Freeman Junction, California
Overlooking the area where Freeman Junction once stood. The town of Ridgecrest is visible in the background
Freeman Junction, a ghost town in Kern County, California, USA, was first homesteaded in the 1920s by Clare C. Miley, who was born in 1900. By the 1930s a restaurant, gas station and mining activities dominated the site. By June 1976 the town had died and the remains of the town have been removed by passersby.
Bedrock mortars near the original spring suggest that this area was regularly used as a campsite by Native Americans.
In 1834 explorer Joseph R. Walker passed this junction of Indian trails after crossing the Sierra Nevada via Walker Pass. In the winter of 1849-50, forty-niner parties, en route to the California gold fields, passed through here after escaping from Death Valley.
In 1873 or early 1874, Freeman S. Raymond, an original forty-niner, bought or built a stagecoach station here, at the junction of the Walker Pass road (the route of modern California 178) and the road to Los Angeles (now replaced by California State Route 14). Both roads carried traffic to and from the mines then in the area. The Walker Pass road led to the Kern River mines, while the Los Angeles road continued further north and east to the mines at Cerro Gordo, the Panamints, and later Darwin and Bodie, California.
On February 25, 1874, Tiburcio Vasquez and his associates robbed several freight wagon crews at Raymond's station (then called Coyote Holes). They had apparently scouted the location from a nearby rock formation, now known as Robber's Roost. Vasquez's group also ambushed and robbed an arriving stagecoach before making their escape. One of the robbery victims was shot in the leg.
Raymond continued operating the stagecoach stop, which after 1889 or 1890 included a post office, until his death in August, 1909. The station burned down a few years later. The Los Angeles Aqueduct now passes through the site.
- "Freeman Junction". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
- Edwards, E.I. (1964). Freeman's, a Stage Stop on the Mojave. Glendale, CA: La Siesta Press.
- Mitchell, Roger; Mitchell, Loris (2004). Southern California SUV Trails: Volume I, the Western Mojave Desert. Oakhurst, CA: Track & Trail Publications. ISBN 0-9707115-6-5.
- Palazzo, Robert P. (2009). Darwin, California. Lake Grove, OR: Western Places. ISBN 0-943645-37-9.