Charley Koehn probably had the first store in Garlock. His headquarters was Koehn Springs where he had homesteaded in the early 1890’s. Charley provided supplies to the camp in Goler as well as the camp at Summit Diggings by Wagon before the strike was made in Randsburg. 1
Contemporary with Charley Koehn was G. McKinnon who was reported as being the other one of two stores in Garlock in May of 1896. Mr. McKinnon was still in business in Garlock in 1897.
Mr. Carpenter opened his store in Garlock in July of 1896, and soon ran into trouble, as he was arrested in October of 1896, on a charge of embezzlement. Constable Underhill of Mojave came to Garlock and made the arrest. The charges were the result of a check that had been deposited with him for collection on a bank in Los Angeles. The outcome of these charges is not known, however he was reported a week later to be building a large warehouse near his store.
W. B. BALLARD
Mr. Ballard, of Tulare, Cal. was reported to be on his way to set up in the business of providing provisions, fruit and feed in Garlock in August of 1896. His business was apparently successful as it was reported, in May of 1897, that He and his wife were the proud parents of the first child to be born in Garlock.
C. C. MATHEWS — THE DESERT RED HOUSE
Mr. Mathews, a Tehachapi merchant and miner opened a store in Garlock sometime in 1896 known as the Desert Red House. The Los Angeles Herald credits the Desert Red House with being the first general merchandise store in Garlock. F. E. Carpenter was the manager in September of 1897. The earliest entry in the Rand Mine Co. ledger shows that they were doing business with the Desert Red House as early as September of 1896. In February of 1898 a meeting was held in this store to form a Citizens Committee. The avowed purpose of which was the “Formation of a Law, Order and Sanitary Committee, whose duties were to be to look after the welfare of the town general, to assist the peace officers in the discharge of their duties and to act as sanitary and fire officers. The Chairman of the meeting was J. W. Mckiernan, Sr. and Cearlos Orpin was Secretary. The committee members selected to carry out the avowed duties were J. E. McGinn, Dr. Wright, J. R. Hughes, Mike Sheridan, and T. J. Kennedy. The formation of this committee had been necessitated by the increase of vagrants since the Law and Order Committee has been established in Randsburg. A number of these vagrants were immediately arrested and ordered by Judge McFarlane to leave town.
The Desert Red House was also the scene of a small fire in February of 1898. Fortunately the night watchman, Jim Mowat, discovered the fire while it was still small, or Garlock, like Randsburg, may have been destroyed. The fire had been the result of carelessness, caused by emptying hot coals from the stored stove on the ground in the back of the building near some old boxed, straw, and paper. The wind came up later in the evening and caught the trash on fire.
In October of 1896 the Bakersfield Daily Californian, reported that Bob Stubblefield has erected a two story stone building with a basement. The store was located on Post Office Ave. just north of Mrs. Martin’s Hotel / Boarding House.
The Register of Licenses for Kern County shows a trader’s license issued to Mr. Hays on 23 February of 1897.
THE DESERT MERCANTILE
On 27 February 1897 the Register of Licenses for Kern County show a trader license issued to The Desert Mercantile to conduct business in Garlock.
THE GARLOCK MERCANTILE
A trader’s license was also issued to the Garlock Mercantile on the 5th of March 1897. 9
MISS BESSIE BLISH
Miss Bessie was issued a trader’s license in 1897. It is not known what Miss Bessie was trading.
MISS LAURA THORNE
Not wanting to miss out on all the trade Miss Laura applied to the Kern County Board of Supervisors for a license to trade in Garlock, which was granted in 1897. 11
THOMAS J. KENNEDY
Roberta Starry in her book Gold Gamble states that Thomas Kennedy was in business in Garlock prior to coming to Randsburg The Los Angeles Herald show him in business in Garlock in September of 1897.. This is confirmed by a listing in the California Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1898. He was listed as being on the Citizens Committee in Garlock in 1898. Tom was born in 1860 in Canada and became a naturalized citizen in 1886 at Detroit Michigan.
A. ANDERSON & W. B. BROADWELL
A letterhead in the collection of the Kern County Museum shows Mr. Anderson and Mr. Broadwell as partners in a mercantile store in Garlock in 1898. They were dealing in general merchandise, lumber, mining timbers and outfits and were the agents for G. W. McNear’s flour. Broadwell & Co. are listed in the 1898 California Gazetteer & Business Directory as a General Merchandise business in Garlock in 1898. Both these gentlemen were later in business in Randsburg in separate stores. Walter Broadwell is believed to have come from Lancaster, as there was a Broadwell & Co. General Merchandise store in that town in 1896.
WILSON, MULLEN, & BRACEWELL
September 5, 1897 the Los Angeles Herald show Wilson, Mullen & Bracewell as having a store in Garlock. The below-pictured letterhead, which is from the collection of the Author, shows this firm being in business in July of 1898 in Garlock. W. C. Wilson who according to the signature on this letterhead was the Wilson of this company was also in business in Randsburg. (See Randsburg / Merchants).
April 08, 1897: “REDONDO, April 7—Regular Correspondence.) J. M. Bracewell returned from Garlock and vicinity and will close out his business here, his interests at Garlock, Mojave and Randsburg demanding his entire attention.” – The Herald
S. F. BARLOW –Varieties and Stationary
Mr. Barlow was listed in the 1898 California State Gazetteer & Business Directory as being in the General Merchandise business in Garlock., however it was reported in the October 18, 1897 edition of the Los Angeles Herald that “Broadwell and Co., of Garlock have purchased the general merchandise stock of Barlow Bros., at this place, and will open up a branch store in Randsburg.” The Herald also shows in its September 5, 1897 Mr. Barlow’s intals as S. T. rather than S. F.
R. H. SIMPSON –
An individual by the name of R. H. Simpson was listed in the 1898 California State Gazetteer & Business Directory as being in the cigar and tobacco business in Garlock.