Ghost Mine Episode 3

Mystery at Ghost Mine an Ace Detectives Mystery Adventure

People of the Mojave

Scientists think that people first came to the Mojave 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. At that time the region was wetter and cooler, with lakes and rivers. Early families may have camped by the lakes and made stone tools for hunting. Petroglyphs (rock paintings) are being studied so that we can learn more.

Several Indian tribes were living in the region when Anglos first came. These tribes included the Chemehueyi, Vanyume, Mohave, Serrano and Shoshone. The Anglos were deserters from the Spanish army. Pedro Fages an army officer, was sent to find them but failed. A priest, Father Francisco Garces, was the first Anglo to travel into the interior of the Mojave in 1776. His route was later used by the Mohave for trade and became known as the Mojave Indian Trail.

The Mohave lived along the Colorado river and made pottery from clay and crushed sandstone. Tattooing was important to them. The Vanyme and Serrano tribes lived along the Mojave River, and in the San Bernadino mountains. The Chemehueyi lived in the more open areas of the desert.

Pioneer families came in wagons to settle in California, and thousands of people traveled across the Mojave when gold was discovered in Northern California. When the gold ran out, many came back to the desert and the gold and silver mining towns were established. Then the cycle repeated itself and ghost towns were left when the miners moved on.

Today over 1 million people live in the Mojave, and 40 million live within a day’s drive of the desert. Borax, potash and salt are extracted from the central salt flats. Silver, tungsten, gold and iron are mined. Alfalfa is farmed using irrigation from the underground Mojave River. Tourism is also an important industry in the region.


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