This center has been recently opened to educate that importance of how much boron is used in the products we use everyday. It will just amaze you. This center is really cool and has lots of displays to educate the public and is a great source of information to teach school children. They have a couple of video displays and wonderful presentation in a theatre. At the end of the presentation a curtain opens up to reveal the open mining pit. Outside as you enter into the building you we see a display of the Twenty Mule Team, a huge tire on display that is used on the mining trucks, and their is a spectacular viewing area that is located on top the building to the open pit mining operation. WOW, what a view!
Hours of Operation: 9:00AM - 5:00PM excluding major holidays and weather permitting. Admission: Motorcylces $1.00 Automobiles $2.00 Buses $10.00
In this little park, they have this fantastic U.S. Borax M-100 Lecta Hual with Detroit Diesel 12V 149T motor that has 1000 Horsepower on display. It was generously donated by the Borax Company. It was used for many, many years of service in the open bit. This big Yellow Truck can carry 54 to 86 cubic yards a load or borax ore is 100 tons. This truck has many safety feature to insure the drivers safety. Also this really cool old fireengine, which I don't have all the specifics on it, but I am still searching. It will catch you eye if you happen to drive by.;-)
This facility celebrates 131 years of business in California. Borax Vital Statistics: Operates California's largest open bit mine, one of two world class borate deposits on the planet, supplies nearly half the world's demand for industrial borates.
What are borates?
Borates are minerals containing boron, fifth element on Periodic Table, trace amounts exist in rock, soil, water, plants, and people. Boron-containing ores are among the rarest minerals in the world, and used in a variety of household and commercial products. How are borates used?
43% glass, 17% detergents, 12% ceramics & enamels, 5% plant fertilizers, and 23% other uses such as wood treatment, flame retardants, pest control, medicines, cosmetics, nuclear containments, circuit boards, and list can continue.
You all would be amazed in how this mineral is used in our day to day lives.
Twenty Mule Teams which were 7,800 pound wagons each hauling at least 12 tons of borax and bone on wheels seven feet high with eight inch steal tires with a train that measured 160 feet long with the best trained twenty mules. They then transported the Borax to the Mojave Desert Railhead 165 miles of scorching desert heat in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter.
The driver "Skinner", had to handle his mules in all conditions. He was veterinarian, blacksmith, and a repairman when something had to be fixed on the wagon.
The drivers assistant "Swamper" had numerous duties. Going up grades he walked along the teams. On downgrades he handle the brakes on the rear wagon. He also was in charge of making the camp, hooking and unhooking the mules, and feeding them. Gathered fuel for the fires, cooked, and washed the dishes.
It was easy driving them on a straight path, but when they need to manuever around corners is when their intelligence and skill came into play. The mules consisted of specialized teams to perform a specific function. As the team started around a sharp curve, the chain tended to be pulled into a straight line between the lead mules and the wagon. To keep the chain going around the curve, some of the span of mules were ordered to leap the chain and pull at an angle away from the curve. These mules the "pointers" the "sixes" and the "eights" would step along sideways until the curve successfully was a real demonstration of the training and intelligence of the mules as well as the skill of the driver. The (1st) row where called, "The Leaders". The next (5) rows were called, "The Swing Teams", the next (7th) row called, "The Eights, (8th) row called the sixes, (9th) row called the pointers, and the (10th) last row called, "The Wheelers" which were the largest and strongest of the mules. The driver rode the "high wheeler" (left hand mule) and from this position operated the brake on the front wagon.
This plant can only be found in the Mojave Desert USA in areas above the 2000 feet level in soil of coarse sand and fine silt. Many have been found to be as old as 150 years if not more. They grow very slowly about 3 inches per year for average. It is not really considered a tree but as a Yucca belonging to the Agave Family - A Lily. It does not bloom every year until conditions are right. Water is stored in its thick spongy trunk. I have noticed living in the desert that when we have had substantial rain fall more than average these beautiful plants grow or bloom pods that then reseed once the pods dry and the seeds blow in the wind. They can grow as high as 35 to 40 feet. The Indian used many parts of the Joshua tree using the sharp pointing leaves to its spongy insides. It has a close relative called the Mojave Yucca also called "Spanish Dagger". Another beautiful desert plant.
This beautifully done museum has many wonderful displays of material from our surrounding local aerospace history. From the humble beginnings of Muroc community on a dry lake bed to becoming Edwards Air Force Base, Air Force Research Laboratory, and NASA Dryden the premier of Flight Testing and Space Exploration. This museum is providing many educational programs to promote the aerospace engineering to all the surrounding communities. They have so many important archival and historical materials on display. Many families have been very generous to share so much of their loved ones historical accomplishments. I am very impressed with this museum. The F-4 out front I think I worked on too........yikes I am getting old.....lol!
What a great little gem! In this vintage building you'll find the propietor David Eyre busy at work putting wonderful collection of rocks he mines himself by hand at the Borax mining facility together either for sale or he is busy putting boxes together for shipments around the world. Stop by and say "Howdy" and checkout his wonderful store. He also sells collector bottles, License Plates and much more.
Gosh, what a wonderful little museum filled with displays of a era gone by. Really neat pesentations available of videos and little seating areas that gives a lot of the imformation about the local area. Wonderful old historice portraits everywhere that are very unique to see. It's looks really small from the outside but it is extended towards the back. You will also see sometimes the trains sit right behind the building because of track transition. There is a little park next door with old farm machinery, but be careful around these items. Also, they filmed the movie Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts in Boron too for you movie buffs.
Located in front the of Boron Chamber of Commerce/Twenty Mule Team Museum is a small, but significant Blue Star Memorial (By Way) Plaque.
List of Where the Blue Star Memorials are at.
Caltrans site of Blue Star Memorials