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|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
Trona is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California. In 2015 it had a population of approximately 1,900. 170 miles (274 km) northeast of Los Angeles, on State Route 178. The ZIP code is 93562.Trona is at the western edge of Searles Lake, a dry lake bed in Searles Valley, southwest of Death Valley. The town takes its name from the mineral trona, abundant in the lakebed. It is about
Trona is known for its isolation and desolation,as well as the nearby Trona Pinnacles. The local school plays on a dirt football field because the searing heat and highly saline soil kills grass. At one point it boasted an 18-hole golf course that was all sand except for the "greens", which were a softer grade of brown colored dirt.
Starting in the late 1800s mining industry set up around Searles Dry Lake to mine borax.
Trona was officially established in 1913, as a self-contained company town, wholly operated by its resident mining company to house employees. Employees were paid in company scrip instead of cash. The mining company also built a library, a scrip-accepting for-profit grocery store, a school, basic housing, and minimal recreation facilities. The Trona Railway was built in 1913–14 to provide the town with a rail connection to the Southern Pacific (now the Union Pacific) line at Searles. The railway still operates today.
Economic booms and busts followed. Its most notable boom occurred during World War I, when Trona was the only reliable American source of potash, an important element used in the production of gunpowder. In 1974, the company, now known as American Potash, was bought by Kerr-McGee, who did not want a company town. Their attempts to make everybody leave was resisted by the inhabitants.
Today, Searles Valley Minerals Inc.'s soda ash processing plant remains the largest firm in town. Other operations nearby include evaporative salt extraction from the dry lake bed's surface, and a lime quarry. Searles Valley Minerals is the largest employer in Trona, and many employees live in Ridgecrest, California, commuting daily to Trona.
Since its heyday, Trona's population has decreased, with more and more services relocating to the nearest town, Ridgecrest.
The same collection of geologic forces which created the Searles Valley where Trona sits also created the natural resource of Searles Dry Lake, which contains rich deposits of chemicals, including dozens of minerals.
Located a few miles to the south are the Trona Pinnacles, an unusual landscape consisting of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake basin.
Trona is a seismically active area, and was heavily affected by the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes.Trona is located in the Eastern California Shear Zone, a seismically active zone that accommodates up to 25% of the fault movement between the Pacific and North American plates.
Trona has an arid climate with cool winters and hot summers. Average January temperatures are a maximum of 58.2 °F (14.6 °C) and a minimum of 32.9 °F (0.5 °C). Average July temperatures are a maximum of 105.5 °F (40.8 °C) and a minimum of 73.3 °F (22.9 °C). There are an average of 140.1 days with highs of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher and an average of 45.3 days with lows of 32 °F (0 °C) or lower. The record high temperature was 118 °F (48 °C) on August 13, 1933; July 25, 1943; May 27, 1951; and June 29, 1956. The record low temperature was 8 °F (−13 °C) on December 23, 1990.
Average annual precipitation is 3.98 inches (101 mm) and there are an average of 18 days annually with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1941 with 9.01 inches (229 mm) and the driest year was 1953 with .41 inches (10 mm). The most precipitation in one month was 5.01 inches (127 mm) in January 1995. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 2.25 inches (57 mm) on August 15, 1984. Snowfall is very rare in Trona, averaging only 0.3 inches (7.6 mm), but there was 9.0 inches (230 mm) in January 1974.
|Climate data for Trona, CA|
|Record high °F (°C)||83|
|Average high °F (°C)||58.2|
|Average low °F (°C)||32.9|
|Record low °F (°C)||10|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.73|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||0.3|
K-12 public education is provided through the Trona Joint Unified School District. The California Department of Education indicates that 255 students were enrolled in the district's schools during the 2015-16 academic year, down from 576 students in 1996-97 (the earliest data available on their website).
Trona Joint Unified School District operates two schools: Trona Elementary School and Trona High School. There is no junior high or middle school; instead, the high school houses 7th and 8th grades in addition to the traditional 9th through 12th grades. Course offerings at Trona High are supplemented by online classes offered by California State University, Dominguez Hills and Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest, California.
95 students were enrolled at Trona High during the 2014-15 school yearand its sports teams compete as the Tornadoes. The school's football field, known as "The Pit," has received national attention from The New York Times , Good Morning America , and the Los Angeles Times as the only dirt American football field in the United States — the region’s heat and salty soil make upkeep of a grassy field nearly impossible. Barrow High School in Alaska previously had a dirt field as well, but it was replaced with blue Astroturf in 2007. Trona high school will be closed for a year to repair damage done by a earthquake.
A number of Hollywood films have been shot in the surrounding desert (particularly around the Trona Pinnacles), including Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Planet of the Apes .In the 21st century, the town itself served as the setting for three films, Trona (2004), Just Add Water (2008) and Lost Lake (2012). On April 26, 2016, Toro y Moi traveled to the Trona Pinnacles in California and recorded a live concert film, Toro y Moi - Live from Trona.
In the state legislature, Trona is located in the 16th Senate District, represented by Republican Shannon Grove, and in the 33rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Thurston Smith
In the United States House of Representatives, Trona is in California's 8th congressional district , represented by Republican Jay Obernolte.
In the 2014 general election, 350 Trona Joint Unified residents voted, out of 692 registered, according to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters. That 50.5 percent rate beat the 42.2 percent statewide average that election.
Public works services in Trona are provided by County Service Area 82 Searles Valley.Which is responsible for the maintenance of trona's only park/rest area, sewer service, street lighting, animal control services, and cemetery services. Cemetery services are contracted out to the Searles Valley Cemetery Association
Although the community of Trona doesn't have a fixed route bus serving the community, Victor Valley Transit Authority offers a lifeline service, that is contracted out to the Trona Community Senior Center, to offer one day per week shuttle service to Ridgecrest to all residents for their shopping needs.VVTA also provides economic assistance to the Trona Community Senior Center, for senior transportation services
The Trona Airport, located in neighboring Inyo County, serves the community as a general aviation airfield.
Ridgecrest is a city in Kern County, California, United States, along U.S. Route 395 in the Indian Wells Valley in northeastern Kern County, adjacent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. It was incorporated as a city in 1963. The population was 27,959 at the 2020 census, up slightly from 27,616 at the 2010 census.
Victorville is a city in Victor Valley in San Bernardino County, California. Its population as of the 2010 census was 115,903.
Big Bear Lake is a reservoir in the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County, California, United States. It is a completely snow-fed lake, having no other means of tributaries or mechanical replenishment. At a surface elevation of 6,743 ft (2,055 m), it has an east-west length of approximately 7 mi (11 km) and is approximately 2.5 mi (4.0 km) at its widest measurement, though the lake's width mostly averages a little more than 1⁄2 mi (0.8 km). These approximations are based on the lake having an optimum retainable water level. At dam's end Big Bear measures its deepest water at 72 ft (22 m).
Area code 760 is a California telephone area code that was split from area code 619 on March 22, 1997. Area code 442 is an overlay of 760 that became effective on November 21, 2009. It encompasses much of the southeastern and southernmost portions of California. The area includes Imperial, Inyo, and Mono counties, as well as portions of San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Kern counties.
Searles Valley is a valley in the northern Mojave Desert of California, with the northern half in Inyo County and the southern half in San Bernardino County, California, United States.
Lucerne Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) and valley landform in the southern Mojave Desert, in western San Bernardino County, California.
The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 ft (43 m), rising from the bed of the Searles Lake (dry) basin. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, and are composed primarily of calcium carbonate (tufa). They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side.
Searles Lake is an endorheic dry lake in the Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert, in northwestern San Bernardino County, California. The lake in the past was also called Slate Range Lake and Borax Lake.
The Trona Railway is a 30.5 mi (49.1 km) short-line railroad owned by Searles Valley Minerals. The TRC interchanges with the Union Pacific Railroad at Searles, California.
Searles Valley Minerals Inc. is a raw materials mining and production company based in Overland Park, Kansas. It is owned by the Indian company Nirma. It has major operations in the Searles Valley and in Trona, California where it is the town's largest employer. The company produces borax, boric acid, soda ash, salt cake, and salt. It also owns the Trona Railway.
American Trona Corporation Building is an industrial building on Pacific Avenue between 28th and 30th Streets in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. It was built from 1916-1917 by the American Trona Corporation of California, to process and store salt potash from the company's mining facilities at Searles Lake in the Mojave Desert, near Trona in eastern San Bernardino County, California. It is now on the grounds of the Fort MacArthur housing annex of the Los Angeles Air Force Base.
Searles Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert, in northwestern San Bernardino County, California.
Cerro Coso Community College is a public community college in the Eastern Sierra region of Southern California. It was established in 1973 as a separate college within the Kern Community College District. The college offers traditional and online courses and two-year degrees. The college serves an area of approximately 18,000-square-miles. Cerro Coso has five instructional sites: Eastern Sierra Center Bishop and Mammoth Lakes, Indian Wells Valley, Kern River Valley, and South Kern. The college also has an Incarcerated Student Education Program in two locations, the California City Correctional Facility and Tehachapi California Correctional Institution.
American Potash and Chemical Company was a large chemical manufacturer in the United States from the 1920s through the 1960s. It produced various chemicals for US industry and the US military. It was bought by Kerr-McGee in 1967, which reformed it into the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation (KMCC) around 1970.
Pioneer Point is an unincorporated community in the Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert, in northern San Bernardino County, California.
Argus is an unincorporated community in the Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert, in northwestern San Bernardino County, California. Argus is 17 miles (27 km) east-northeast of Ridgecrest.
The Epsom Salts Monorail or Magnesium Monorail was a short-lived Lartigue Monorail in San Bernardino County, California, in the United States. It was built to carry epsomite from a deposit in the Owlshead Mountains to a siding of the Trona Railway. It ran nearly due east from Trona, for a distance of about 28 mi (45 km). The monorail was opened in 1924 and closed in June 1926.
The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes of July 4 and 5 occurred north and northeast of the town of Ridgecrest, California located in Kern County and west of Searles Valley. They included three initial main shocks of Mw magnitudes 6.4, 5.4, and 7.1, and many perceptible aftershocks, mainly within the area of the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Eleven months later, a Mw 5.5 aftershock took place to the east of Ridgecrest. The first main shock occurred on Thursday, July 4 at 10:33 a.m. PDT, approximately 18 km (11.2 mi) ENE of Ridgecrest, and 13 km (8.1 mi) WSW of Trona, on a previously unnoticed NE-SW trending fault where it intersects the NW-SE trending Little Lake Fault Zone. This quake was preceded by several smaller earthquakes, and was followed by more than 1,400 detected aftershocks. The M 5.4 and M 7.1 quakes struck on Friday, July 5 at 4:08 a.m. and 8:19 p.m. PDT approximately 10 km (6 miles) to the northwest. The latter, now considered the mainshock, was the most powerful earthquake to occur in the state in 20 years. Subsequent aftershocks extended approximately 50 km (~30 miles) along the Little Lake Fault Zone.
The Potash wars were a series of events that took place from 1910 to 1915 in the Searles Valley near Searles Lake, a dry lake, near the current town of Trona in the San Bernardino County of California. The Potash wars gained national and international news at the time due to the involvement of famous lawman Wyatt Earp and the importance of the valley's supply of potash at the time. Potash is an important crop fertilizer and the Searles Valley was a major supplier in the 1910s.
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