Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dedication Ceremony for Mojave Desert Library

Chris Ervin
Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association

Dedication Ceremony for Mojave Desert Library

New Library Building to be Dedicated at
Annual Mojave Road Rendezvous

GOFFS, CA – October 2, 2008 – The Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association (MDHCA) will formally dedicate its recently completed research library that will house the collections of the Mojave Desert Archives. The dedication ceremony will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Goffs during the 29th Annual Mojave Road Rendezvous. The dedication will include the unveiling of a bronze plaque, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and tours of the new building. Desert historian Dennis Casebier, County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt and Mojave National Preserve Superintendent Dennis Schramm are scheduled to speak.

A $500,000 grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) made possible the construction of the research library that is a reincarnation of the historic Goffs Depot (1902-1956) built by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. The library is built on the grounds of the 75-acre Goffs Cultural Center, which also boasts the restored Goffs Schoolhouse, a National Register property. The new building is a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled repository designed to process, protect, and make available to the research community a unique, extensive and ever-increasing volume of gathered materials pertaining to Mojave Desert history.

The Mojave Desert Archives is the largest single collection of archival materials covering the American history of the Mojave Desert—a history rich in the stories of western migration and pioneering spirit. This unique collection, formed by renowned desert historian Dennis G. Casebier over the last fifty years, consists of more than 108,000 historical photographs, 6,000 volumes of published works, tens of thousands of pages of news clip files, 5,000 maps of the region dating from earliest times, 2,000 loose subject files pertaining to specific individuals and cultural sites, more than 1,000 oral histories, an extensive collection of old area newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets, and materials culled from federal records in the National Archives.

Goffs is a former railroad junction and Route 66 highway stop that has become a repository of historical buildings, artifacts, and lore relating to the Eastern Mojave. The Goffs Depot formerly stood at the junction of the short line Nevada Southern Railroad with the Santa Fe, the main east-west line through the Southern California desert. For about 30 years beginning in 1893, this junction connected isolated mining communities, homesteaders, and cattle ranchers to the outside world.

About Mojave Desert Historical and Cultural Association
The mission of the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association is to research and conserve the natural and cultural history of the Mojave Desert region for the purpose of preserving and sharing these resources in perpetuity. This is accomplished through operation of a research center, library, and archives, restoration of significant structures, conservation of historic open space, interpretation of backcountry trails, and production of educational guidebooks and historical publications in concert with government agencies and people of good faith everywhere. For additional information, visit