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.
(click here for a brief history of our museum)

Mark Your Calendars!

General Meeting

7 pm Wednesday February 26

Millie Rader

Lucerne Valley Historian & Author

Millie will tell us about the varied history, old west, and wild characters of this marvelous part of the Mojave Desert. Lucerne Valley, our neighbor, is located between the majestic San Bernardino Mountains and the Ord Mountains and is partly on an ancient lake bed.

The Lucerne Valley Historic Society started in 1964, the same year that we did, as did the Needles Historical Society and the Mohahve Historical Society. 1964 was a good year for history.

The book that the Lucerne Historical Society produced, with the help of Millie and dozens of other contributors, is titled Lucerne Valley, A Wild West Town of Character(s). It is full of pictures to look at and history and stories about some characters, nefarious and otherwise, that may surprise you. We normally sell it for $19.99 but on that day you can pick up a copy for only $15.00 and get it signed by Millie and any one of the other contributors who are present.

Lucerne Valley has many historic and fascinating sites—farming, ranching, mining, Native American, bootlegging sites from the Prohibition era, the Blackhawk Slide, Willie Boy’s grave—the list could fill this page.

The Blackhawk Slide broke off from the San Bernardino Mountains and according to geologists, became airborne for part of the five-plus miles it traveled into Lucerne Valley and left marbles piled eight to twelve feet high. We will have some of those marbles to pass around that evening. There is also a rumor that we will have some Desert Moonshine to share.

Everyone is welcome, there is never a charge, and refreshments will be served. Please join us for a no -host dinner at Rosita’s at about 5:30 before the meeting.

The meeting will start at 7 pm, everyone is welcome, there is never a charge, and refreshments will be served.

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

== Watch here for future meetings and announcements ==

MRVM Board of Directors Meeting: We meet on the first Wednesday of each month at 5 pm.


From Our Guest Register

“Great collection and stuff”...Albuquerque
“I wanna buy everything here.”...Santa Rosa
“We love your museum”....Encinitas
“Very interesting”....France

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 New Year's Day, July 4, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day 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

Daggett Historical Society

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 New Year's Day, July 4, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is always free.

Visit Us on Facebook

The Museum has expanded twice since then to a little over 4,000 square feet, but WE ARE OUT OF ROOM! Every month we obtain artifacts and documents of our desert heritage and families and have no more space to display them and little place to store them. So now we are seeking money to expand our Museum so we can PRESERVE THE HERITAGE OF THE MOJAVE DESERT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. And you are helping us save our heritage by being a member, attending your Museum’s Annual BBQ and other events, and by shopping in our Book Store and Gift Shop, and we thank you! We still need volunteers to help us and we’ll train docents!


Educational lectures

Field trips

Historical Information