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Rasor Ranch

 
 

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ZZYZX
The history of this world famous name and road:


 

Soda Springs, a natural spring, has long seen human activity. The area was a prehistoric quarry site, and projectile points and rock art can be found in the area. The Mojave Road ran past the spring, as did the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. Remnants of a wagon road stop and railroad artifacts are readily seen. Evaporative salt mining and mill sites can be found here as well.

The name Zzyzx, pronounced /ˈzaɪzɨks/, was given to the area in 1944 by Curtis Howe Springer, claiming it to be the last word in the English language. Springer made up the word's pronunciation. He established the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa at the spot, which was federal land that he had no permission to use. He used the springs to bottle his water and provide drinks for travelers through the hot desert. Curtis also imported animals from around the country to attract more families to visit his ranch. He used Zzyzx until 1974, when he was arrested by the United States Marshals for misuse of the land as well as alleged violations of food and drug laws, and the land was reclaimed by the government.

Since 1976, the Bureau of Land Management has allowed California State University to manage the land in and around Zzyzx. A consortium of CSU campuses use it as their Desert Studies Center.

 

 
Why "Zzyzx"?

In 1944, Curtis Howe Springer settled on three by eight miles by Soda Dry Lake in the middle of the Mojave Desert. There he built a spa with nine mineral pools in the shape of a cross, and he wanted to give it name with no vowels that sounded like sleep, and so "Zzyzx" (pronounced Zee–zix or Zie–zix, whichever source you read) was born.

The self-proclaimed Methodist minister and physician (he was neither) broadcasted daily a folksy, fundamentalist religious program from the radio station he built there asking listeners to send donations for miraculous cures, which were a mix of vegetable juices, shipped throughout the United States and abroad.

Zzyzx sign

The spa flourished with the elderly spending their life savings to spend time in the sparse rooms and to relax in the mineral waters until 1974, when Springer was arrested for alleged violations of food and drug laws and unauthorized use of federal land. The spa was confiscated, Springer spent a few months in jail, and now the spa is administered by the California State University at Fullerton as the Desert Studies Center.

What had been a location with a colorful history that is the stuff of legend, became a place where education and protection of the desert flourish, and where everyone and the desert environment benefits.

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 Rasor Clean Up

First Rasor Road desert clean up.

 
 
 
Classifieds

Free offroad and OHV classified ads.

 

Fallen Friends

Don - Keeper of the Rasor Ranch

 

 

 
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 Historic Points

Rasor Road Mega-phone / the Mojave desert mystery

Desert grave of Delores Holland at Rasor Road, Near the old RR town of Crucero

Mystery jet fighter fuel tank found at Rasor Road

Old wells at Rasor Road

Soda Dry Lake off of Zzyzx Road at Rasor Road California Desert. The Mojave Road crosses though it.