Searles Valley Historical Society

Until about 1940, Trona was the only commerce in the Searles, Panamint, Indian Wells and Death Valley area.
The center of this commerce was Austin Hall.

Also until about 1940, Trona had the only hospital and dental services east of Mojave. If medical attention were
required, you had to go to Trona to be treated.
This picture of Austin Hall was taken in 1914 shortly after it was built.  In the background are shown the remains of the Hornsey plant, after it was shut down as a failure.  In the foreground is the Mexican Central narrow guage railroad.  Notice the inner courtyard that was to later become the area's first theater.  Also notice the wide covered walk around the building to provide shade from the intense summer sun.

Many other photographs of Austin Hall are in this room, as well as a photograph of Stafford W. Austin who had the building constructed to house the expected workforce.  There is also a scale model of Austin Hall on display.


This 1920s picture shows Austin Hall during its prime.  Businesses housed here included a grocery store, department store, post office, telegraph office and telephone switch board for the single phone line into Trona, barber shop, library, pool hall and open air theater.
Today, this plaque marks the location where Austin Hall stood.  The building was demolished in 1965 to make way for a parking lot.
This is a picture of an oxygen supply system obttained from the Trona Fire Department.  It is displayed beside a patient's chair from the hospital.
This is a medicine cabinet from the Trona hosiptal, still containing medical supplies from the hospital.
Patient gowns, a patient chair, and photographs of the original Trona Hospital are shown here.

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


Home Revised 04/25/2004

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