Marl Springs (Mojave National Preserve)

 

Marl Springs was an unofficial Army outpost and watering hole along the Mojave Road. At the time Marl Springs was located halfway between Camp Cady and the Colorado River, it served as one of few places in this hostile desert environment that water was consistently available.

The Army unofficially established the Marl Springs outpost on October 5, 1867 after numerous reports of Indian attacks on civilians passing through the area. Twelve days later a local Paiute tribe consisting of 20-30 men launched an attack on the three, less than prepared soldiers stationed at Marl Springs. This was the only occasion in which the Indians attacked a military position along the Mojave Road.

The next morning a force of 150 soldiers arrived at Marl Springs unaware of the previous day’s attack. The site of the soldiers frightened the Natives, they slipped away and disappeared. No casualties had been reported.

 

Marl Springs - The well which is still fed by Marl Springs.

Marl Springs – The well which is still fed by Marl Springs.

 

The Army built a small headquarters structure, and utilized dugouts as living quarters. A corral was built for the men’s horses.

The Army occupied Marl Springs continuously until May 22, 1868, at which time Marl Springs was abandoned permanently.

The evidence of the occupation is still present today. The dugout living quarters remain as well the horse corral and watering hole. The headquarters structure has been reduced to rubble, and just a small rock wall remains standing.

 

 

Marl Springs - Collapsed dug-out housing, which was once used by the men stationed here.

Marl Springs – Collapsed dug-out housing, which was once used by the men stationed here.

 

 

Interested in visiting this site?

BOOK OPTION: Marl Springs is featured in Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. III. Detailed maps, and GPS coordinates are included.  Order your copy now.

 

 

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

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