....July 2010 ~~~~ Editor:  Cliff Hanger ~~~~
History and facts about the Salton Basin. (Salton Sea)
Salton Sea Authority
Kelso, California from Wikipedia
Kelso is a ghost town and defunct railroad depot in the Mojave National Preserve in San Bernardino County, California, USA. It was named after a railroad worker who won a contest to have the town named after him. The town was built specifically as a railroad station because of its location and nearby springs that provided abundant water.

Starting off as what was a simple train depot in the 1920s, the town of Kelso boomed briefly to as many as 2000 residents in the 1940s, when borax and iron mines opened nearby. Gold and silver were also discovered in the nearby hills of what became known as the Kelso district. The town shrank again when the mines closed after about a decade.
Restored restaurant at depot.

Kelso was a base of operations for the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad (now part of the Union Pacific). Here, trains were watered and "helper" locomotives were attached to assist the regular trains in climbing the steep Cima Hill. The distance between Las Vegas and the connection with the Santa Fe line at Daggett was too far for trains without a meal car, so Kelso was a convenient spot for a restaurant stop.

The depot building itself was built in 1923 using a Spanish "California mission" building style. It contained boarding rooms for railroad employees and a restaurant for both employees and passengers. It also had a telegraph office and waiting room. Later, a restaurant nicknamed the "Beanery," that served home-style meals was housed in the building. The large rooms in the basement also served as a community center for local residents.

The depot remained in operation until 1986. It was recently renovated to become the Mojave National Preserve's visitor center. Renovation was completed in 2005 and is now open to the public.

During the 1970s Kelso was known as the town without television. About 75 residents lived in Kelso, many with school age children. Television signals could not reach the town which meant that residents found other methods of recreation. Children played outside until dark. Adults sat outside and talked together. However, with the advent of satellite dishes, television was eventually introduced to Kelso.

The ZIP Code is 92309 and the community is inside area code 760.
Restored telegraph office at depot.

The Kelso Mountains are located north of Kelso, the Kelso Dunes lie to the southwest, and the entire area lies within the boundary of the Mojave National Preserve.

Kelso post office is closed for business

Location within the state of California
Coordinates: 35°0.45.N 115°39.13.W

Kelso railroad depot after repainting.

Restored restaurant at depot.

Restored telegraph office at depot.

More photos of Kelso

"Long Guns of the West" Part 7: The Winchester Model 1895  by Tom "Forty Rod" Taylor

 The genius of John Moses Browning brought Winchester the unusual-looking Model 1895.  This design became the first successful lever action ever made that utilized a box magazine beneath the frame rather than a tube under the barrel or in the butt stock.  This made the use of pointed bullets, thus more modern, powerful, high velocity military and sporting ammunition, practical in a lever action for the first time. A total of nearly 426,000 were made between 1895 and 1931 with 293,000+ muskets with cartridge stripper-clip guides chambered for 7.62x 53R caliber going to the Russian government during 1915-1916.  This boosted overall production numbers significantly.

Russian-contract Winchester M1895 rifle, chambered for 7.62x54R Russian ammunition
and fitted with bayonet lug and clip guides.
Other rounds, such as .30-03, 30-06, .30-40 Krag (.30 Army) .303 British .35 WCF, .38-72, .405 Winchester (Teddy Roosevelt's “Big medicine for lions”) were also made.  The standard barrels were tapered round at 22” for carbines, 24” for sporting rifles and a NRA musket model, 28” for all other muskets (including those sold to Russia), and a 30” U. S. Army National Rifle Association model with a 1901 Krag rear sight for target competition. There was a take-down model as well.

Two very distinct frame models may be seen.  A “flat side” frame was used on the first 5,000 manufactured, and the rest were with the escalloped frame.

The Army ordered 10,000 rifles to fill shortages, but all were rejected for unknown reasons, and were not accepted until too late for war use.  Some were later sent to the Philippines.

US military issue Winchester M1895 rifle, with full-length stock and bayonet lug, in caliber .30-40 Krag.

As a hunting rifle, the ’95 enjoyed only limited success.  America had collectively, though not universally, started its long love affair with bolt action rifles, especially in heavier calibers.

Hunting version of the Winchester M1895 rifle, chambered for .30-06

commercial Winchester M1895 "saddle ring" carbine in .30-06

As far as CAS shooting goes, not many ‘95s are seen except in Wild Bunch matches.  The gun is simply “too modern” to be period correct in most peoples’ minds, and is considered by many to be ugly and awkward-looking.  It is an excellent long-range rifle in the .30-06 and several other calibers.  Ammunition in lead bullet loads is difficult to find and most reloaders don't want to bother with it.

Browning re-introduced the Model 95 in 1984 in .30-06 and .30-40.  I just had to have one in the Krag chambering.  It took over a year and then I ‘suffered financial setbacks’ (I got fired) and I didn't get my ’95 until 1992.  I bought serial number 00914xxxxx through Mt 60 Rod ‘N’ Gun in Chino, CA, where I was working at the time.  A man in Indiana had listed it in the Shotgun News for $750.00…new in the box.  It's a 24” standard model in .30-40.  I added an “express” barrel band with sling swivel eye and an eye in the rear.  I'll add an Ideal side-mount receiver peep sight and the ‘bird” inlay in faux ivory one day soon.

Winchester has five versions back on the market, all in .405, and ranging in price from $1,321.00 to $3,649.00

Forty Rod

A note from Jayson Zimmerman

My eight year old son Chadd Zimmerman met Tom "Forty Rod" Taylor in person at the Lemmon Festival in Down Town Upland. My son was very impressed with Tom and begged me to purchase one of his books so he could read it. My son has A.D.D and I was very skeptical about buying the book and figured that he would probably never read it. I decided to purchase "Cavanaugh: The Last Bounty".  My son took the book to school and had the Librarian read the book in advance to make sure that its contents were appropriate for a young child to read. Two weeks later the Librarian returned the book to my son with approval by the school board for reading. As she handed the book back to my son she said with a sarcastic smile "good luck with your reading".

My son loved the book and could not put it down. Within about two weeks he had finished the book and submitted a book report to the Librarian. Everybody was surprised by his progress and a bit skeptical of his ability to understand what he had read. Well about two months passed and then without notice, near the end of the school year (summer break) my son was called into the Librarians office. My son was given a  trophy and "Excellence in Reading Award" certificate. My son goes to Condit Elementary School in the city of Claremont, he is in second grade.

It is one thing to live your life as a Cowboy and perform little exhibitions, but Tom "Forty Rod" Taylor has done everybody a great service for the legend of the west will quickly die out if there is no interest. Tom is keeping the West alive and well by writing clean books that youngsters can read, understand and enjoy. History lives through our children and due to authors like Tom,  the West is alive and well. 

      Jayson Zimmerman
         Claremont, CA

All articles submitted to the "Brimstone Gazette" are the property of the author, used with their expressed permission. 
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