Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Take a look below for 30 incredible and interesting facts about Barstow, California, United States.
1. The population was 25,415 at the 2020 census.
2. Barstow is located 67 miles (108 km) north of San Bernardino.
3. Barstow is a major transportation hub for the Inland Empire. Several major highways, including Interstate 15, Interstate 40, and California State Route 58, converge in the city.
4. It is the site of a large rail classification yard, belonging to the BNSF Railway.
5. The Union Pacific Railroad also runs through town using trackage rights on BNSF’s main line to Daggett 10 miles (16 km) east, from where it heads to Salt Lake City and the BNSF heads to Chicago.
6. Barstow is home to Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow.
7. The settlement of Barstow began in the late 1830s in the Mormon Corridor.
8. Every fall and winter, as the weather cooled, the rain produced new grass growth and replenished the water sources in the Mojave Desert.
9. People, goods, and animal herds would move from New Mexico and later Utah to Los Angeles, along the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe, or after 1848, on the Mormon Road from Salt Lake City.
10. Trains of freight wagons traveled back to Salt Lake City and other points in the interior.
11. These travelers followed the course of the Mojave River, watering and camping at Fish Ponds on its south bank (west of Nebo Center) or 3.625 miles up river on the north bank, at a riverside grove of willows and cottonwoods, festooned with wild grapes, called Grapevines (later the site of North Barstow).
12. In 1859, the Mojave Road followed a route that was established from Los Angeles to Fort Mojave through Grapevines that linked eastward with the Beale Wagon Road across northern New Mexico Territory to Santa Fe.
13. Troubles with the Paiute, Mojave, and Chemehuevi tribes followed, and from 1860 Camp Cady, a U.S. Army post 20 miles (32 km) east of Barstow, was occupied sporadically until 1864, then permanently, by soldiers occupying other posts on the Mojave Road or patrolling in the region until 1871.
14. Trading posts were established at Grapevines and Fish Ponds that supplied travelers on the roads and increasingly the miners that came into the Mojave Desert after the end of hostilities with the native people.
15. Barstow’s roots also lie in the rich mining history of the Mojave Desert following the discovery of gold and silver in the Owens Valley and in mountains to the east in the 1860s and 1870s.
16. Due to the influx of miners arriving in Calico and Daggett, railroads were constructed to transport goods and people. The Southern Pacific built a line from Mojave, California through Barstow to Needles in 1883.
17. In 1884, ownership of the line from Needles to Mojave was transferred to the Santa Fe Railroad.
18. Paving the major highways through Barstow led to further development of the city. Much of its economy depends on transportation. Before the advent of the interstate highway system, Barstow was an important stop on both Routes 66 and 91.
19. The two routes met in downtown Barstow and continued west together to Los Angeles.
20. Barstow is named after William Barstow Strong, former president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
21. Some early Barstow names were Camp Sugarloaf, Grapevine, Waterman Junction and Fishpond.
22. Barstow has a series of murals along Main Street, depicting scenes from the city’s history. These murals were created by Main Street Murals, a local non-profit organization.
23. Barstow Branch Library is located at 304 E. Buena Vista Street. It is a community venue, running various activities such as a summer reading program for children, story and craft sessions as well as a mystery book club.
24. Skyline Drive-In, a drive-in theater located in the north-east outskirts of the city at 31175 Old Highway 58, is one of the last operating in San Bernardino County. It has two screens; each screen shows two movies every night.
25. Hollywood Theatre Barstow Cinema 6 is the city’s indoor cinema. It has six screens and can be found at 1503 East Main Street, in the east side of the city.
26. As of September 30, 2011, Skyline Drive-In took over Hollywood Theatre, changing its name back to Barstow Station Cinema.
27. Barstow Community College has a $22 million Performing Arts Center which hosts college theatre and music performances, and traveling professional performances.
28. Barstow has a number of museums: Mojave River Valley Museum, Route 66 Mother Road Museum, the Western America Rail Museum, and the Desert Discovery Center. Once a year a family opens their Black History collection to the public and nearby Fort Irwin is home to the 11 Cavalry and ACR Museum.
29. The Old Woman meteorite, the largest meteorite found in California and the second largest in the United States, is housed in the Desert Discovery Center.
30. The Casa Del Desierto, built in 1911 as a Harvey House hotel and train station, now houses the Route 66 Mother Road Museum, the Western America Railroad Museum and still functions as an (unstaffed) Amtrak station. The Barstow Chamber of Commerce sponsors an annual sandcastle contest in the dry riverbed across from the Harvey House.