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

Epsom Salts Monorail

 
 
Epsom Salts Monorail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 4, 2011
1. Epsom Salts Monorail Marker
Inscription. In 1917 a deposit of Epsom salts was discovered near the old Wingate Wash Borax Road at the southern end of Death Valley. In 1919 the claims were acquired by Los Angeles florist Thomas Wright. Although close to an existing road, Wright devised other plans to exploit the find. A scheme to dissolve the salts and transport them via a 28-mile pipeline to the Trona Railroad had to be abandoned due to lack of water. In 1922 Wright began construction of a monorail at Magnesia Siding on the Trona Railroad, six miles south of the town of Trona. It ran eastward across the south end of Searles Lake, through the Slate Range via Layton Canyon, across the tip of Panamint Valley, over Wingate Pass and thence to the mine. It consisted of a single steel rail on top of a heavy wooden beam supported by A-frame trestles about three feet high. Locomotives and cars ran on two wheels and the load was balanced on each side, much like pack saddles on a mule's back. Construction took 2 years and cost about $200,000. Simple in concept, the line never worked properly, and after several attempts to increase efficiency the operation ceased in 1927. In the late 1930s the rail and beam were salvaged, leaving only A-frames, most of which have since disappeared.
 
Erected 2008 by Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus
Epsom Salts Monorail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 4, 2011
2. Epsom Salts Monorail Marker
in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management. (Marker Number 134.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 35° 40.884′ N, 117° 23.475′ W. Marker is in Trona, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is at the intersection of Trona Road (California Route 178) and Pinnacle Road, on the right when traveling east on Trona Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 78625-78639 Pinnacle Road, Trona CA 93562, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John & Dennis Searles Wagon Routes (here, next to this marker); Welcome to the Trona Pinnacles (approx. 4.6 miles away); Searles Lake Borax Discovery (approx. 5.3 miles away); Austin Hall (approx. 5.5 miles away); Valley Wells (approx. 10.7 miles away).
 
More about this marker. This plaque is about 16 miles east of Ridgecrest and 7 miles south of Trona at the junction of SR-178 and Pinnacle Road.
 
Also see . . .  Epsom Salts Monorail Railroad Picture Collection. This monorail line ran between Searles Valley (south of Trona, CA) east across the Slate Range, the southern end of Panamint Valley,
John & Dennis Searles Wagon Routes (Left) and Epsom Salts Monorail Marker (Right) image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, December 4, 2011
3. John & Dennis Searles Wagon Routes (Left) and Epsom Salts Monorail Marker (Right)
up Wingate Wash and over Wingate Pass, then turning south to the east side of Brown Mt. (Submitted on December 7, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural Resources
 
Dedication Patch image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, May 4, 2008
4. Dedication Patch
Epsom Salts Monorail
ECV
Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069
Spring 2008
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 561 times since then and 38 times this year. Last updated on November 3, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 6, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.   4. submitted on May 8, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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