Death Valley has a fascinating mining history. Miners first passed through here in 1849 during the California gold rush, t realizing that there were vast deposits of gold and borax just waiting to be taken out of the mountains and Valley floor. By the late 19th century though, large scale gold and borax mining operations were in full swing. In the 20th century, talc mining would join borax as the two most important minerals mined in the Death Valley area. The most common extant ruins in Death Valley include mill ruins, metal or stone mine buildings, mine openings, and metal water towers. There are few mercantile or residential structures remaining (Rhyolite and Aguereberry Camp being two exceptions). The ghost towns and mining camps within and near Death Valley are probably in better shape than most because of the preservative affect of the extremely dry climate, and the protection offered by Death Valley being a National Park (and, earlier, a National Monument). The best-preserved towns are post-1950s company mining camps (Ibex Springs, Broken Pick, Warm Springs, Keystone Mine, etc.) The vast majority of the photos in this book were taken in the 21st century. Thus, this book focuses primarily on what there is to see in the Death Valley ghost towns today, with a bit of the history of the sites included along the way. This 2013 edition adds three more sites to the 2010 book, as well as 7 maps. The book contains over 100 photos.
Robert C. Jones is President of the Kennesaw Historical Society, and Director of Programs and Education for the Kennesaw Museum Foundation. He is also an at-large member of the Civil War Roundtable of Cobb County (Georgia). He has written several books on Civil War and railroad themes, including Civil War Prison Camps: A Brief History, Famous Songs of the Civil War, Retracing the Route of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and March to the Sea, The Battle of Griswoldville: An Infantry Battle on Sherman's March to the Sea, The Fifteen Most Critical Moments of the Civil War, The Reading Railroad: An Illustrated Timeline, The Pennsylvania Railroad: An Illustrated Timeline, The Battle of Allatoona Pass: The Forgotten Battle of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, The Ten Best - and Worst - Generals of the Civil War, The Top 10 Innovations of the Civil War, Bleeding Kansas: The Real Start of the Civil War, The Top 20 Railroad Songs of All Time, The Top 25 Civil War Spies and Irregulars, The Top 20 Most Influential Leaders of the Civil War, The Top 25 Most Influential Women of the Civil War and The W&A, the General, and the Andrews Raid: A Brief History. Robert has also written several books on ghost towns in the Southwest, including Death Valley Ghost Towns - As They Appear Today, Ghost Towns of the Mojave National Preserve, Ghost Towns of Southern Arizona and New Mexico and Ghost Towns of Western Nevada. Another Western-themed book, The Top 10 Gunslingers and Lawmen of the Old West, was published in 2012. In 2005, Robert co-authored a business-oriented book entitled Working Virtually: The Challenges of Virtual Teams.