Plaster City

Coordinates: 32°47′33″N 115°51′31″W / 32.79250°N 115.85861°W / 32.79250; -115.85861
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32°47′33″N 115°51′31″W / 32.79250°N 115.85861°W / 32.79250; -115.85861

Plaster City is a large gypsum quarry and plant owned by United States Gypsum[1] in Imperial County, California. It is located 17 miles (27 km) west of El Centro,[1] at an elevation of 105 feet (32 m).

The quarry was started in 1920 and was acquired by United States Gypsum in 1945.[2] Plaster City is the southern terminus of the last industrial narrow gauge railroad in the United States. The 3 ft (914 mm) gauge line runs from another quarry about 22 miles (35 km) miles to the northwest, bringing gypsum to the plant.[3][4][5]

The first post office at Plaster City opened in 1924.[1] The ZIP Code is 92251.

Plaster City is surrounded by two Off-Highway Vehicle Areas operated by the Bureau of Land Management: Plaster City West Off-Highway Vehicle Area and Plaster City East Off-Highway Vehicle Area.[6]

Publicity and media[edit]

In the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Ethel Merman's character is seen talking on a pay telephone to her son, saying that she was "in a place called Plaster City."

In 1993 Plaster City was briefly the locale of the fully restored Eureka Locomotive, one of the last narrow gauge steam locomotives from the height of railroad development in the West.


  1. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  2. ^ "Gypsum Plant At Plaster City Sold, Announced". Calexico Chronicle. 1945-08-02. p. 1 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  3. ^ "SP Bulletin 1964 — They call it Plaster City". San Diego Railway Museum. Archived from the original on November 4, 2005. Retrieved December 14, 2005.
  4. ^ "US Gypsum Railroad Narrow Gauge Link". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
  5. ^ "".
  6. ^[bare URL PDF]

External links[edit]