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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Red Mountain in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Kelly Silver Mine

The Owl Cafe and Slim Riffle

 
 
Kelly Silver Mine Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, November 18, 2017
1. Kelly Silver Mine Marker
Inscription.  

Kelly Silver Mine

Silver was discovered directly behind this building around 1918. The Kelly Silver Mine was the richest in the world at the time, albeit other silver mines in the area were very profitable as well. As a result, the town of Red Mountain sprung up. The Kelly Silver Mine was part of the California Rand Silver Mining Company. It is estimated that the mine's total production was over $12 million dollars.

The Owl Cafe and Slim Riffle

In 1921, Slim Riffle built this building and called it the Owl Cafe. Before Las Vegas and Palm Springs came into existence, Red Mountain was the place to come for the Hollywood elites, professional gamblers, the miners and people just looking for a good time. Famous people like members of the Little Rascals, Rita Hayworth and others dined here regularly. Slim Riffle was a great big man and well known by everyone. He sold illegal booze during prohibition and was also involved in prostitution and gambling. The police had a difficult task trying to apprehend anyone however, because of the endless miles of mine shafts under the buildings
Kelly Silver Mine Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 27, 2020
2. Kelly Silver Mine Marker
The marker is to the right of the door.
and streets which patrons disappeared into. The highway along here was lined with brothels and speakeasies which were opened at all hours. Slim lived in the corner house next to this building and the buildings on the north side of the Owl Cafe were the Owl Hotel and the Madam's house. Next to the Madam's house were the 'cribs' (little brothels) - which you can still see standing today. Down throughout the years Slim turned into a legitimate business owner. He opened a Dodge and Plymouth dealership/garage across the street from the Owl Cafe in the 1950's. Inside the Owl Cafe there was a coffee shop, barber shop and bar.

Slim Riffle died Dec. 19, 1978.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceLaw EnforcementNatural ResourcesSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 35° 21.11′ N, 117° 37.152′ W. Marker is near Red Mountain, California, in Kern County. Marker is on U.S. 395 0.2 miles south of Red Mountain Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 US-395, Randsburg CA 93554, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Owl Hotel (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Kelly Silver Mine (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Baltic Mine (approx. 0.7
Owl Cafe image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 27, 2020
3. Owl Cafe
miles away); Yellow Aster Gold Mine (approx. 0.7 miles away); Rand District Community Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); Rand Mining District (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Commerical Hotel (approx. 2.3 miles away); The Joint (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Red Mountain.
 
Regarding Kelly Silver Mine. Today the Owl sells gifts, snacks, mining supplies, and has a museum.
 
Also see . . .  Owl Cafe & Kelly Silver Mine History. (Submitted on July 6, 2020.)
 
Slim’s House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 27, 2020
4. Slim’s House
Owl Hotel and Madam's House image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 27, 2020
5. Owl Hotel and Madam's House
“Cribs” image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 27, 2020
6. “Cribs”
Car Dealership image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, June 27, 2020
7. Car Dealership
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 98 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on July 6, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 4, 2021