One of the most successful mines and one of the best preserved mills within Joshua Tree National Park.
The Wall Street Mill was built by Bill Keys, a local rancher, miner and character, using equipment moved from Pinon Wells. In the 1940s, Keys was involved in a dispute with Worth Bagley over access to the Wall Street Mill. Keys shot and killed Bagley in 1943 and placed a stone commemorating the event with the inscription: “Here is where Worth Bagley bit the dust at the hand of W. F. Keys, May 11, 1943.”
The mill was a complete and operable gold ore crushing mill featuring late-19th Century two-stamp mill machinery.
The mill machinery, the building which houses it, the well which supplied water for the mill’s operation, and the well pump are scattered around the area. It is the only gold ore crushing mill in the region that retains integrity.
The stamp mill building is framed with heavy timber and built on a downward sloping hillside to take advantage of gravity in the milling process. The roof and some of the exterior walls are covered with corrugated sheet metal, while some of the exterior walls have either vertical or horizontal wooden siding.
Big Wheel Keeps on Turning
Made in LA
One of the many abandoned vehicles along the way to the The Wall Street Mill.
The Desert Queen Mine was one of the more successful and long-lived mines of the high desert.
The mine is associated with Jim McHaney, a local cattle rustler, and Bill Keys, a noted rancher. The mine facilities are largely ruinous. The mine was not spectacularly successful but was sufficiently productive to remain in operation for nearly seventy-five years.
Desert Queen Mine Works
The mine itself consisted of several vertical and horizontal shafts, of which four vertical shafts, five inclined shafts, and ten horizontal adits remain.
The mine was established by a man named James in the early 1890s. The rich ore initially found prompted local outlaw gang leader and cattle rustler Jim McHaney to take over the mine. McHaney sent two of his men, Charley Martin and a man named Myers, to demand the mine from James. James refused, and Martin shot and killed him with a gun borrowed from Myers, after forcing James to sign over the property. Martin was acquitted of murder charges on grounds of self-defense. McHaney initially prospered but borrowed heavily to expand and fell behind on payments to the bank, ultimately losing the mine. The mine passed into the hands of William F. Keys around 1917, who operated the mine until 1961.
Protecting and preserving historic, sacred, and sensitive sites should be practiced by all. Locations, directions, and names to some of the places found on this site are not listed, please don’t ask for them. Tread lightly, leave no trace and always respect the wonder that surrounds you.