Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> BORAX   > AGUA DULCE
Dinky Locomotive Wreck
Sterling Borax Mine | Tick Canyon


Click image to enlarge | Click HERE to supersize

NPS COLLECTION

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Panorama: Mine, Mill, Camp 1912

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Camp & Tailings

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Shaft Headframe

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Dinky Wreck

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Inside Shaft ~1984

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Collapsed Timber ~1984

STERLING BORAX WORKS

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Dinky ~1910

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Tony Held & Borax Dinky Locomotive

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Dinky Wreck

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Machine Shop Crew 1915

"Wreck of narrow gauge locomotive leaving the mine," n.d. From the Borax Collection, Death Valley National Park, National Park Service, Cat. No. LAN16D.

Located in Tick Canyon at Davenport Road between Sierra Highway and Agua Dulce, the Sterling Borax mine was active from 1908-1921. This "dinky" locomotive pulled a train of narrow-gauge cars that hauled borates down to the railhead at Lang.

We don't know if it is the same incident, but mine worker Tony Held might have been responsible for this wreck. Here is Tony at the controls of the dinky. His son Dick Held remembers:

... Dad later became the engineer for the mine railroad and hauled supplies from the main line at Sulphur Springs to the mine. He later worked as an assistant to the mine electrician until the mine closed. He probably received this last job after an unfortunate incident in which the locomotive jumped the track and ended up on its side in a gulch.

Read about the mining operation here.


SW_LAN16D: 9600 dpi jpeg from this tiff image courtesy of Stan Walker.
STERLING BORAX MINE

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History/Description (CA Div Mines 1954)

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Sterling Borax Story (Keebler)

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Stephen Mather Story (Shankland)

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Scorza Video 2007

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Points of Interest

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L.A. Times 1907

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Origins 1907-1908

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Orig. Corp. Seal 1908

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Multiple Views

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Mine, Mill, Camp (Mult.)

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Inside Shaft ~1984 x2

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Tick Canyon Howlite in Smithsonian 2014

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Modern Times

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