Harmony Borax Mines, Death Valley National Park
The wagons cost W. T. Coleman, founder of Harmony Borax Works, $1,000 each. They were so well built that they lasted the five-year life of the 20-mule-team route from here to the Mojave, until the Works were sold to Pacific Coast Borax Company in 1890. Each wagon can carry 12 tons of borax.
Borates (salt minerals) were deposited in ancient lake beds that uplifted and eroded into the yellow Furnace Creek badlands. Water dissolved the borates and carried them into the Death Valley floor where they recrystallized as borax. Those who came here expecting gold but found borax instead must be disappointed.
These desolate ruins show human history in Death Valley, when miners of the mineral Borax lived and worked here from 1884 till 1907. The Famous 20-mule Team pulled a 7 ton shipment of Borax over 265 km to the Railroad Station of Mojave to process and distribute.
An old borax mine, with quite a lot of the old tools and machines still intact. Very close to Stove Pipe Wells as well. It's interesting to try and picture the people working in the 40 degree heat ..to supply the world with ...BORAX!!
You can see the Borax as you look across the desert at this location. It looks like a heavy frost or light snow. This is a historical site of a borax mine.
The dry climate of Death Valley is keeping everything in good shape. Even the ovens look as – uuhm – if the workers are just on the lunch break….
One of the more accessible industrial archaeology sites in DVNP, this ruin of a borax processin plant is situated just north of Furnace Creek.