This area has a rich mining history. It was also used to train Patton's troops for the North African Campaign. You can still find expended bullets in the desert.
Major General George Patton thought the land was nothing less than enchanting. It was in early March, of 1942, when Patton commander of the Army’s First Corps and his staff surveyed the area. Patton had been ordered by the War Department to locate, establish and command a training center to train troops for desert warfare. The Army’s rationale was that American forces soon would be required to fight the German enemy in North Africa.
France had been defeated. The British had failed to hold the Balkans and Greece. The German General Rommel had arrived in Libya to join their Italian allies. The U.S. military felt that North Africa was the first place they could get at the enemy. So, Patton, enamored with the area’s endless terrain and superb suitability for armored combat training, established the Desert Training Center in late March, 1942, making his headquarters at Camp Young, near Shavers Summit, (now known as Chiriaco Summit). This is the current location of the Patton Museum.
Construction of the Desert Training Center soon was underway and troops began arriving at once. The area was expanded in size, scope and ultimately was 350 miles wide and 250 miles deep, ranging from Pomona, California eastward to Phoenix, Arizona and from Yuma, Arizona to Boulder City, Nevada.
Camels in the US desert
Hi Jolly, originally named Hajji Alij ‘Ali, was an Ottoman Turkish citizen. He worked for the Ottoman armed forces and he was a breeder and trainer of camels. Some sources allege that he took the name Hadji Ali during his early life after making the pilgrimage to Mecca. The title hajji is given when, as a Muslim, he made the Hajj pilgrimage.
Ali was the lead camel driver during the U.S. Army's experiment with the U.S. Camel Corps. With the idea of using camels in the dry deserts of the Southwest. After successfully traveling round trip from Texas to California, the experiment went bust. This was partly due to the problem that the Army's burros, horses, and mules feared the larger animals. With the tensions of the American Civil War this led Congress not approving more funds for the Corps. In 1864, the camels were finally auctioned off in Benicia, California and Camp Verde, Texas.
When on your ATV checkout Dripping Springs. You will find many petroglyph's here. You will further see old arrastre remains and an old stone cabin. Once you have seen the cabin look along the cliff face, if you just listen closely, you will hear the water dripping from the roof of the cave.
In 1856, settler Charles Tyson built a fort at the present site of Quartzsite to protect his water supply from attacks by Native Americans. Fort Tyson soon became a stopover on the Ehrenburg-to-Prescott stagecoach route. This eventually became known as Tyson's Wells. After the stage stopped running, it became a ghost town.
A small mining boom revitalized the town and it became known as Quartzsite in 1897. It remained a mining town until 1965, when the Pow Wow Rock, Gem & Mineral Show initiated the rockhound winter migration to Quartzsite each year. These days, the population can swell to almost a million during January and February as rockhounders, jewelers and vendors mostly in thousands of RVs, attend the nine major gem and mineral shows.