ATOLIA TOWN ( TUNGSTEN )

Survey number:      Owner:      Date of discovery:

March 24, 1906:  “FROM THE MOUNTAINS AND DESERT – NEW TOWN OF ATOLIA AT TUNGSTEN MINES –Charles Taylor,  superintendent at the tungsten mines, says they are now working twenty-two men and taking out a high grade ore.  The railroad company has put in a spur and they now load cars at the mine.  The  shipment to the Barstow mill has proved a success and they concentrate about five cars of ore into one of high grade.

Atolia, "When it first started", about 1906, View Easterly, the shoulder of Red Mountain on the left. The building and tent at center-right appears to be the same as featured in the view below, looking westerly. - Courtesy: Jensen Family Collection

About the first week April they expect to ship two cars of high grade selected ore direct from the mines to Europe, Liverpool, England or  to Germany.  They have quite a village out there and they are putting on airs.  Just plain tungsten was not good enough for them so they now call the new camp “Atolia.” Just what that word means we don’t know, but if you hear anyone saying something of that kind you will know it is Tungsten.

Atolia, "When it first started.", about 1906, View Westerly. The building and tent at right appears to be the same as featured in the view above, looking easterly. The crowd assembled, it is assumed, for an 'occasion', possibly a shipment, or payday? The 'occasion' may well have been the visit of the photographer. - Courtesy: Jensen Family Collection

A new Fairbanks & Morse gasoline hoist has been ordered and is now on the way and efforts are being made to have a post office established with the  soft, smooth-sounding name of Atolia.  Our genial friend Charlie Taylor, superintendent, is despondent and says he is fourteen kinds of a d— fool for  ever selling, or consenting to sell, a  property in which he  had a one-sixth interest for $114,000 when it is now so soon after easily worth a million, and of course we are all with him.”–Daily Californian

May 10, 1906: “THERE IS QUITE A LITTLE CAMP AT TUNGSTEN and all the roofs of all the houses have been painted red.” William Bouchard has moved his handsome little house out to Tungsten and contemplates building a large one on the same lot on Butte Avenue in the near future.

The Tungsten people have installed two large galvanized iron water tanks and will now get their supply from Hinkley by the carload at a very much less cost.  The two tanks will hold a full tank car of water.”—Randsburg Miner

May 17, 1906: “MINER’S TENTS AND CABINS dot the hills about Tungsten, all of whom are busy about the locality prospecting for the mineral more valuable than gold—

Tungsten can rightfully claim being the neatest camp on the desert.  With its painted houses with red roofs it presents a pleasing picture of color in the clean air of the desert. Tungsten.”—Randsburg Miner

April 10, 1912:  “ATOLIA VOTING PRECINCT –Judges –Alexis C. Martell, Marcus Lares;  Inspectors – James E. Worth, Mack E. Fuller; — Clerks—Charles W. Cummings, Seth J. Tyler Polling Place at Store. May 4, 1913: “Randsburg, May 3 –George Childs, 5, son of Mrs. Mary Childs was brought in yesterday by automobile from Atolia with a broken leg.  The little boy had fallen from a wagon during the afternoon and fractured the leg below the hip.”—Bakersfield Morning Echo April 4, 1914:  “ATOLIA VOTING PRECINCT—Judges – John William Berger, Charles F. Buys: Inspectors—A. J. Burke, M. J. Earhin; Clerks—J. E. Beebe, James C. Blair:  Polling Place at Store of Carl F. Dunnell at Atolia.” –San Bernardino County Sun October 20, 1914:  “ATOLIA VOTING PRECINCT –Judges – John William Berger, Charles F. Buys; Inspectors –A. J. Burke, M. A. McEachin; Clerks, J. E. Beebe James C. Blair—Polling Place At Store of Carl F. Dunnell” –San Bernardino County Sun

July 24, 1915: “THE SOUTHERN SIERRAS POWER COMPANY has set employees to work to extend the power line from Randsburg to Atolia to be used for power and lighting.

About twenty-five house tents are being built by the company for its employees and the population has more than doubled since the beginning of the year.”—Bakersfield Californian

September 26, 1915:  “A YEAR AGO, or a few weeks before the war broke out, Atolia had a population of about 60 souls.  At this writing there is a small city, mostly tents and over 300 inhabitants.

There is hourly auto stage to and from Randsburg besides the railroad service to Johannesburg, Barstow, etc. twice a day.”—Bakersfield Californian.

October 27, 1915:  “ATOLIA NOW HAS five boarding houses, a general merchandise store, barber shop, public school and a population close to 300.  The city of tents comprises many campers who temporarily are forced to sleep on lumber piles, depot platform and even spread their blankets out on the sands of the desert.  Those who have no blankets make a high hole in the sand and cover themselves with moonlight.

Two newly married couples arrived in Atolia this week.  William Cloud and his bride of a few days arrived Thursday from Los Angeles, and received a welcome at the town school schoolhouse, which was followed by a dance.

A.J. Burke, another young benedict, who married Miss Edna Stephens of Los Angeles, is back at his post as chief clerk for Illingworth & Dunnell’s store.  Their new home was decorated from roof to cellar with pennants of old shoes, festooned in awkward gracefulness, in honor of the groom’s popularity.

The board of supervisors have advised Atolia residents that if a judicial township is desired, a petition setting forth that face will be rewarded by appointment of a justice of the peace and constable at Atolia.

The youngest city of the desert will be visited by a railroad circus on Friday and Atolia miners are all expectant.”—Bakersfield Californian

October 29, 1915: “FIRE AT ATOLIA—There was a fire at Atolia Wednesday evening about 8 o’clock, which for a time threatened the company’s big new mill.  Owing to scarcity of water, strenuous measures were inaugurated to save it from destruction.  A bunkhouse and store room were burned to the ground, incurring a loss of about $300. The total vote cast Tuesday at Atolia was only eight ballots, and one of these was thrown out, because the voter tried to vote both ways on each measure presented by the ballot. (Ed. Note: This voter must have been from Florida).”—Bakersfield Californian November 2, 1915: “BIG BOOM IS ON AT ATOLIA MINES—Nov. 1.—This thriving camp all but celebrated Friday night in the manner of most mining camps, for the new 100-ton tungsten mill barely escaped destruction in a fire.  The flames destroyed a bunkhouse and storeroom for fuse caps and mining supplies.  This building was entirely destroyed although the monetary loss was not great.  But it has emphasized the demand for some sort of organized protection, against not only fire but other things.  There are now over 200 souls in the camp, and it is proposed to organize a judicial township, and ask the supervisors of San Bernardino County for local officers, while steps may also be taken looking toward the organization of a sanitary and fire-protection district. Due to the demand for tungsten and the rich ore found in this district, a big stampede is on, and many campers live out in the sage brush, of sleep in lumber piles and on the depot platform.  One new store, five boarding houses, a barber shop and a pool room are in course of construction.” –San Bernardino County Sun November 3, 1915: “THE REGULAR SANTA FE TRAIN service between Barstow and Johannesburg of one train a day each way lately is occasionally increased by extra trains, which take care of the unusual freight traffic and water cars needed to supply this camp with over 20,000 gallons per day.”—Bakersfield Californian

November 3, 1915: “BIG LODGING HOUSE BEING BUILT AT SCENE OF RECENT TUNGSTEN STRIKE – New Townsite Being Laid Out – Petitions Being Circulated For Establishment of New Judicial Township.  In the dearth of accommodations, the situation is being by the building of another big lodging house 40 x 160.  It is already under way, is located about 300 yards north of the big mill and will be ready for occupancy within a week.

A new addition is also to be added at once the town schoolhouse.  There are over forty to fifty pupils who are the children of employees engaged in this district.  The present accommodations are too small, and will house and seat only about half of those in attendance.  This problem has been happily solved by School Trustees Roberts and Durand, whose appeal to Superintendent Taylor has resulted in enlargement of the school building to cover all emergencies for schoolhouse and town hall purposes, where public meetings and dances may be held.

A new townsite is on the move, which is located on the east side of the Santa Fe track on the gentle slope towards Red mountain.  It will comprise forth acres temporarily, and is situated on mining ground accepted for that purpose, with usual reservations for underground mining.  A plat of the new townsite is already in evidence, showing thirty-six blocks of 300 feet square and cross and side streets sixty feet in width.

A petition is being circulated for the establishment of a judicial township and the appointment of a justice and constable, as previously outlined by a communication from the secretary of the Board of Supervisors.”—Bakersfield Californian

November 9, 1915:  “ATOLIA GRAND BALL IS A GLITTERING SUCCESS—Smart Sets of Mining Camps Join in House Warming; Prosperity Evident.—This camp had a real awakening last week.  First came the circus, bringing the elephant, lions, monkeys, and Negroes, all genuine African descendants.  Then came the three-day carnival, with plenty of feminine attractions, which rather upset the usual logical poise of some of the old timers who haven’t been off the desert for a decade or more.  But the grand climax occurred Saturday evening when the whole Randsburg population, as a unit almost, decided to visit Atolia which it did in a frolicsome mood. The occasion was playful old-fashioned house-warming over the completion of the big new lodging house at Atolia by the Atolia Mining Company.  Randsburg’s symphony orchestra was taken along; furnishing music that was pronounced a real Shubert feature of the highest standard.  Our frolicsome girls scored everywhere among Atolia’s finest and before the grand march was over the spacious hall was jammed full of humanity as a paper of pins, all moving – feet, heads and bodies – like soldiers on parade.  They fox-trotted, hop-polkaed, tangoed and waltzed – encored again and again until blasting in the mines directly underneath the building on the 250-foot level, recalled the fact that the graveyard shift, and 3 a.m. were overdue.  But it was “some big time,” and only those who were present know how delightfully entertaining and unconventional the Atolia ladies pleasantly made their visitors feel at home.  It was a real mining camp surprise, where old and young formed new acquaintances and renewed old ones – a genuine reunion such as can only be appreciated and understood by sister mining camps of the desert. “The whole affair was glittering, social success,” rapturously remarked a prepossessing young lady, “and the man who says we didn’t give him a chance to dance would lie to his mother.” BUYING AUTOMOBILES—That tungsten camp of Atolia must be a prosperous burg! Nearly all the miners there, who have lately enjoyed leasing privileges, foreigners and all, are buying automobiles.  Among Atolians who can talk knowingly of sparkplugs, carburetors, high and low gears, are John Cook, Billy McKitchen, Red Mayhood, Romano Hernandez, Brock and Lypp, Burt Huffman, Carl Dunnell and others.  Even Superintendent Taylor has blossomed out in a new touring car.  If autos bespeak prosperity, there were over a score of machines utilized November 15, 1915:  “TUNGSTEN BRINGING NEW ACTIVITY TO ATOLIA — Discovery of Scheelite and Advance in Price Quadruples Population.  – Atolia Oct. 26 – There is unusual activity in this section of the desert which bids fair to rival that other early excitement that developed Randsburg and her now famous Yellow Aster group of gold producing mines Eight years ago, an old desert miner discovered in the concentrates of his “dry washing” operations near hear many particles of heavy quartz, which were mistakenly called barium by nearly all the prospectors of this section.  Closer investigation and acid tests revealed these concentrates to be scheelite, a valuable ore of tungsten. Probably less than $300 per ton was its value at that time.  Regular shipments and more recent exploitation in  manufacture of steel, soon made known its peculiar hardening and toughening  quality in producing high-grade tool steel, big guns, steel rails and machinery, where extra hard ware and service is expected of metal. Five years ago market quotations for tungsten producing ore (scheelite) was $310 per ton for better than 60 per cent grades A year ago almost the total United States product, which was derived from the Atolia mines,   could have been bought for $600 per ton of highest grade—about 74 per cent   Today it is worth $30 to $35 per unit, or $1500 per ton, of same quality. Scheelite has some resemblance to calcite, or white lime rock, but is much harder and twice as heavy, and will fuse only at extremely high temperature.  The tungstic acid extracted by heat process imparts to steel that almost indestructible quality desired by machinists. Some Varieties of scheelite are cream colored, yellow, brown, and light red.  The Atolia product is usually a lustrous cream color, having the appearance of heavy spar, its distinguishing characteristic, however it its great lead-like gravity.” – The Bakersfield Californian. November 15, 1915: “A year ago, or a few weeks before the war broke out, Atolia had a population of about sixty souls.  At this writing there is a small city, mostly tents and over 300 inhabitants.  All are busily engaged in leasing or developing tungsten mines in this vicinity. Storekeepers of Johannesburg and Randsburg are paying as high as $1.25 per pound for high-grade float, which is derived in placer form, from the gulches and dry arroyos, over an area of five miles on the southerly slopes of Rand Mountains, easterly towards Cuddeback Lake. Nearly all the placer tungsten miners and leasers are making money, but in light of recent developments, the Atolia district may be assumed as a permanent camp.  It has general supply store, a public school, five boarding houses, a barber shop, and a pool hall is in course of construction. There is an hourly auto stage to and from Randsburg, besides the railroad service to Johannesburg, Barstow, etc., twice a day.” – Bakersfield Californian

November 9, 1915: “WATER DELIVERY to the tank and mains of the Atolia Mining Company began last week.  The pressure developed several leaks in the pipe line which are being suppressed with difficulty.”—Bakersfield Californian

December 29, 1915: “ATOLIA JUDICIAL TOWNSHIIP – Atolia Judicial Townshiup shall consist of the territory within the boundaries described as follows: Beginning at the northeast corner of T. 29 S., R. 44 E. M. D. M., thence west along township line to the west line of San Bernardino County, thence south along the west line of San Bernardino county to the intersection with the south line of T. 32 S. R. 41 E, thence east along the township to the southeast corner of T. 32 S., R 42 E, thence north along the township line to the northeast corner of T. 31 S. R. 42 E., thence east along township line to the southeast corner of T. 30 S. R. 44 E., thence north along township line to the northeast corner of T. 29 S. R. 44 E. the place of beginning.” –San Bernardino County Sun January 7, 1916:  “ATOLIA LEAPING INTO FAME AS REAL CAMP –Sheriff Calls and Unlike the Ghost-Cities About It, Camp Will by “Dry” –Far out on the Mojave desert, midst the specters of once great mining camps. The sheriff went there yesterday, and now Atolia, when its days are done, will never furnish the story through the chapters of which will run the takes of wine, for the sheriff made it known wine cannot flow at Atolia, It is within the borders of the prohibition county of San Bernardino. Two arrests were made.  The others had gone to cover. Although the memories of the now ghost camps that in the past dotted the Mojave Desert here and there recall tales in which drink and blood ran together.  Atolia, as the sheriff decrees shall never have such history. Atolia is rolling in wealth, about three-quarters of a million a month are dug from the tungsten mines.  Two thousand people, as Jim McKeenan, globe trotter, pictures the “real camp” are in the picture.  McKeenan runs the Bon Ton restaurant, and at his tables and in the hall room of his café, evening gowns by the score are to be seen.  That is one of the earmarks of a real camp.  McKeenan is suspected by the officers of knowing about the sale of liquor.  He says he is not the man.  Bill Willford was the other man brought in by the sheriff. WAR STARTS BOOM—From every quarter of the world have come miners to the new camp.  It is a white man’s camp.  Over 150 houses were built in a month. The war put the boom into Atolia. The war prices for tungsten are almost fabulous.  The ore comes up 40 to 60 per cent tungsten and instead of tons they figure it by the pound, a unit of 20 pounds now brings $93.  The mill is running night and day. In the raiding party were Sheriff J. I. McMinn, Under Sheriff F. L. McLain, Deputy Sheriff J. B. Berry, Deputy Sheriff Wheeler. Mrs. Charles Whitehouse, who had used an automatic when her door was smashed in, had left the camp when the sheriff arrived. Under Sheriff McLain tells a tale of highgraders.  Two sacks of tungsten were hid out in the brush by a highgrader.  Somebody highgraded him.  So the next night he put out two more sacks and lay with a shotgun in his arms.  But slumber came and the two sacks were gone in the morning.  The coroner had been beat out of a job. The tungsten mines have been working about eight years but it was during the last four months that Atolia sprang into fame.  The price of tungsten soared and the holes began to deepen.  The Atolia mining company’s shaft is down 1000 feet.” –San Bernardino County Sun January 11, 1916:  “ATOLIA IS SEEKING APPOINTMENT OF JUSTICE AND PEACE OFFICERS—H. B. WATSON for justice and James Rice for constable were recommended by a petition signed by 30 residents in the new mining camp that has recently been given a judicial township.  The matter was referred to Supervisor George E. Brown.” –San Bernardino County Sun January 29, 1916:  “ATOLIA IS BOOMING DESPITE THE LOSS OF TUNGSTEN MILL—Every Miner Thrown Out of Work By Fire, Has Turned Prospector—Not withstanding the temporary setback given this camp by the recent disastrous fire which destroyed the only tungsten mill of any consequence of the coast, the lure of the pay streak has turned nearly every miner who was thrown out of work into a prospector.  There is a vast area of placer ground in the Atolia-Randsburg belt varying rich values in both tungsten and gold, to say nothing of manganese and antimony.  Recent sheelite discoveries six miles southwest of Atolia on the western slope of Rand Mountain are looking up very favorable from that side of the range by Harry Wells, well known miner, who is said to have found a ledge of high grade ore.  The largest deposits of manganese ever discovered in Rand district were also recently uncovered near this latest fine of Wells.  It is claimed that hundreds of tons or manganese ore are to be seen on the surface, the outcroppings of which can be traced for over a half mile. Rich discoveries of scheelite were uncovered on a claim owned by J. M. Rice about half a mile south from the recently burned mill last week, and a dozen lessors each are making from $7 to $20 a day, while Rice himself is now averaging over $100 a day from their labors.” – Bakersfield Californian February 8, 1916: “NAME OFFICERS IN THE NEW ATOLIA TOWNSHIP –After a spirited contest for the offices, Charles S. Taylor was named Justice and Fred Hoffman constable by the supervisors in the judicial township at Atolia, the tungsten operations at which have made the point a real town.” –San Bernardino County Sun February 19, 1916: “BIG DESERT BOOM IN MINING NOW, SAYS J. W. KELLY—Placer Miners Make $10 Per Day Minimum; Towns Are Filled With Life—Out on the desert in the vicinity of Randsburg and Atolia at least a thousand men are employed in placer mining for tungsten and if they do not make ten dollars a day, they hunt new locations. That is what J. W. Kelly, former sheriff, observed in a recent trip to that section. “Randsburg is today the best mining camp in California,” said Mr. Kelly, “and the whole desert is teeming with life and booming as never before.  Men are working in placer diggings at all points and they are making money, too, from $10 a day and up.  It’s the biggest boom desert mining has known, bigger than the gold rush some fifteen years ago.””.—Bakersfield Californian March 8, 1916: “ATOLIA IS BOOMING MINING CAMP AND IMPROVEMENTS ARE MANY – Six Hundred Tents in Town and 2000 Persons at Work Is Estimate –Atolia, California’s greatest mining camp today, is a busy place.  New tents are going up and new stores and a number of lots in the townsite have changed hands.  It is a city of tents; probably 600 tents are up around Atolia Mining Company’s mill and many more coming daily.”—Bakersfield Californian March 8, 1916: “LEASERS MAKING MONEY—There are many leasers, both here and in the Stringer district, making big money.  On the Osdick claims here one lease will, it is estimated, produce a quarter million dollars.  Others are cleaning up $10 to $50 per day, and with very little capital. Wood is scarce.  Water for domestic uses is brought here in tank cars and sold by the company.  Electricity furnished lights. The town is one the Santa Fe, thirty eight miles from Mojave. There are a number of restaurants here, and all making money, several stores and meat shops and more establishments are arranging for buildings. Kern County is well represented here.  Gene Carlton of Caliente runs the tungsten hotel, Red Watson, Piute miner, is here.  Harry and Fred Werfelman or Bakersfield are here, and H. B. Frank is at Randsburg. It is understood that a custom mill will be erected shortly near the Stringer district.”—Bakersfield Californian March 15, 1916: “Six deputy sheriffs from San Bernardino visited Atolia yesterday.  They raided several blind pigs, carried away a truck load of booze and several prisoners. Atolia’s new ice cream parlor was thrown open Thursday night with a big dance.  Randsburg music furnished the accompaniment for a large number of dancers. Gene Carlton of the Tungsten Hotel went to Bakersfield Friday. Spud pickers are still hard at it and many are making big money.  Dave Moore picked about 20 pounds Saturday and Sunday.  Wm. Hurley picked up an eight pound “Murphy” yesterday worth about $24 Several new buildings are under way.  The ice cream parlor is about finished, a new pool hall is soon to be completed and several others are in course of construction.  Many tents have been put up during the past week.  One of the consequences is the much larger circle from which to gather wood. ”—Bakersfield Californian March 20, 1916:  “Gene Carlton has sold a 25-foot lot on the townsite.  Southern Californians and carpenters are today putting up frame work for a pool hall. Atolia is to have a new garage shortly.  It is to be erected by Allen & Company, and will be situated on the townsite.  Machinery and supplies are being brought from Los Angeles. ” – Bakersfield Californian April 4, 1916: “WATER SUPPLIED TO ATOLIA THROUGH HER OWN PIPE LINES—Fast Growing Mining Town Expects to Have 5000 Population by Summer—Water will be turned into the townsite pipe lines this evening according to the announcement of H. B. Watson, owner of the townsite, who has been laying the pipe lines.  The water is now hauled from Hinckley, near Barstow, in tank cars on the Santa Fe, a 38-mile haul.  At Atolia it is stored in big tanks on the hill and with the completion of the lines will be easily secured by the townsite people.  Later water will probably be furnished by the Burcham people who now furnish the Yellow Aster, and Randsburg. Atolia is probably the fastest growing town in California.  By summer a population of 5,000 is expected and arrangements are being made by business men to care for that crowd.”—Bakersfield Californian April 4, 1916: “ATOLIA MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED ATTACK – Harry Hughes, a well-known old timer on the desert, is in custody of officers today charged with an offense against a Mrs. Burnham, wife of an Atolia electrician, and will be taken to San Bernardino, according to local officers.  Hughes is said to have entered the tent home of the Burnham’s and assaulted Mrs. Burnham. The man arrested is said to have suffered from an accident in his youth which made necessary a silver plate in his skull and makes him irresponsible at times.  Today he told officers that he remembered nothing about the occurrence at all.  He has been on the desert for years and his home is supposed to around the bay.”—Bakersfield Californian April 4, 1916: “WILL BUILD HOTEL AT ATOLIA MINING TOWN—Mrs. Mary Miller of Los Angeles today closed a deal for a lot in the townsite and will erect an up-to-date hotel at once.  The hotel be rushed to an early completion. Mrs. Gene Carlton has spent the past few days here with Mr. Carlton at the Tungsten and returned home to Bakersfield today. The Atolia theatre which was blown down while under construction last week is to be re-built at once.  The first attraction, “The Clansman,” which was scheduled for today was canceled and will be shown at the Union Hall at Randsburg.  The building which was blown down was hastily constructed on account of the early date set for the first show and the heavy wind made short work of it. One of the drivers of the Hoffman stage line between here and Randsburg was laid up today with a badly fractured leg.  He was driving yesterday and was assaulted by an man named Holt who mistook the driver for another who had nearly run Holt down.  The injured man will be laid up for some time.  Holt is expected to be arrested today.”—Bakersfield Californian April 11, 1916: “PLAN TO INCORPORATE TOWN OF ATOLIA – Atolia is to be incorporated according to arrangements started today and the proper documents are being forwarded to the authorities at once.  There is sufficient population here now to incorporate two towns and Atolia needs the benefits and protections of incorporation.  With its fast growing population Atolia should be incorporated and steps were today toward this end.”—Bakersfield Californian April 15, 1916: MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF TUNGSTEN FROM ATOLIA IN WEEK. – Atolia, Cal, April 15 – One hundred tons of high grade tungsten ore values around one million dollars was shipped from Atolia this week.  The Atolia Company shipped two cars containing about seventy tons and the ore buyers shipped one car of about 30 tons.  Company ore is figured at about $5 per pound, while ore buyers, buying as cheap as possible, pay around $3.  Besides this amount there has been a large amount of concentrates and high grade that stored here and in Randsburg and Johannesburg. The output for one month from this district will exceed the output in value for the entire United States in 1913, which was about 1500 tons, valued at $672,000.  Besides the tungsten the production of gold will show a large increase over the production of the past few years, as each tungsten producer is taking out a certain amount of gold.  In many instances paying expenses with the gold.”  – Bakersfield Californian

April 19, 1916:”ATOLIA WILL HAVE NEW BANK AND FREIGHT DEPOT –Local Men to Finance the New Institutions: Other Improvements in New Town. ATOLIA, Cal., April 19—Atolia is to have a new bank, a freight depot,  a new garage, and two picture shows, besides a new side track built by the  Santa Fe specially for water, an  addition to  the Atolia and many other improvements.  The new bank is to be owned locally, the Santa Fe is building the freight depot, and the other buildings are owned by various local people. Gus Schamblin and M. W. Harris of the Pioneer Mercantile Company at Bakersfield, were in Atolia to-day. H. M. Watson of the townsite agency is in Los Angeles on business. ” –Bakersfield Californian April 27, 1916: “THE PURCHASING AGENT is instructed to purchase two jail cells from the Pauly Jail Building Company, for Atolia judicial township.” –San Bernardino County Sun

May 3, 1916:  “INCORPORATION OF ATOLIA THEME OF MEETING – Atolia, Cal., May 3 –Atolia’s first public meeting was held Monday night at the Kirk Theater and it was decided to take the   necessary steps towards making the town and incorporated city at once.  H. Watson called the meeting to order at 8 o’clock and discussed sanitation and the blind pigs.    He also suggested incorporation of some other method of securing the necessary improvements.

P. J. Osdick, owner of the Osdick group of claims here, was elected chairman, and Allen Fawcette, formerly of Bakersfield, secretary, and a committee of seven consisting of O. Moore, a former Bakersfield barber, Gene Carlton, formerly of Caliente and Bakersfield; Tim O’Conner, an old timer here; H. B. Watson of the townsite company, U. G. Knight, a miner, were selected as a committee to make suggestions and recommendations as to the plan of procedure. The committee went into private session at once and reported the following suggestions: incorporation at once, decisions as to boundaries, financing   and taking census. Watson, Carlton, and O’ Conner were appointed as a committee to look after  the incorporation petition, and all the members were appointed on the other  committee   with instructions to report next Monday night at another meeting. Dr. Mason, local physician and miner, made a short speech in which he discussed sanitation, particularly important here on account of scarcity of water and the fast growing population. Attorney McGovern, a new comer was introduced and added a few remarks on the necessity of sanitation and other matters along the lines of interest to a new town. The Independent Stage Company, running stage lines from here to Mojave, was endorsed with its petition to the post office department for two mails a day from the main line here by auto.  Many signers were   secured before the crowd left the theater.” –The Bakersfield Californian June 12, 1916: “ATOLIA TO HOLD A BIG CELEBRATION ON JULY 4—Plans for Atolia’s big celebration on the Fourth are rapidly taking shape and will be announced in a few days.  Among the features will be a cabaret show with Los Angeles talent, baseball between Randsburg and Atolia, drilling contests, races and other features.”—Bakersfield Californian June 21, 1916:  “G. V. HOPKINS,  ATOLIA, PURCHASES  KING EIGHT FOR USE ON DESERT.—G. V. Hopkins ,deputy sheriff in the Atolia district, is now the proud owner of a King “8” touring car.  Hopkins drove his ca to the desert yesterday.  He went to Los Angeles Friday with Emmett Allen, local King distributor, and secured the new car. “After looking them all over,” said Hopkins yesterday.  “I decided the King was the car for the desert, hills and sand and expect to see a good many of these cars in use in the desert section before very long.  They combine power with light weight, the two essentials necessary in desert traveling. This makes the fifth King”8” sold in the past two months by Emmett Allen.”  --San Bernardino Sun November 19, 1916:  “INCIPENT RIOT AT ATOLIA STARTED:  “Attempt to Tear Down an Old Theater Is Cause of the Row—Atolia, Nov. 18. – The big mill is now working two shifts again   and more men are being added to the company’s payroll from day to day. Place tungsten from the Scheelite and Osdick groups adjoining the Atolia is growing in quantity and from a commercial standpoint is quite profitable to 69 or more leasers.  Crude highgrade has found ready has found ready buyers the last week at 35 cents to 42 cents per pound for 60 per cent ore. Injunction and a Row—Quite a stir was occasioned today  by the attempted wrecking of the old picture theater by a former Randsburg constable who was  one of three leasers of a lot  on the townsite whereas the  theater was erected.  The building had blown down a time or two and after passing into different hands became the property of P. J. Osdick, the Atolia tungsten king.   When Allier and his helpers began to tear off the roof there was an open row which was temporarily stayed by a warrant against him for larceny. Trouble broke out afresh during  the lull however, and while H. B. Watson hied himself to the county seat invoking the  aid of Daley & Byrne and the superior court to prevent what has the appearance of an open riot.” –San Bernardino County  Sun December 19, 1916:  “NAME NEW CONSTABLE FOR ATOLIA DISTRICT—K. K.  Bowsher was appointed constable at Atolia by the board of supervisors yesterday.  A petition signed by practically all of the residents was presented the board, asking the appointment.” –San Bernardino County Sun December 20, 1916:  “DESERT OFFICER IS SERIOUSLY ILL HERE –Deputy G. V. Hopkins of Atolia, well known desert officer, was stricken with serious illness here yesterday, and while funeral services were being conducted for his stepson, I. D. Woolworth, physicians were working with him at the county hospital.   His condition last night was serious.  He had a hemorrhage of the stomach.   Hopkins came here for the funeral of his step-son.” –San Bernardino County Sun January 25, 1917:  “DEAD ON DESERT FROM ACT OF REVENGE—From out of the desert has come a story of the terrible retribution that the destroying angel prompted through an avenging chauffeur. One is dead and others nearly perished. It is a story without names, and on the desert there is every indication there will be no investigation that will officially connect the dead man with the revenge taken by a Jitney bus driver far out on the desert wastes near Death Valley. Here is the story, declared at Atolia and Randsburg to be true. A chauffer, merely as “a certain desert jitney driver of the Randsburg region,” was called to take a party of laborers headed for the Death Valley mines.   On the way the passengers freely  admitted they were I. W. W.’s They told the chauffer how they had taken boards and driven  them full of nails and covered them with sand in the tire tracks of the auto highways leading out  of Los Angeles. It is charged that the jitney bus driver was one of the human victims and has suffered three days and nights of hardships from just such a diabolical deed.  Somewhere, out near Death Valley, on the road to Ryan, the chauffer suggested there was a good natural comfort station in the shelter of a steep cliff out on the wind where they could stretch their limbs while he oiled up. When the party has alighted the driver started away with a rush, waved his hands to the surprised party, and yelled, “You had better hunt around and see if you can find another board to fill with nails.  It’s just 60 miles to the next camp.” Now has come the word that out beyond Mirror Lake a dead man was found and several others were rescued when near death. At Randsburg it is declared the man who perished in the storm was one of the party punished by the outraged jitney bus driver.” –San Bernardino County Sun June 8, 1917:  “CONSTABLE IS DISMISSED—Constable G. V. Hopkins of Atolia has been dismissed from service as a result of an alleged “leak” in blind pig raids on the desert.  George Holbrook, jailor, who has refused to give up his position declared vacant by the supervisors, has been offered Hopkin’s place.” –San Bernardino News June 13, 1917: “PEACE REIGNS IN THE  SHERIFF’S OFFICE – Holbrook  to Quit  and it is Reported Sheriff  Accepts Holcomb.—With the  understanding  that  he will resign on Monday, the board of  supervisors  yesterday reinstated Jailer George Holbrook. It is understood, Holbrook will be made a deputy sheriff on the payroll of the Atolia Mining Company.  The arrangement was a tactical victory for Holbrook. The war between the supervisors and the  sheriff’s office is probably at an end, at least until such  time as  the supervisor’s begin to more strongly fear the public sentiment that has been  aroused over the escape  of more than 30 murderers and other incidents. Sheriff J. I.  McMinn will now accept the supervisor’s appointment of W. W. Holcomb, it is understood, and peace will reign again.”—San Bernardino County Sun August 6, 1917:  “THE RESIGNATION of Mr. K. K. Bowser as constable of Atolia Judicial township is accepted.” –San Bernardino News August 17, 1917:  “J. E. LACKEY, has been appointed constable at Atolia, the tungsten mining center of the southwest, his appointment having been made upon a three to two vote of the board of supervisors.  Kincaid had named George Holbrook, resigned county jailer, for the place.  There was no second to Kinkaid’s motion and then Supervisor Mulvane named Lackey.  Supervisor Shaw seconded and voting with them was Supervisor Glover.  Riley   and Kincaid voted in the negative on the Lackey appointment.” –San Bernardino News August 21, 1917: “DANCE FOR DRAFT BOYS AT ATOLIA—Miss Katherine Post went out to Atolia yesterday for a visit with her father, Charles Post, and brother, Alfred Post, and will remain for several days.  On Thursday evening the Atolia people have planned a big community dancing party in honor of the boys who were drafted for military service, and it is intended to give them a very happy and brave “good luck to you” event.”  –San Bernardino County Sun September 2, 1917:  “FOLLOWING ARE THE MEN WHO WILL COMPRISE San Bernardino County’s five per cent quota to leave on September 5 for American Lake training camp. District No. 3 Edward E. Acaley, Atolia San Bernardino County Sun September 11, 1917:  “FOLLOWING ARE 14 ADDITIONAL MEN certified for service by board No. 3, sitting at Barstow: Boyd, Clyde Everett, Atolia San Bernardino County Sun September 16, 1917: NAME MEN TO GO FROM DESERT  DISTRICT –Forty-Four Soldiers  Are to Assemble at Barstow for Trip North.—Forty-four men of district No. 3, the desert,  are to  leave Barstow Wednesday, and the people of the desert are planning to any goodbye in a fitting manner. The men summoned to assemble at Barstow for the trip are: Cloud, William Fletcher, Atolia Scott, Lester L. Atolia Pittgressi, Mich., Atolia ALTERNATES Biocotia, Mich., Atolia San Bernardino County Sun November 20, 1917:  “Randsburg Water Company is developing water, laying a four-inch pipe line to Atolia for service to the Atolia Mining Company and other operators between Johannesburg and Atolia.”—Bakersfield Californian March 30, 1918: “KISSELL –Body of Samuel Kissell killed March 29, 1918, near Atolia, Cal., will be shipped to Los Angeles tomorrow for cremation.  Deceased was 34 years of age.   Austrian by birth and had resided in this country for nine years.  Stephens & Sons in charge.” –San Bernardino News April 2, 1918: “OWNERSHIP OF DESERT TOWN SETTLED –J. W. Jeal Wins Ownership of Surface Rights and Half of Minerals –J. W. Jeal can now be known as the “mayor” of Atolia.  He owns the town.   Judge J. W. Curtis  untangled the tangled skein of  affairs in the  rich mining camp in a decision yesterday in which he awarded to Jeal all the surface rights and one-half of the mineral rights of the Atolia townsite. More than 100 people are concerned in the decision, for that many people live on the property and under arrangements made by Jeal. The suit was between J. W. Jeal and E. S. Roberts with E. J. Abbott and James Rice.  Jeal purchased Roberts’ interest, Abbott gets one-half of the mineral rights. The property will continue to be known as the Greenhorn and the title of “Lucky Rice,” so called under Rice’s claim becomes ancient history. The litigation has attracted much interest at Atolia, where the ownership of the townsite, by reason of the rights of the population, was a vital matter. Jeal’s suit with D. V. McBride, involving other property, will begin today.  Atty. J. P. Chandler and Allison & Dickson represented Jeal.” –San Bernardino County Sun April 12, 1918:  “WITH SAN BERNARDINO’S SUBSCRIPTIONS to the third Liberty loan totaling less than $150,000, the committee yesterday was urged by the campaign leaders to even greater efforts. Redlands last night had reached the $222,350 mark, Chino had gone over the top with $50,000, the little town of Atolia reported $47,000, and all other cities were fast reaching their quotas.” –San Bernardino County Sun April 13, 1918:  “UPLAND, CHINO, ETIWANTA, PATTON, VICTORVILLE, ATOLIA, TRONA, AND HIGHLAND are towns in this county already “over the top” in the third liberty loan drive.  County Chairman A. G. Kendall has wired for honor flags for these towns.” –San Bernardino News May 10, 1918: “PLAN MONSTER RED CROSS DRIVE ON MAY 25-26—All kinds of Athletic Affairs and Big Barbeque Will Be Held—A joint Red Cross drive, which will include Randsburg, Atolia, Trona, Johannesburg, and Barstow, has been sanctioned by the managing boards of the A. R. C. of Kern and San Bernardino counties, and is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, May 25th and 26th. Saturday evening a special three reel picture, entitled “The Spy in Randsburg,” will be shown on the screen in Yellow Aster Hall. At one o’clock a monster barbeque will be served at the “Joeburg” baseball park, and during the afternoon a challenge game of ball, between Trona the challenger, and Randsburg, and “Joeburg” will be played.  An athletic program comprising of every variety of field sports has been provided. A dancing platform has been erected adjacent to the sports ground.  Dancing will begin at 1 p. m. and continue to 6 p. m. OPEN CLUB HOUSE—Sunday evening at 7:30 p. m. the new Atolia club house will be opened to the public and a special Red Cross picture, entitled “Over There,” will be screened for the first time and will be followed by a dance.

The Atolia Club House Is Thought To Have Been Built By The Atolia Mining and Milling Company. It is belived that this receipt for Federal Taxes was for the club house. Collection of the Rand Desert Museum

Trona will donate an added feature, having engaged the famous diving girls who have been showing in the east, and will open the summer season at Venice, June 1. The cattle men have volunteered to stage a series of roping and bronco riding contests in the ball park, and as every item of expense has been donated, it is hoped that this joint drive will net big money for the A. R. C. and the boys “over there.” Barstow patriots have engaged a special train, as has Trona and in addition have asked for reservations of rooms for Saturday and Sunday nights.”—Bakersfield Californian May 12, 1918: “DESERT TO HOLD BIG RED CROSS BENEFIT –Randsburg, Johannesburg, Trona, and Atolia, all of desert fame, will state a combination Red Cross benefit beginning Saturday night, May 25. “The Spy in Randsburg” will be the show at the Y. A. hall, Randsburg, on the night of May 25.  On Sunday afternoon the scene will shift to the Johannesburg baseball park, where “real old timer” with out door sports begins at 1 p.m. sharp.  There will be a monster barbeque.  Trona challenges the field at baseball; Atolia sends an open challenge for tug of war.  All kinds of races for the kiddies, juniors and adults.  Dancing floor will be built. At 7:30 p. m. the scene again shifts to the Atolia club house, where the Red Cross picture “Over There” will be shown followed by a dance. “Do your bit,” says the poster.  “Come and see those ‘marvels of the desert,’ and other attractions.  Your money will help our soldiers. Surrounding territory cordially invited.” The Trona Company has donated a Venice Vaudeville show.  The cattlemen of Inyo County have promised to stage a miniature rodeo, roping and bronco busting contest.  Barstow and Trona expect to run special trains, while Mojave and other stations will contribute automobile parades. John C. Wray, well known desert newspaperman, has donated his services as publicity director.” –San Bernardino County Sun May 13, 1918: “AUTO PARADE FROM COAST TO DESERT WILL BOOST KERN RED CROSS DRIVE—Randsburg, Johannesburg, Atolia and Trona Join for Big Celebration—Saturday morning, May 25th, at daylight, the Ahbot Kinney Company of Venice, will start from Venice for a daylight auto tour via the boulevard to Los Angeles, to San Bernardino, to Victorville, en route to Randsburg, via way stations. The Auto parade will include the Venice Bathing Girls, headed by the celebrated calliope automobile, which will make the echoes ring all along the line.  The Ince movie studio at Culver City has donated its premier camera to register the best features of the joint American Red Cross drive staged by Randsburg, Johannesburg, Atolia and Trona chapters of the Red Cross desert drive. International films of the big doings Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26 will be screened, and the desert will be placed on the map for the first and only time in local history. A special film will be taken of the desert rats—a race between men who are over 65 years of age, in which 11 old timers will participate.  Los Angeles newspapers will send reporters and cartoonists to go over the top in the portrayal of desert characters.  This will be the one time when the desert will “go over the top” for keeps.”—Bakersfield Californian May 18, 1918: “GREAT TIME IS PLANNED FOR RANDSBURG—Great Mining Camp Will Have Big Celebration to Aid the Red Cross. Randsburg, May 17.—The desert is united  in the matter of making the A. R. C. drive scheduled for Saturday and  Sunday, May 25-26, the one big feature of the year, in the matter of Red Cross activities. Trona, Atolia, Johannesburg and Randsburg, not forgetting Barstow, Tehachapi, Mojave, and Lancaster each and all are working industriously to make the scheduled drive memorable, as a money maker for the A. R. C. and the boys “over there.” Trona has volunteered to erect the dancing platform and Baron De Ropp, president of the Trona Company, has donated a silver cup, which will be for the best lady dancer.  Every room in the St.  Charles hotel of Johannesburg has been reserved for the patriotic sons and daughters of Trona, who will come in a special train. Barstow will have a special train if the advance notices hold true and the Mojave and Tehachapi districts have asked for reservations. Word from Bakersfield spells the same story. Parking space and watchful watching has been provided for automobiles, a special police guard will be in charge of the parking ground. Inyo County cattle men have donated every requisite for an old time rodeo which will be a revelation to “outlanders” who imagine that the desert produces nothing but horned toads, side-winders and coyotes. P. J. Osdick, who is in full charge of the preliminary arrangements, has evolved order from chaos and every detail of the big drive has been worked out to the end that no untoward happening will mar the festivities. SPORTS PROGRAM—Deputy Sheriff Hoag and Constable Lackey  of San  Bernardino county have charge of the sports program and assisted by “Tex” Lovett (sic) and Deputy Sheriff Harris of Randsburg, will effectively police the grounds, which is a guarantee of good order, and safety for the expected visitors and participants in the desert drive. During the two days, May 25-26, the desert latchstring will be within the reach of every stranger.  Come one, come all and help the good cause to the limit. The sport program will soon be published in detail and as Abbott Kinney has promised “the Venice Bathing girls” and the Ince studios of Culver City has tendered the services of some of the stars, and premier camera men, the added features will be worth double the money it will cost to journey across the sands to give them the many times over.” –San Bernardino County Sun

May 23, 1918: “SCOTT RETURNS FROM HEARING AT ATOLIA—Attorney Thomas Scott, Jr., has returned from Atolia, San Bernardino county, where he held the preliminary examinations in the case of the people versus Roy West, who is accused of selling liquor without a license in a dry territory.  West was bound over, to be tried later in San Bernardino, Attorney Scott represents the defendant.”—Bakersfield Californian

May 24, 1918: “ALL  NOW READY FOR DESERT CARNIVAL –Randsburg and  all Nearby Points to be Scene of a Big Blowout—Randsburg, May 23.—The scene is all set for  the big Randsburg, Johannesburg, Atolia and Trona American Red Cross drive Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26. There will be 12 Venice bathing girls at the big show.  Each will make three changes of costume, during the exercises at Johannesburg and Atolia.  The silver loving cup donated by President De Ropp of the Trona Company, is on exhibition in the Randsburg Drug Company store, and will be exhibited in Atolia Saturday and Sunday. The premier ropers and broncho busters of Inyo County, 12 in number, have   telegraphed that they will be on hand, with the best possible bronchos and sure enough range wild steers. Trona has challenged the ball teams of the entire desert for the championship.  R. J. Osdick, chairman of the general committee,  has organized to  have everything in readiness for the  big show, at 3 p.m. Saturday and there is no longer any doubt that the big drive will  be the most  successful and pretentious   undertaking in behalf of the Red Cross ever staged on the desert.” –San Bernardino County Sun May 24, 1918: “THE LAST DAYS of the Red Cross drive in mining sections on the desert will be marked by great interest when they stage the carnival drive for more funds Saturday and Sunday, May 25, and 26.  Besides Randsburg, Johannesburg, Atolia and Trona will participate.  Chairman Osdick promises that everything will be in readiness at 3 o’clock Saturday to make this the biggest event of its kind yet held on the desert.” –San Bernardino News July 3, 1918: “ATOLIA CLAIMS ANOTHER RECORD – High Average is Made for War Saving Stamps for Mining Camp—Atolia, July 2.—Atolia claims another record—this time on war saving stamps.  On the third Liberty bond issued, Atolia topped the record of the United States by over-subscribing its quota 22 times, and there are that many stars on the Atolia flag. But on war savings stamps the subscriptions averaged $142 per pledge for 236 pledges, and the grand total of sales and pledges is $33, 120.  The entire population of the camp is less than 500, and while the basis of allotment is somewhat uncertain, on the same basis as announced for San Bernardino that would make the Atolia proportion about $5,000.  If so, the camp is more than six times over, and leaving out of account the $40,000 Liberty bond subscription of the Atolia mining company, the camp itself brought more thrift stamps than it did bonds. Of the 236 pledges signed, only four were the limit of $1,000 each, and not one was from the company or any local corporation. It was simply the result of the patriotic endeavor and hard work of the men and women of the camp from Randsburg to St. Elmo and from dry lake to Kramer. A very large part of the work was done by Mrs. T. J. O’Conner and Mrs. W. C. Schoonmaker, while no small part of it was carried by Mrs. M. E. Normile.  Postmaster A.  A. True, formerly of Highland, and well known in San Bernardino, was in charge of the drive, while every man in the camp was ready at all times to help in any and every way to bring about the big result. Mrs. O’ Conner and Mrs. Schoonmaker canvassed every home in Atolia, and in the desert round, during the hottest June weather, and never thought of stopping when the camp’s allotment was reached, but determined to go over just as far as possible.” –San Bernardino County Sun October 2, 1918:  “ATOLIA IS THE FIRST CITY OVER THE TOP—A telegram last night to County Chairman A.  G. Kendall from C. S. Taylor of Atolia said: “Atolia over the top by $10,000.”  The quota was $60,300. In addition to this there was information from the Atolia Mining  Company that $50,000 would be placed through banking channels in this city, as that company’s demonstration that is cooperating in the big affairs of the county.” –San Bernardino County Sun N0vember 20, 1918:  “TWENTY-FIVE NEW INFLUENZA cases per day, is the average placed by Dr. F. M. Gardner, health officer, this week. The situation is not regarded as serious.  In other cities an increase is apparent over last week, and at Atolia the situation appears serious.  Charles Post, former county clerk, is a critical condition there.” –San Bernardino News December 6, 1918: THE INFLUENZA EPEDIMIC at Atolia is completely over and there are no new cases there now, reported Dr. Edgar Brigham when he returned from Atolia yesterday.  He went to Atolia to handle the epidemic.  County officials yesterday received telegraphic requests to send a physician to Barstow, where the number of cases is increasing.” –San Bernardino County Sun January 14, 1919: ATOLIA CONSTABLES ATTEND DINNER honoring Sheriff Shay; W. H. Ramsey and J. E. Lackey.—San Bernardino County Sun March 3, 1919: “SPECTER OF GHOST CITY NOW FACES ATOLIA CAMP—Mines Closed Down as Price of Tungsten Drops to Lowest Level—Atolia, bonanza mining camp of the present decade on the San Bernardino desert, is on the verge of almost entire desertion by more than 400 inhabitants and unless the price of tungsten revives with peace time reconstruction, Atolia is doomed to join Calico, Panamint, Virginia Dale, Hart, Ballarat and others as a ghost city of the desert. The Atolia mining company has shut down its mine and mill and dropped more than 200 men from the payroll and more than 200 independents have likewise laid down their tools.  The camp is scattering.  Much of the population has already drifted away, but there remains those who will await the reviving of the tungsten market. Whether the hope for the revival of the market will be like the dreams of Calico as it awaited for decades the return of the price of silver, remains a mystery of the future. Conservative mining men however cannot see how tungsten can remain at present low prices, because it is absolutely essential in high speed steel products which peace time construction will develop. Tungsten was brought into fame by war.  Millions was taken out by the Atolia mines.  How many millions the Atolia Company made has never been announced, and hundreds of the independents reaped fortunes in claims.  Some were made rich by a few weeks’ work, during the times when tungsten brought fabulous prices as the race was on to produce tungsten-made munitions for the allies. The bottom has dropped out of tungsten.  There is no demand for tungsten.  From $24.50 a unit of 20 pounds for 60 per cent concentration in January the orders fell off until during the past few weeks it was impossible to dispose of it any price.  Offers of $10 a unit failed to find a market. The Atolia Company only recently completed the installation of additional costly machinery, designed to return a greater recovery in the concentrates. It is said the company officials expect that a few months will be necessary for a revival of demand for tungsten.” –San Bernardino County Sun

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