Indian Wells Valley Search and Rescue Display
History Intern Katie McClain has completed a second display for the museum as her summer history internship winds down. The new display is about the Indian Wells Valley Search and Rescue group (IWVSAR) that existed for 51 years from 1963-2014. Bill Moen donated many of his personal rescue items and lots of photos and newspaper articles to the museum after the group disbanded. Katie interviewed Bill, Nicki Johnson and Dave Sanders to get a better understanding of this groups function and responsibilities.
The IWVSAR got it’s start when 14 members of the Sidewinder Citizen Band Radio Club were sworn in as special deputies for the Kern County Sheriff’s Department to fulfill a need for search and rescue on the eastern side of the Sierra’s. The group specialized in mine and surface rescues and was called upon frequently by the Kern County Sheriff and other counties. The members of the group were innovative, highly trained and very dedicated.
Monorail Exhibit features model Monorail
A new exhibit featuring the American Magnesium Company Monorail is located in the vestibule of the Maturango Museum, including a model of the monorail track made and donated by Joe Powell of Las Vegas Nevada. This monorail, also known as the Epsom Salts Monorail, was the longest monorail ever built in the United States,. It connected an Epsom salts mine located in the Panamint Range just east of Wingate Pass, to Magnesium Siding, 6 miles south of Trona.
The monorail was constructed to transport Epsom salts from the mine to the standard gauge Southern Pacific Railroad. The monorail was built and operated between 1922 and 1923, but was not commercially successful and was abandoned by 1927. A book on the monorail – Epson Salt Monorail – is also available in the Maturango Museum store, as well as our online store.
The mission of the Maturango Museum is to preserve, interpret, and develop an appreciation for the natural and cultural history of the Northern Mojave Desert through research and education in the natural and physical sciences, and to promote the arts.
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100 East Las Flores Ave
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
760-375-6900 | FAX 760-375-0479
Open Daily 10 am to 5 pm
(Excluding Major Holiday)