Encyclopedia Of Forlorn Places

Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Mine just North of Darwin, California

Darwin is a small mining town about 6 miles South of highway 190 on Darwin Road. Darwin was settled around silver and lead mines in the 1870s. There are no buildings standing in Darwin that date back to those years. The oldest buildings in Darwin that I saw appeared to have been built in the early 1900s although I may have missed something. Darwin has a current population of 36.

Darwin, California

Darwin, California

There is a large, closed mining operation just North of Darwin (photo of the front gate of this mine above). This mine had it's own housing in the form of rows of wooden bunk houses which are now empty but still standing. The operation was variously called the Defiance mine or the Anaconda mine and operated on and off from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. It was a large operation and had many associated structures over a large area. It seems to have been more or less like a separate company town adjacent to Darwin. The mine closed sometime in the 1960s but many of the structures are still standing. One of the structures in the back of the mine complex appears to be occupied by either the current owner or grounds keeper. It looks like they might be thinking about re-opening the mine to some degree. New vehicles can be seen on the property. No-trespassing signs are posted along the road and I'm sure someone is watching the property but you can see most of the complex from the road. Many of the current residents of the Southern part of Darwin live in mobile homes or RVs. There are no open stores or businesses in Darwin.

Here's an interesting article about Darwin's history from a 1979 issue of Desert Magazine.

Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Mine just North of Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Mine just North of Darwin, California

Darwin, California

Mine just North of Darwin, California