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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Furnace Creek in Inyo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

20 Mule Team Wagon Train

1885

 
 
20 Mule Team Wagon Train Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2010
1. 20 Mule Team Wagon Train Marker
Inscription. Used in hauling borax from Death Valley to Mojave, 165 miles - 10 days. The borax weighed 24 tons. The entire weight totaled 36½ tons.
 
Erected by Furnace Creek Ranch Museum.
 
Location. 36° 27.366′ N, 116° 51.922′ W. Marker is in Furnace Creek, California, in Inyo County. Marker is at the intersection of California Route 190 and Greenland Ranch Road, on the left when traveling north on State Route 190. Click for map. Located at the Furnace Creek Ranch. Marker is in this post office area: Death Valley CA 92328, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Dinah (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Furnace Creek Ranch, Death Valley (about 400 feet away); Death Valley 49ers Gateway (approx. 0.9 miles away); Stephen Tyng Mather (approx. 0.9 miles away); Old Harmony Borax Works (approx. 1.7 miles away); Borax (approx. 1.7 miles away); White Gold (approx. 1.7 miles away); Devils Golf Course (approx. 8.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Furnace Creek.
 
Regarding 20 Mule Team Wagon Train. For more than a century, the 20 Mule Team has been a symbol of the borax industry—on product labels, in history
20 Mule Team Wagon Train Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
2. 20 Mule Team Wagon Train Marker
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fiberglass, as an insecticide, as a flux in metallurgy, a texturing agent in cooking, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.
books, and on television. The status is well- earned; mule teams helped solve the most difficult task that faced Death Valley borax operators—getting the product to market.

The mule teams pulled loads weighing up to 36 tons (33,113 kg), including 1,200 gallons (4,545 l) of drinking water. The rear wagon wheels were 7 feet (2.1m) high, and the entire unit with mules was more than 100 feet (30.5m) long. (Death Valley National Park)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles
 
20 Mule Team Wagon Train image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
3. 20 Mule Team Wagon Train
Twenty Mule Team Wagon hauled borax out of Death Valley for only 6 years in the 1800s, yet are an enduring symbol of both borax and Death Valley.
20 Mule Team Wagon Train image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
4. 20 Mule Team Wagon Train
Entire unit with mules was more than 100 feet long.
20 Mule Team Wagon Trains worked the canyons like this in Death Valley image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, June 12, 2010
5. 20 Mule Team Wagon Trains worked the canyons like this in Death Valley
Death Valley National Monument, California image. Click for full size.
Ferris H. Scott, Santa Ana, Ca. - Western Resort Publications. Santa Ana, Ca. Color by Josef Muench
6. Death Valley National Monument, California

A typical twenty-mule team borax outfit in the foreground with the majestic Telescope Peak looming up in the background some 11,049 feet above sea level. The base of this mountain is below sealevel and it is the highest point in the Panamint Range.(Syd Whittle Collection)
Vintage Postcard - Typical Twenty Mule Team Outfit image. Click for full size.
Death Valley Natural History Assoc-Decker Press, Inc. Photo by Warren Hill
7. Vintage Postcard - Typical Twenty Mule Team Outfit
During the 1880's, the twenty mule teams hauled borax from the refinery at Harmony Borax Works to the railroad at Mohave, California, 165 miles away. The twenty mule teams hauled loads of 36 1/2 tons and made the trip to Mojave in 10 days, maintaining almost timetable precision. The triumph of the twenty mule teams over the harsh desert was tremendous, but brief. In 1888 the great wagons and the twenty mule teams made their last trip out of Death Valley.
Twenty Mule Team Wagon image. Click for full size.
By Nat. Park Service
8. Twenty Mule Team Wagon
hauled borax out of Death Valley for only 6 years in the 1800s, symbols of both borax and Death Valley.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,552 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   7. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   8. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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