Roy’s Cafe is a classic route 66 diner in downtown Barstow.
Located at 413 E Main St.
Worlds Tallest Thermometer, located in Baker, California.
The World’s Tallest Thermometer is a landmark located in Baker, California. It is an electric sign that commemorates the record 134 degrees Fahrenheit recorded nearby on July 10, 1913.
It stands 134 feet tall and is capable of displaying a maximum temperature of 134 °F as a reference to the temperature record.
It was built in 1991 by the Young Electric Sign Company of Salt Lake City, Utah for Willis Herron, a local Baker businessman who spent $700,000 to build the thermometer next to his Bun Boy restaurant.
Soon after its construction, 70-mph winds snapped the thermometer in half, and it was rebuilt. Two years later, severe gusts made the thermometer sway so much that its light bulbs popped out. Concrete was then poured inside the steel core to reinforce the monument.(*)
Harvey Houses were legendary in the history of Western rail travel. Operated by Fred Harvey in conjunction with this Santa Fe Railway, the network of restaurant-hotels set a new standard in quality meal service. Barstow‘s Spanish-Moorish “Casa Del Desierto” opened in 1911 and closed in 1971. It was registered as one of the last and finest remaining examples of the West’s famous Harvey Houses.
Some photos of some of the many impressive murals around downtown Barstow.
The area is covered in art, murals and history and it is really cool to walk around and see it all. This page will be a sort of hub to link out to individual murals that I have documented which will be listed here:
Barstow is named after William Barstow Strong, former president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Some early Barstow names were Camp Sugarloaf, Grapevine, and Waterman Junction.
The settlement of Barstow began in the late 1830s in the Mormon Corridor. Every fall and winter, as the weather cooled, the rain produced new grass growth and replenished the water sources in the Mojave Desert. People, goods and animal herds would move from New Mexico and later Utah to Los Angeles, along the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe, or after 1848, on the Mormon Road from Salt Lake City. Trains of freight wagons traveled back to Salt Lake City and other points in the interior. These travelers followed the course of the Mojave River, watering and camping at Fish Ponds on its south bank (west of Nebo Center) or 3.625 miles up river on the north bank, at a riverside grove of willows and cottonwoods, festooned with wild grapes, called Grapevines (later the site of North Barstow). In 1859, the Mojave Road followed a route was established from Los Angeles to Fort Mojave through Grapevines that linked eastward with the Beale Wagon Road across northern New Mexico Territory to Santa Fe.
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.
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 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.
Valley Wells Rest Area Southbound, for the Northbound rest area across the freeway from this one visit this page.
In the late 1860’s copper was discovered on Clark Mountain. and the Clark Mining District was organized. Ore was rich but high transportation costs soon caused mining to cease. In the late 1890’s the railroad came within 30 miles and the original strike, the Copper World Mine, was reopened. Two wells were sunk and in 1899 a 10-ton smelter was built, treating ore hauled by 20-mule teams. In 1917 a 100-tom furnace was built, but was in use onlya a short while. In 1894 Valley Wells (formerly known as Rosale) became headquarters of the ? Ranch Cattle Co. Ranching ceased around 1950. The copper world reopened in 1977 and there is large scale production of gold and rare-earth minerals in the Clark District up to the present day.
This display teaches and shows you how to find the north star by using this sundial, even in the daytime. The plaque says, “Polaris remains nearly stationary in the sky, enabling its use to orient sundials. To find Polaris, located the Big Dipper and follow the two stars at the end of the basin upwards. Polaris is the last star in the tail of the Little Dipper. The Sundials groove points to Polaris.”
Photos from 2/19/17: