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Atolia

ghost town photo, Atolia near Randsburg on highway 395

In 1912 Germans came to the area looking for scheelite ore, the ore tungsten is found in. Tungsten makes steel harder and stronger, invaluable qualities during war time. Decades later, a gold vein was discovered and is still mined today.

"Shortly after the turn-of-the-century, prospectors south of Red Mountain uncovered what they called "white iron," a scheelite ore from which tungsten is made. However, it was not until World War I that the tungsten boom flared up at Atolia. This settlement derived its name from a combination of Atkins and De Golia, to pioneer operators. As many as 4000 people were engaged in tungsten mining to supply the peak wartime demands. The famous mounds of the "Spud Patch" can be seen today in the dry wash where individual prospectors dug a few feet below the surface and found nuggets which averaged the size of potatoes. ..."
~ Heritage of the Upper Mojave



'Since 1896 miners and prospectors in the Stringer District (southeast of Randsburg) had been cursing the unwanted appearance of a creamy white substance in their pans and dry washers that was interfering with the gold recovery. The nasty stuff was nicknamed “heavy spar.” ...'
~ Desert Fever



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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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