Death Valley - Harmony Borax Works

Our first assignment in the Death Valley workshop was to take some aesthetically interesting photos of the wagons on which borax had been hauled more than a century ago.

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According to a history, "After borax was found near Furnace Creek Ranch (then called Greenland) in 1881, William Tell Coleman built the Harmony plant and began to process ore in late 1883 or early 1884. When in full operation, the Harmony Borax Works employed 40 men who produced three tons of borax daily. During the summer months, when the weather was so hot that processing water would not cool enough to permit the suspended borax to crystallize, Coleman moved his work force to the Amargosa Borax Plant near present day Tecopa, California.

Getting the finished product to market from the heart of Death Valley was a difficult task, and an efficient method had to be devised. The harmony operation became famous through the use of large mule teams and double wagons that hauled borax the long overland route to Mojave. The romantic image of the "20-mule team" persists to this day and has become the symbol of the borax industry in this country."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Victor Bloomfield published on March 17, 2010 10:32 AM.

Death Valley - Furnace Creek Date Palms was the previous entry in this blog.

Death Valley - Zabriskie Point is the next entry in this blog.

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