Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the Mojave Desert.

About the

Mojave River Valley Museum

The Mojave River Valley Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the scientific, historical and cultural heritage of the Mojave River Valley.

Through the efforts of a group of interested residents, the Museum was founded in 1964 and established as a nonprofit corporation in 1973. Donations of money, time and labor have resulted in the present Museum facility located at the corner of Barstow Road and Virginia Way.

The Museum continues to operate through the efforts of its members and by donations from the public.

Mark Your Calendars!

General Meeting
Wednesday, June 28 at 7 pm

The Honorary Mayor of Oro Grande will be the guest speaker for our June Museum Meeting—The Honorable Joe Manners will be here to show the progress that this old mining area has been having.

Though by-passed by railroad stops and highways, Oro Grande did not die! It’s a place where Old Highway 66 can be seen and felt. Folks taking the Route 66 Tour not only stop for a beer at the Iron Hog, but people from Barstow and Victorville take the jaunt for a beer in a unique atmosphere. The same with the Cross–Eyed Cow Pizza place—great food, well worth the trip for a fun place to eat and drink.

Manners is proud of his town, its culture and heritage and welcomes the future. He grew up there, and as a local from our part of the Mojave Desert, stories of the old days are valuable and the antics of the small town folks and kids are precious. Come and listen to Joe and see the similarities of the stories of growing up in the Barstow, Daggett, Yermo, Newberry, etc. areas.

We want to welcome our neighbors down the road (actually UP the road) from our desert towns, having similar historical and cultural backgrounds: The Mojave River, Indian trails (Mojave Indian Trail) and villages, the Old Spanish Trail, the 49ers road, Los Angeles -Salt Lake Wagon Road (1854), National Old Trails Highway, Route 66 —all part of the Mojave River Trail heritage.

If anyone wishes to join us and Joe Manners before the meeting for a no-host dinner at Rosita’s Restaurant on West Main, come about 5:30 pm.

Our programs are always free, are open to everyone, and refreshments will be served.

For more information or questions, call the Museum at 760-256-5452.

Exhibits & Archives:

The Museum houses a series of displays and exhibits that portray the history of the Mojave River Valley from the arrival of Father Garces in 1776 on through pathfinders, pioneers, miners, railroads and the present space program.

Our archive of local area newspapers dates back to 1911 and our photo collection contains over 20,000 photos.

Location & Directions:

We are located in Barstow at 270 E. Virginia Way at the intersection of Barstow Road and Virginia Way. Exit I-15 at Barstow Road, go north two blocks then turn left.

Click here for a map

Open everyday except Christmas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.


Join us in helping to preserve the heritage of the desert. Your membership and participation are always welcome.


We have four levels of membership (see Membership Application). Membership benefits include receiving Desert Tailings, (our monthly newsletter,) participation in all field trips, and a 10% discount in our bookstore.

Membership Application

General Monthly Meetings

Our General Meetings are at 7:00 pm at the Museum (270 E. Virginia Way) on the last Wednesday of each month except:

    July and August: Meetings are cancelled due to our hot summers.
    November: Meeting is one week earlier than usual due to Thanksgiving.
    December: Meeting is cancelled due to the Christmas Holiday.
The Meetings feature guest speakers who cover a broad range of subjects related to our desert heritage. Meetings are open to everyone.


Special Section

Of Mines and Mules: A History of Daggett

The quiet, unassuming town of Daggett, California, nestled in the desert south of the Calico Mountains near Barstow, has a big history to tell. From silver rushes to borate refining, Daggett’s economy depended on mining. While historians disagree about when the former boom town was first settled, there is no doubt that its real beginning came in 1882 with the arrival of the railroad. For decades, the cluster of buildings with cottonwood and pepper trees would be a sight for the sore eyes of travelers crossing the inhospitable desert.

All that Remains: Daggett’s Borate Archaeology

Along the side of Route 66 east of Barstow, California sits the little town of Daggett. This settlement flourished for a few decades starting in the 1880s before losing its train station to Barstow in the early 1900s. During its heyday, Daggett boasted an active borate mining industry unsurpassed in the Mojave Desert. Visitors today can still find evidence of Daggett’s mining past. Archaeologists have recently conducted studies of the large mill site of the American Borax Company, recording what remains. More than 130 years later, information is still coming to light on this important period in southern California’s heritage.

270 E. Virginia Way
Barstow, CA 92311

Open everyday except Christmas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

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Annual Mini-BBQ


Educational lectures

Field trips