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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Baker in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Marl Springs / Seventeenmile Point

 
 
Marl Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 13, 2011
1. Marl Springs Marker
Inscription.
Marl Springs
Marl Springs was named in 1854 by Army Surveyor Lt. Amiel Whipple for the clay-like soil around the two waterholes. With the establishment of Fort Mojave in 1859, the Mojave (or Old Government) Road came into existence. Marl Springs became an important stop over being more than 30 miles eastward from the last dependable water Soda Springs (now Zzyzx). Though never abundant, the water here has always been reliable. In the fall of 1867 the springs were garrisoned by soldiers of Company K, 14th U.S. Infantry, who escorted supply trains and guarded the mail. On October 17, 1867, the post, manned by three soldiers, was attacked by a group of 20 to 30 Indians. The defenders held out through the night and the siege was lifted the next morning when a column of 150 soldiers appeared on the horizon. The outpost was abandoned in May, 1868. Marl Springs has been witness to sporadic mining and milling operations over the years and continues to serve local wildlife and cattle ranchers. Marl Springs is located approximately 25 miles east of here.

Seventeenmile Point
In 1859 the U.S. Army established Fort Mojave on the east bank of the Colorado north of Needles to guard the important river crossing at the Mojave Villages. The Mojave (or Old Government) Road came into being to link
Seventeenmile Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
2. Seventeenmile Point Marker
the fort with the Port of Los Angeles. Supplies, troops, and mail traveled over this route, with many heavy wagons traveling eastward. The portion from Soda Springs (now Zzyzx) to Marl Springs was approximately 35 miles, the longest waterless stretch on the trail. It also gained 3,000 feet in elevation over this distance, much of the way over deep, soft sand. This northern-most spur of Old Dad Mountain, midway between the two waterholes, was known as Seventeenmile Point. In an attempt to avoid the worst of the desert heat, heavily laden supply wagons would typically leave Soda Springs at night, make a dry camp nearby, and continue on the next day to the dependable water at Marl Springs. Seventeen mile point is located approximately twelve miles east of here.
 
Erected 1993 by Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus in cooperation with the Baker Community Services. (Marker Number 74.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus, and the Mojave Road (Old Government Road) marker series.
 
Location. 35° 16.758′ N, 116° 3.203′ W. Marker is in Baker, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is on Baker Boulevard (Business Interstate 15) east of Caltrans Boulevard, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at
Marl Springs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, October 13, 2011
3. Marl Springs Marker
or near this postal address: 72730 Baker Boulevard, Baker CA 92309, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Lost Lake (approx. 9.8 miles away); A Traveler's Rest (approx. 9.8 miles away); Soda Springs - Zzyzx Mineral Springs (approx. 9.9 miles away); The Desert Studies Center (approx. 9.9 miles away); Francis Marion "Borax" Smith (approx. 13.7 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Marl Springs
There are stone ruins at the springs believed to have been used by the U.S. Army during its period of duty in the 1860's. Most of the traffic used the northern route around the north end of the Old Dad Mountain after 1859. The southern route climbed up over the Old Dad Mountains and was another one of the great western transportation challenges. Many of the team's ears had the hair blistered "clean off" from the loud but well-meant encouragement offered by the drivers to urge that extra inch of effort going over this tough stretch of road. SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway

Seventeenmile Point
It was on the long, dry haul from Soda Springs to Seventeenmile Point, like many other hair-raising sections of road throughout
Marl Springs image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 22, 2009
4. Marl Springs
Located approximately 25 miles east of the marker within the Mojave National Preserve
(35 10.147N -115 38.891W).
The marker was dedicated in October, 1993.
the American West, where teamsters earned their reputations as fearless and excellent drivers. Tricks such as as crossing the treacherously soft sands in the night to escape the heat were needed to make it without killing the animals. If a driver had to wait until the next teamster came along to pull the team out of the sand, his reputation would have been stained.
SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway
 
Categories. Roads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
Marl Springs (Lower Spring) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 22, 2009
5. Marl Springs (Lower Spring)
Black-Throated Sparrow (Amphispiza Bilineata) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 22, 2009
6. Black-Throated Sparrow (Amphispiza Bilineata)
Arrastra at Marl Springs image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 22, 2009
7. Arrastra at Marl Springs
Marl Springs image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 27, 2010
8. Marl Springs
Marl Springs image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 27, 2010
9. Marl Springs
Seventeenmile Point image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, May 6, 2007
10. Seventeenmile Point
Located approximately 12 miles east of the marker within the Mojave National Preserve.
(35 13.230N -115 53.399W).
The marker was dedicated in October, 1993.
Seventeenmile Point (Benchmark) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 22, 2009
11. Seventeenmile Point (Benchmark)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 625 times since then and 49 times this year. Last updated on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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