Gerstley was founded around 1921, and named in honor of James Gerstley, Sr. by his business associate Francis Marion Smith who built the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. Together with Richard C. Baker, the three men had formed Borax Consolidated, Ltd. in 1899.
- Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1202. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
- Hildebrand, GH. (1982) Borax Pioneer: Francis Marion Smith. San Diego: Howell-North Books. p. 79. ISBN 0-8310-7148-6
- ca. 1907 Tonopah and Tidewater RR map (~6.5MB)
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