Garlock and Goler
Garlock and Goler
Garlock (formerly, Eugeneville) is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is located 6.25 miles (10 km) east-southeast of Saltdale, at an elevation of 2169 feet (661 m).
A post office operated at Garlock from 1896 to 1904 and from 1923 to 1926.
Garlock is a ghost town that was known as El Paso City or Cow Wells interchangeably. The little town provided water for cattlemen and freighters wishing to avoid the potentially treacherous washes in Red Rock Canyon. Some gold had been found in the canyons of the El Paso Mountains, enough to warrant an arrastra being built in 1887. In 1893 a nugget was brought in worth $1,900 from Goler Heights (former reference to Goler Canyon is located in Death Valley, NOT off Garlock Rd.) and so the rush began. In 1894 Eugene Garlock of Tehachapi moved in an eight stamp mill. Miners would talk of going down to “the Garlock mill,” “down to the Garlock,” and finally just “Garlock.”
The site is now registered as California Historical Landmark #671.
Death Valley Jim on Goler – a great online source for all things Death Valley related!
In around 1873, John Goler was out prospecting in the El Paso Mountains. Goler, was a member of the Bennett-Arcane party, the party that had narrowly escaped Death Valley back in 1849. While on the southern slopes of the El Paso Mountains he discovered gold nuggets while soaking his feet in a spring. He filled his pockets with the nuggets and made his way to Los Angeles to sell what he had found. To mark the location he partially buried his rifle so that he could later re-identify the location on his return.
In Los Angeles, Goler found a partner in Grant P. Cuddeback. The two men returned to the El Paso Mountains, but were never able to relocate the original location of Goler’s discovery. They did however find gold in the Red Rock Canyon area, a short distance to the west. Oddly enough the gun that was left by Goler was found in 1917 by Will Munsey, a homesteader with a ranch near Goler.
Gold was again discovered in Goler Gulch in 1893. In March, the first official claim was placed called Jackass Placer, and with that, the Goler Mining District had officially been born. The placers at Goler were extremely rich, nuggets weighing up to 10 ounces were recovered from the canyon during the early mining rush. The deposits found at Goler are due to secondary enrichment from the erosion of an ancient river channel that runs alternately along the top and below the ground.
Shortly after the mines opened, a stage began to run between Goler and Mojave (Mojave was the nearest railroad at the time), and a camp sprang up around the mining activity. The number of businesses that occupied the camp is not well documented, but it is known that a boarding house, several saloons, and a store were once located there.
The amount of gold that was removed from district is unknown because many of the claims were individually owned and mined, so much of what was recovered went unreported. The Wells Fargo in nearby Garlock reported that nearly $500,000 in gold had shipped through its offices from Goler, leading the experts to believe that over a million dollars in gold was removed from Goler from 1893-1905.
In the 1930s a resurgence in mining activity at Goler took place. Enough so, that a one-room school was build up the gulch, and about a dozen children attended school here from 1932-1936. Much of the resurgence had died off by the end of the 1930s, but there are still several private mining claims that are currently operating in the area.