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Waterman, Calico, Bismarck

The Discovery of the Calico Mines



CONSIDERING THE SUCCESS of the Waterman and Porter operations, further strikes in the region seemed assured. Parties of San Bernardino residents went out onto the desert almost daily, reporting their luck to an eager press in Colton and San Bernardino.

Less than 10 miles northeast of Grapevine Station rose a multicolored mountain resembling a “great mass of burnt volcanic rock” whose steep, rugged sides and summit “are covered with broken, sharp stones. In the canyon the walls rise almost perpendicular and in many places the formation is twisted and distorted as though it had at some time been in great agony. . . .” That's how one pioneer visitor described Calico Mountain, already known by that name.

The first persons to file claims in the district, in late March, 1881, were M. Lawrence and Hieronymous Hartman. (Hartman and his wife became prominent business owners in Calico.) But of greater importance was the discovery of the Silver King claim two weeks later, in early April. The discoverers were a group of San Bernardino residents stirred by news reports of the Waterman and Porter claims: young Frank Mecham, a son of Lafayette Mecham, former operator of Fish Ponds Station, on the Mojave River; George Yager, Mecham's uncle; and Tom Warden and Hues Thomas, sheriff's deputies. Grubstaking them were Sheriff John C. King and Ellis Miller, the owner of Grapevine Station and ranch.

Fish Ponds

Road from Fish Ponds

Calico Ghost Town

Calico Mining History

Stoddard Wells Road

Another Beneme Rancheria

WATERMAN, CALICO, BISMARCK

Oro Grande and Waterman

Discovery of the Calico Mines

The Camp

The Town

Roads & Rails

Rugged Individualists

The Calico Print

Bismarck Camp

Mines & Mills

Town Life

The Decline

Daggett

Calico: Rally & Collapse







Lafayette Mecham





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These items are historical in scope and are intended for educational purposes only; they are not meant as an aid for travel planning.
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