Gilman Ranch: Willie Boy and Wagon Wheels

Gilman Ranch and Wagon Museum is temporarily closed due to Covid-19. Please check their website for the latest information about reopening. James Marshall Gilman was born in Meredith, New Hampshire, on June 9, 1842. As a young man, his parents sent him to join his brother, a wholesale liquor salesman in San Francisco. After a
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Have you ever wondered what it used to look like in the Mojave Desert of yesteryear? When ingenuity and pure desert grit was king? Do you want to learn secrets the desert has to tell? They’re all around us if we just look. Please join us for one of many trips through time illuminating the
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Just what keeps the memory of this old town alive more than a century after it was born in the midst of the mining boom of the 19th Century?

Walk down Butte Avenue and, in the middle of the block, you will surely find the answer at the Rand Desert Museum.

Founded in 1943 and given over to Kern County in 1948, the museum is the heart and soul of the old town.

When Kern County couldn’t bear the expense of maintaining the museum, it was given back to Randsburg proper.

To this day it is run by the residents of the Rand Mining District.

Even more that a hundred years later, there remains life in these hallowed hills.

This year, the 16th Annual Old West Day took place right on the main drag thru town, Butte Avenue.

I like big buttes, I cannot lie…

Within two months of Holcomb’s discovery of gold in 1859, a town called Belleville sprang into existence at the entrance into Holcomb Valley, near the upper part of Van Dusen Canyon. It had a collection of stores, saloons, dance halls, and blacksmith shops. In 1860, the Wild West town lost its bid for county seat by a mere two votes.

Charles Wilbur was the first tax assessor in San Bernardino County. He was also a gold placer miner who lived in the area around the mid to late 1800s. He was well liked among his fellow miners who lived in the area and they voted for him to organize the miners and the boundary stones. Before he died he asked to be buried by his favorite pond, Wilbur’s Pond, and they did as he asked…

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