Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Location: Randsburg is located between Ridgecreat and Kramer junction off of US 395. It is also 69 miles north of Victorville, California. I would suggest not visiting during the summer because daytime temperatures are well in the 100s. During the rest of the year this area is popular with off-road vehicle enthusiasts.
History: The boom began in 1895 when three prospectors discovered gold at the Rand Mine. Despite the heat and lack of water in the area some prospectors came. However, over a year later in May of 1896 Rand Camp was still small with only three saloons and a boarding house. This would all change in the fall of 1896 when the cooler weather prompted people to arrive in droves. Stage coaches arrived three times a week with prospectors and their families hoping to strike it rich. Within a year builders had built houses, restaurants, a school, churches and post office.
The early camp was known for its general lawlessness. With so little water in the area and so many bars in town the alcohol flowed freely. This led to many skirmishes which resulted in fights, stabbings and murder. There were four murders in the fall of 1896. Later a group calling themelves the "Dirty Dozen" would become implicated with these murders as well as others that occured in Randsburg. Stories permeated western newspapers about the violence; ultimately slowing the development of the town. (Information from www.ghosttowns.com, www.randdesertmuseum.com and www.wikipedia).