Desert Peoples / New Industries

Central Wheel Hub, Pinto Wye Arrastra

Central Wheel Hub, Pinto Wye Arrastra

ca. 1930s

Mining in the Joshua Tree area was mostly conducted by small independent prospectors and a few large-scale operations. The Pinto Wye Arrastra is one of only two remaining “wagon wheel” arrastras in the National Park System. An arrastra is a circular mill used to grind ore from larger rocks using stones pulled by sweeping arms.

Left exposed to the desert weather, the wooden parts would have eventually collapsed under their own weight and would have been lost forever. Historic preservation of the arrastra included reinstallation of replicated wooden parts and the reuse of original metal components.

Wood. H 24, Dia 18 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 35966