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Mojave Desert Communities - Route 66:

Newberry Springs, CA

photo of Newberry Springs, California, near Barstow
Newberry Springs is a community and railroad station 20 miles east-southeast of Barstow. On 19 February 1883 when the Southern Pacific Railroad was being built through here, the Watson post office was established at the railroad construction site at present Newberry Springs and discontinued on July 25 1883. The name Watson was for Josiah Watson, the first postmaster here. Meanwhile the railroad named their station Newberry and after the Watson post office closed this became the place name. On 11 March 1899 the post office was reestablished, named Newberry, and discontinued on 15 June 1899. On 12 October 1911 the name was changed to Wagner for Madge Wagner, a land owner, grocer, and the next postmistress. On 9 July 1919 the name was changed to Water. The name Water was given by the Santa Fe because an estimated 300,000 to 600,000 gallons of water per day were pumped for use by the railroad. On 1 February 1967 it was changed to Newberry Springs.

Newberry was named by the Southern Pacific in 1883. There is a story that two brothers named Newberry lived at the springs at what would later become the community of Newberry Springs. One of them was shot and killed during a fight over water rights and is buried at the top of a hill near the springs. A more plausible explanation of the name is that the area was named for Dr. J.S. Newberry, physician to the Lt. Joseph C. Ives expedition in 1857.

Reference: Mojave Desert Dictionary - P. Schoffstall -- Mojave River Valley Museum

Newberry Cave

Newberry. An historic landmark because it's never failing springs were sought out by pioneer wagon trains, Newberry, also known as "water" in the early days, has afforded the water supply for the Santa Fe, which has transported it to all arid points along the division. In addition to its artificial ponds created for sportsmen, Newberry is fast becoming an agricultural district and its potential for farm crops, fruit trees, cattle raising and kindred development is almost unlimited.

~ Heritage of the Mojave River Valley

Cliff House in Newberry Springs on old Route 66
Cliff House

Bagdad Cafe (formerly Sidewinder Cafe)

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