miles north of Interstate-15, midway between
sits the historic and restored
all began in 1875 when roving prospectors first found silver on the
south slope of the
Mountains. However, it wasn’t until some five years later that
additional ore discoveries worth $400 to $500 per ton brought about a
small rush and the filing of many claims.
the spring of 1881 came the discovery of the Silver King, Calico's
richest mine, and less than a year later the new settlement supported
several businesses on a commercial street flanked by tents and adobe
buildings on a narrow mesa between Wall Street Canyon and Odessa
took its name from the myriad of colors in the mountains which are the
backdrop for the town.
weekly Calico Print appeared in October, 1882 and a local stamp
mill was built to begin working ores.
in the spring of 1883, many of the local miners left Calico
when borax was discovered three miles east at Borate. Later the
same year, a fire destroyed much of the camp, but Calico
again boomed in 1884 as additional silver discoveries were made. Gaining a population of some 2,500, the town supported two dozen
and gambling dives that never closed, as well as more legitimate
establishments such as a church, a public school, a dance school and a
literary society, along with dozens of retail businesses.
1884 many of the mines consolidated and late in 1888, the Oro Grande
Mining Company erected an even larger stamp mill at a cost of $250,000
on the north bank of the Mojave River. Soon it connected the
stamp mill, near
the Silver King mine by the ten mile narrow-gauge Calico
the late 1800's, Calico
was bustling with prospectors searching their fortunes and the Calico
Mining District became one of the richest in the state.