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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Harmony Borax Works
Structure Number:
HS-002
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
Death Valley National Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
No records.
Structure State:
California
Structure County:
Inyo
Region:
Pacific West
Cluster:
Pacific Great Basin
Administrative Unit:
Death Valley National Park
LCS ID:
000252
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
12/31/1974
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Local
Short Significance Description:
After discovery of borax deposits here in 1881, William T. Coleman developed the Harmony Borax Works which opened the way for large-scale borax mining in other Death Valley locations. Famous 20-mule team originated here.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1882
AD




2. 
Stabilized
1937
AD


CCC
Other
3. 
Stabilized
1975
AD


NPS/Chambers
Other
4. 
Stabilized
2000
AD


NPS
Other
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Extractive Facility (Mining)
Primary Current Use:
Exhibit
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Ruin

2. 
Interpretative Landscape

 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Ruin
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Superstructure
Stone
2. 
Superstructure
Adobe
Short Physical Description:
Refinery area consists of masonry retaining walls, a large wooden platform, two iron tanks, and iron boiler and one ruined adobe building; former company town area consists of ruins of two adobe buildings. Modern interpretive path, fences, signs.
Long Physical Description:
At present the Harmony Borax Works consists of a four-level terraced ruin situated against a hillside. There are remains of adobe and stone buildings, machinery, tanks, piping, and waste tailings. In addition to the works proper, a nearby town-site contains the remnants of buildings and trash dumps relating to the company settlement. The entire complex is referred to as "Harmony Borax Works," or simply "Harmony". Specifically, there are 5 major extant structures and 4 associated surface and subsurface features at Harmony Borax Works.

Extant Structures:
Adobe A - Rectilinear adobe and sandstone structure with only walls remaining.

Adobe B - Rectilinear adobe and sandstone structure with only walls reamining. Adobe B is located east of the main Borax processing facility.

Adobe Structure - Rectilinear adobe and sandstone structure with only walls remaining. The Adobe Structure is locarted within the main Borax processing facility.

Boiler Structure - Rectilinear sandstone and adobe enclosing structure with horizontal structural iron/steel rods. The Boiler Structure is located within the main Borax processing facility and is adjacent to the Adobe Structure.

Dissolving Tanks - Rectangular sheet iron, riveted tanks approximately 25 feet by 6 feet by 3 feet deep. The Dissolving Tanks are located within the main Borax processing facility adjacent to the Boiler Structure.

Surface and Subsurface Features:
Blacksmith Shop - Mounded area covered by surface scatter of small iron/steel portable artifacts, with wooden subsurface post ends. the Blacksmith Shop area is located to the west and just across the orad from Adobe B.

Privy - Subsurface feature characterized by small depression on the surface with some wooden lining remnants or other structural components. the Privy is located west from the Blacksmith Shop and east of the Tailings Ponds.

Subterranean Adobe - Subsurface feature appearing as a mounded earth area immediately adjacent to Harmony Borax Works. The Subterranean Adobe is located to the southeast of the Boiler Terrace.

Tailings Ponds - Rectilinear surface feature composed of low earthen walls. The Tailings Ponds are located northeast of the main Borax processing facility.