was named after Dr. Darwin French who named a nearby wash after himself when he was in the
area in the 1860's looking for the "lost" Gunsight Lode.
Darwin was a supply center for local mines in the early 1870's until a rich strike
was discovered in 1874 transposing Darwin into a boomtown. The town almost immediately
gained a reputation for violence, with 124 graves in the cemetery, 122 by knife or gun!
By 1877 the town had two smelters, 200 frame houses, and a population of around
200. The best saloon in town, the Centennial, featured cut-glass chandeliers and a
fancy billiard table. One of the towns most Prominent citizens was Victor Beaudry, who was
one of the prime movers in Cerro Gordo.
The town started to decline in 1878 with the rise of Bodie and Mammoth. Darwin has
fascinating history that makes for some interesting reading.
When we were
out exploring Darwin in Nov. 1998 we discovered that the town was actually used in the
later years for secret development of turbo charged engines, check out our photographic
California Desert Page