso at its peak.
Several rooms had been restored as
dormitory rooms for railroad employees.