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Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  California Desert  /  Trona

Trona

4.3
Wildlife Areas · Bodies of Water
Trona is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California. In 2015 it had a population of approximately 1,900. Trona is at the western edge of Searles Lake, a dry lake bed in Searles Valley, southwest of Death Valley. The town takes its name from the mineral trona, abundant in the lakebed. It is about 170mi northeast of Los Angeles, on State Route 178. The ZIP code is 93562.Trona is known for its isolation and desolation, as well as the nearby Trona Pinnacles. The local school plays on a dirt football field because the searing heat and highly saline soil kills grass. At one point it boasted an 18-hole golf course that was all sand except for the "greens", which were a softer grade of brown colored dirt.HistoryStarting in the late 1800s mining industry set up around Searles Dry Lake to mine borax.Trona was officially established in 1913, as a self-contained company town, wholly operated by its resident mining company to house employees. Employees were paid in company scrip instead of cash. The mining company also built a library, a scrip-accepting for-profit grocery store, a school, basic housing, and minimal recreation facilities. The Trona Railway was built in 1913–14 to provide the town with a rail connection to the Southern Pacific (now the Union Pacific) line at Searles. The railway still operates today.
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