Searles Valley Historical Society

The museum contains a small gift shop where the visitor can purchase a variety of items unique to the upper California desert area.
Video on DVD and VHS Tape

The history of Searles Valley began in 1850 when three groups of Death Valley ‘49ers passed through to escape the harsh desert.  While none actually died in Death Valley, two pioneers died here. What these pioneers did not know was that more mineral wealth was available in the crystals and salty brines in Searles Valley than any gold or silver they might have found in the mountains of California.  This movie is the story of how that huge mineral wealth has been tapped by imaginative entrepreneurs, chemists and engineers for more than 130 years.

Produced and edited by Jim Fairchild
Written and narrated by Jim Fairchild

Historical research by Margaret Brush, Curator, Searles Valley Historical Society

Historic photographs from: 
 Searles Valley Historical Society files
 Searles Valley Minerals Corporation files
 “Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith” by George H. Hildebrand

Photos of Jayhawker Pass, Manly Pass and Gold Bottom Canyon by Jim Fairchild

Music by SmartSound Quicktracks

Running time: 45 minutes

Recorded in DVD+R format.  May not play in DVD players more than 2 years old. Also available in VHS video tape.  Either are $17.00 at museum, tax included.  Available by mail for $15.75 plus $3.00 shipping (California residents add $1.25 sales tax).  Write to address below.

All proceeds from the sale of the movie benefit the Searles Valley Historical Society.

Copyright 2004

Cover by Bonnie Fairchild

A good selection of books about the upper California desert area are available.  Some of these books have a very limited distribution and can be purchased at just a few locations.
recent publications Books published for or by the Searles Valley Historical Society are available for purchase in the Gift Shop. 

Three new publications (top left to right) are Speaking From The Heart, Stories From Trona's Centennial Celebration - March 28, 2014 edited by Russell L. Kaldenberg and James L. Fairchild, Images Of America, Around Trona And Searles Valley by James L. Fairchild, Russell L. Kaldenberg and the Searles Valley Historical Society and Early Mining At Searles Lake 1873-1929 by James L. Fairchild.

If you are interested in the local history of the area, one book of particular interest is Desert Sands by George Pipkin.  George spent much time with the old-timers of the area, documenting their stories so they wouldn't be lost to future generations.
Post Cards A large selection of post cards is available.  All are produced by the Searles Valley Historical Society and are available no where else.  One series has pictures of early Trona.  There is also a wildflower series and a Trona Railway series.
Mineral specimens from Searles Dry Lake can be purchased.  One of the minerals, Hanksite, is found at just Searles Lake and one other remote lake in Africa. Over 99% of the World supply of Hanksite is in Searles Lake.
T Shirts
T-shirts can be purchased showing scenes of early Trona.  Ball caps are also available.  T-shirts are in all sizes including kids.
End Of The World
Coffee cups, mouse pads and patches are available with the "End of World" logo and scenes of the Trona Pinnacles.  Also available are painted gold assay crucibles.
A wide variety of gift items and keepsakes are available and some are handmade.

Local Information Free information is also available, showing local attractions and activities.
Bulletins A large supply of single-sheet information bulletins describing local attractions on BLM managed public land.  These have been prepared by the Bureau of Land Management.

 Return to Museum Site Map

Searles Valley Historical Society
P. O. Box 966
Trona, CA   93592-0966
Phone (760) 372-5356


Home Revised 09/28/2016

All contents of this web page are the property of the Searles Valley Historical Society.
Reproduction or other uses of any of these contents without the written permission of the owner is prohibited.
If you want to use any of the contents, contact the SVHS at any of the above.