Gemstone Mining in the Mojave Desert: Francis Marion "Shady" Myrick.

Author(s): Seth J Sampson

Year: 2017


Late nineteenth century and early twentieth century mining was focused on more than mining precious metals (gold and silver).  Shady Myrick mined bloodstone, opals, moonstone, topaz, and what came to be called Myrickite.  From his arrival in the Mojave Desert in 1900 to his death in 1925, Shady Myrick staked numerous mineral claims and worked dozens of gemstone mines around Johannesburg and Randsburg, CA on what is now Bureau of Land Management Land, Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Fort Irwin Military Installation, and Death Valley. 


This paper presents an overview of Shady Myrick’s life in the Mojave Desert, focusing on the type of gemstones he found and establishing the extent of his claims in the Mojave Desert.  Other key points will include how his mining ventures were funded, the companies who bought his gemstones, and what a colorful character he was. 

Cite this Record

Gemstone Mining in the Mojave Desert: Francis Marion "Shady" Myrick.. Seth J Sampson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435374)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 154