page 52


page 52
Is Part Of,8
Full text
93. Bedrock Spring, San Bernardino County (I-3).—This small but excellent spring is on the north side of Klinker Mountain on the old wagon road from Johannesburg through Bedrock Canyon to Searles Lake, about 10 miles northeast of Johannesburg, at an elevation of 3,225 feet (U. S. Geological Survey). This road is rarely used except by freighters who are well acquainted with the country, because no water can be obtained along it for a stretch of 30 miles or more. Travelers are advised to follow the main road by way of Searles post-office. 94. Well at Willard Lake, San Bernardino County (I-3).—This is a well that was dug years ago at the northeast end of Willard Dry Lake alongside the old Death Valley borax road, at an elevation of about 2,520 feet. It gave a good supply of slightly brackish water. The well is now partially caved in and should be cleaned out. It is not on any of the main lines of travel, but is some distance south of the road from Johannesburg to Blackwater well. 95. Blackwater Well, San Bernardino County (I-4).—This well is one of the important camping and watering places on the main road from Johannesburg to Death Valley and Resting Springs. It is on a divide about 18 miles east of Johannesburg. The road eastward from the town runs past the railroad roundhouse toward the City Wells, which can be seen toward the northeast. About 2 miles from Johannesburg it forks; the left branch, bearing to the north, goes to Ballarat via Searles Lake; the right-hand branch runs directly toward the City Wells, and when nearly south of them turns down the canyon to the southeast. At the foot of the hill this road runs eastward to the base of Lava Mountain and north of Willard Dry Lake. In the distance a low ridge is seen, lying at right angles to the road—that is, in a north-south direction. Blackwater Well lies nearly at the crest of this ridge. The main road crosses several of the old Death Valley borax-works roads, which come in from the south in the direction of the dry lake, and these roads must be avoided, as there is no water on them for 25 miles in either direction. When the summit is reached the well can be located by the bare ground in its neighborhood, from which campers have stripped all vegetation. The well, which was dug years ago by government troops, is about 15 feet deep and is in the form of a shaft, 5 by 7 feet. The water in it is usually from 2 to 3 feet deep. When the well has not been used for a long time the water becomes dark colored and ill smelling and is often foul from the bodies of desert rats and rabbits, but when freshly cleaned it is sweet and wholesome and free from alkali. It is probable that if the well were deepened a much more abundant supply would be procured. Water was at one time piped down the slope for a distance of one-half mile to the old Death Valley borax-works road. The remnants of the trenches and pipes aid in locating the well.

Cite this Item

When linking to this object, please use the following URL:,2239



Subscribe to recent comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment below!