If you live in the west I suspect you have driven to Vegas. That long ride across the Mojave Desert gets monotonous for most people and the most interesting thing tends to be the worlds largest thermometer in Baker. But did you know that just a few miles east of Baker, and not far from the Shell Station at the Cima Road exit is a lost place? A piece of history with roots dating back to the 20 mule train and played a role in World Wars I?
The town of Rosalie lies just off the freeway. You can stand at the site, on a slag pile begun before cars, begun when 20 mule trains still hauled ore, begun when trains were new technology, and you can watch the big rigs and cars on the freeway a mile away. But they won’t see you, just as you may have driven by this lost place and not known it was there.
Rosalie is unique in that as the need for copper expanded, the town grew and a regional post office was built, but a problem arose. Wood. How do the miners build their homes without wood. The solution exists to this day – go subterranean. Work underground, live underground.
This is a fascinating site, accessible by two wheel drive from the freeway, and for the more adventurous, continue on over Excellsior Mine Road all the way over the pass toward our favorite town of Tecopa, enjoy the hot springs and visit another lost place, China Date Ranch. But that, is another story to tell.
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