Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Sterling Borax "Dinky" Locomotive

Tick Canyon

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Two men stand at either end of a "dinky" locomotive that hauled ore cars full of borates from the Sterling Borax Mine at Davenport Road to the railhead at Lang. The narrow-gauge tracks ran along Tick Canyon Road, the lower portion of which was renamed Shadow Pines Boule­vard when a housing tract was later built there. The mine was active from 1908-1921.

According to area historian Sarah Brewer, the man at left is Ernest Moore, the brakeman; at right is Ben Truex, the engineer. (Source: Photo in the collection of Chuck Wright, which identifies it as 1914-1918).

It is believed that about three different "dinky" locomotives were used at the mine; here is another photo of what appears to be the same one, with Agua Dulce resident Tony Held at the controls.

Further reading:

Description & History of Borate Mining in Tick Canyon.

The Fortune of the Sterling Borax Company in California's Santa Clarita Valley.


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FT2101: 9600 dpi jpeg from 8x10 copy print courtesy of Michael Trueblood, 2019. Online only.
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