Randsburg Mining

    The miners that used to work in these mines became plagued with a grey heavy material that they found with the gold. Angry about it, they decided to get rid of it and threw it out until one of the men decided it would not hurt to see what it was and sent it to get assayed. This material ended up being scheelite which is the base ore of tungsten. And even though it was not worth a lot, it did have some value. Given that ore was so abundant, there were areas that the ground was covered with it and in some areas there was so much that it was called potato patches and people were able to make some money off of it by simply picking it up off the ground. When the war in Europe began, it caused the price to start to increase given that it was used as an alloy to make steel stronger, lighter weight and better weapons. The price of scheelite had gone up to $100.00 per unit. Obviously this was a good time for this district and many people flocked in from many different places to pick the precious pieces of ore up. The richest lode that was located a few miles from Randsburg was discovered by two men. These men’s names were Atkins and De Golia and their names were used combined to name the strike Atolia. The big boom for scheelite ended as soon as the war ended in 1918 however. The district once again turned into a quiet place and remained on stand by. There was one other big boom that hit the Randsburg area in 1919. This occurred when two prospectors who had been robbed by the previous Sheriff of Kern County, found silver. When the news got out, people flocked the area once again. One has cannot help but imagine how much silver there might be in other mining districts that has not yet been discovered. After that event the Randsburg district has remained dormant.