John Fox, the son of Larry Fox, sent me a message today but the email address he used was invalid. Here is my reply to his letter.
Great question. I appreciate it. It gives me something to write about.
Valley Wells was named for the wells that make it possible to have the large reservoir of water known as Valley Wells that was used as a swimming pool for many years. If you have ever been to Valley Wells you may have noticed the well towers all around it. You can see the top of one towering above the trees in the picture above. The wells were drilled hoping to find fresh water but it was discovered that the water from the wells was salty.
Still, the water was very useful. It is used for processes and cleaning in the chemical plant. It is used to water the tamarisk trees around the pool. At one time it was used throughout Trona to water trees and in all the toilets for flushing.
I remember a new school teacher telling his class about how they were having a plumbing problem in the house but he discovered that the tap outside was still working so that is where he got the water for coffee that morning. He learned about Trona salt water the hard way.
The well towers are rather interesting. They look like oil drilling rigs. I’m guessing they served the same purpose. The difference is that the Valley Wells towers are enclosed. My guess is that instead of tearing the rigs down they enclosed them and turned them into pump houses.
Did you ever live in Trona. If so do you remember where you lived and what your father did there?
Do you know the location of the Hog Ranch in Ridgecrest?
I hope you will be to share some of your photos of Trona that you mentioned with us. I’m looking forward to hearing from you again.