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

October 25 at 7:00 pm

Big Game Hunting in the Mojave Desert a Long Time Ago—
During the Ice Age

Our guest speaker will be our own Bob Hilburn who helped find some of these Big Critters and helped clean them and prepare them for display.

He will show pictures of what these animals looked like and the public will see bones of some of them, such as the nine foot long Columbian Mammoth tusk found in 2006 in a bog and swampy area of the Mojave River around what later became George Air Force Base. It died there about 10,000 plus or minus years ago. Come and see this 9-foot tusk excavated by Mary Shearer and David Romero under the direction on Bob Reynolds.

Hilburn will display a mastodon tooth, a camel pelvis and parts of many other critters found from the Pleistocene Ice Age in the Mojave Desert. Other animals that ate or got eaten during this Ice Age were Ground Sloths, Dire Wolves, Three-toed horses, and Saber- Toothed Cats.

Also evidence of life here 10,000 to a million years ago comes from micro fossils of rodents and snakes, etc, found here.

Our Museum programs are always free, are open to the public and refreshments will be served.

See page 5 for a photo of part of a Big Game that was captured in the Mojave Desert in 2006. 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.

Parking Lot Sale

Saturday, November 18

Forget that last month we told you this would be in December—the date has changed to November 18 at 8 am.

Do you have something to get rid of? If so, you have two options:
You can drop it off here at the Museum for us to sell and we keep the money,


For only $10 we will rent you a space and a table for you to sell your treasures and keep the money yourself. Call us at 760-256-5452 and make a reservation.

We will have treasures galore and we already have lots of good-looking Christmas items that should be a part of the decorations at your house this holiday season.

Be sure to come by here on November 18 for good bargains. If you don’t like our prices we are flexible.

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

Historical Information