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Summit Signatures

2O Red Mountain

Location: Kern County, California

Name is believed to have been in use for this area by circa 1890 and it was certainly given for the color of the clay pigment found here-yet there is no record of it being applied to the peak before 1903.

The area achieved its greatest notoriety when John Kelly, a local lawman, sent two of his friends, Hampton Williams and Jack Nosser, to investigate whether the red clay could be commercially exploited-he planned to market it as a cosmetic. Instead they found horn silver (1919). They called their operation "The Kelly" which became one of the country's most fabulous mines. It produced about twenty million dollars worth of ore (1920-47). A wide-open mining town (first named after pioneer miners Barney and Pete Osdick), sprang up by the western base of the peak. Osdick was mostly known for its lively "red light" district. Later when local citizens sought to live down their reputation, they thought it sufficient to change the town's name to "Red Mountain" (1929).

Today, this area is still part of the now drowsy Rand Mining District.

Name first appears on USGS Southern California Sheet #2 (1903)

Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1977.

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