The historic Sheep Creek Springs Cabin (Sheep Creek Cabin) was removed by the Barstow BLM in late October of 2011. The BLM paid contractors $3,495 to remove the cabin.
A mining camp sprang up here in 1906. Miner’s prospected for gold and silver in the hills above the camp. Not finding much in the way of gold and silver, the camp grew quiet. In 1911, William G. Kerckhoff purchased the claims and started the Avawatz Salt and Gypsum Company. They did some prospecting work on the salt, gypsum and talc deposits around the mouth of the canyon. The deposit was large enough that Kerckhoff planned to build a branch line from the Tidewater and Tonopah railroad. The railroad branch line was never developed though and the mine became idle.
In 1933, John and Adelina Smith built a cabin here next to the spring and lived on the property for many years. They had came out to the desert for health reasons and did some prospecting for gold and silver in the Avawatz behind their place. Their cabin had disappeared by the 1970s. The foundation for their place is back a little farther near the spring.
By 1999, the Sheep Creek Cabin was the only structure remaining of the old mine camp. It served for 35 years as a research field station for the Desert Studies Center at Cal State Fullerton. They and many other volunteers carefully maintained it over the years. To have it removed is a sad loss to many people.
“Enjoy, don’t destroy your American heritage.”