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Book Details

Gold and Silver In The Mojave

Images of a Last Frontier

In the 1890s, historian Frederick Jackson Turner lamented that the frontier was gone and with it the Old West, but overlooked was some 50,000 square miles of a frontier line outlining the Mojave Desert – the Last Frontier. In this arid land, unsettled and sketchily mapped – written off as godforsaken and worse – there would now be a headlong 25-year rush for riches…and for the Old West – a grand, tumultuous, rowdy Last Act. Overnight towns named Randsburg, Tonopah, Goldfield, Rhyolite, Greenwater, Skidoo, Ballarat, and Bagdad popped up in this arid desert as gold and silver was discovered. The rush was on as miners worked their various digs the Yellow Aster, the Lost Gunsight, Mizpah, Belmont, Mohawk, Florence, the Lost Breyfogle, Bullfrog, Bagdad, and the Glory Hole. Just as quickly ghost towns replaced booming towns as mines played out. All of this is captured in rare photographs of the day assembled with interpretive text.

About the Author

Nicholas Clapp

Award-winning documentary filmmaker and author Nicholas Clapp has studied, filmed, and written the deserts of the world. With a master's degree in cinema from the University of Southern California, his first professional break came when he produced and directed The Great Mojave Desert, a one-hour special for CBS and the National Geographic Society. He has won over 70 major film awards for his documentary work.

As an author, his distinguished previous publications include The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands and Sheba: Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen. His interest in the Queen of Sheba drew him to the story of the Queen of Sheba Mine in Death Valley and to its mining engineer, leading to his last work, Who Killed Chester Pray? It was while researching for this book that Clapp discovered the many rare photographs of America's Last Frontier. With the detailed eye of a cinematographer, Clapp has noted the most exacting details in each of the photographs selected for this book a final look at life on this Last Frontier.

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