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

April 24 at 7 pm

Dr. Norman Meek, Geology Professor at Cal State San Bernardino, presents

Ancient Lakes of the Mojave Desert Most long-time Mojave Desert residents have visited Afton Canyon and were amazed at it’s unique and awesome scenery.

Near the Afton off-ramp on I-15 the Mojave River takes a turn to the right and has “eaten” away much of the Cave Mountains, creating one of the most beautiful canyons in the country— Afton.

Dr. Norman Meek will tell us how that gem of a Canyon was made and the impact it made further East.

He makes geology easy to understand, even for us historians. He has wonderful maps so we will know where important places are in the desert and what happened there.

We will learn of the ancient lakes of the Mojave Desert and the many glacier periods of the world and how they have affected us here. The world is now in an interglacial period but our desert has many former Ice Age lakes.

Dr. Meek will explain some of our desert’s past 20,000 years and the immense power of Mother Nature. After this meeting you will never look at the Mojave Desert in the same way. And you will want to revisit our own Grand Canyon—Afton Canyon.

Our meetings are always free and refreshments will be served.

Join us and Dr. Meek for a no-host dinner at Rosita’s at about 5:30 before the meeting for good food and good conversations.

53rd Annual BBQ & Open House

May 4, 2019

Beginning at 8:30 in the morning and lasting until at least 4:00 pm, come spend the day with us and celebrate this annual event There will be sour dough biscuits and cowboy coffee to start the day.

J & S Catering will be here cooking and serving from noon to 4 pm. They just may be the best cooks on the High Desert. The price is $9.00 for BBQ Beef, beans, potato salad and to top it off, their homemade peach cobbler topped with ice cream.

On display in the yard will be our arrastre, an Indian bedrock mortar, antique farming and mining equipment, our Pollinator Garden, Drover Car tours, gold panning (keep what you find), local vendors showing you how talented they are, and much more.

Inside the building we will have speakers. One of them will be David Earle, a professor from Antelope Valley College, who is probably the best authority on the Indians of the Mojave Desert. Two other speakers are planned but not yet confirmed.

Our Specials of the Day: Books will be discounted 20% to members and 10% to nonmembers.

Pay for two years Membersship and get the third year free.

We will have samples of Barstow School District’s Historic Wacky Cake for your tasting and we will have copies of the recipe for those of you who can’t get enough of it.

There will be a table full of prizes for our Opportunity Drawing—good stuff will be available on the table and very few of you will go home empty handed.

Some of the plans for the day are still up in the air, but they will be finalized by May 4. Come join us for another Great Day.

== 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.

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Annual Mini-BBQ


Educational lectures

Field trips

Historical Information