Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Romero (Miriam A.) Amargosa Niter Collection
AR.2016.002  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (167.63 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Mojave Desert Archives
    Title: Miriam A. Romero Amargosa Niter Collection
    creator: Romero, Miriam A.
    Identifier/Call Number: AR.2016.002
    Physical Description: 20 Linear Feet
    Physical Description: 4.85 Gigabytes
    Date (inclusive): 1776-2007
    Abstract: The Miriam A. Romero Amargosa Niter Collection is a collection of research materials intended for an eventual monograph on the history of the people and drama involved in the search for niter in the late 1800s and early 1900s titled, A Well-Known Secret: The Niter Hunters of the Amargosa in the Death Valley Region. Although Miriam Romero died before writing the book, her research materials have been preserved in the hope a new researcher will become inspired to complete Mim's vision.

    Scope and Contents

    The Miriam A. Romero Amargosa Niter Collection consists of correspondence, notes, maps, geological reports, photographs, digital materials, diaries, genealogies, periodicals, and publications generated and gathered by Miriam A. Romero during the course of her research into the history of niter in the Amargosa region.

    Biographical / Historical

    Miriam A. "Mim" Romero was raised in the small mining town of Hibbing, Minnesota. She received a B.A. in geography from California State University Northridge and an M.Ed. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her career in the field of education spanned 37 years.
    Starting in the mid-1960s, Mim explored the Death Valley region extensively; hiking, backpacking, and mountain climbing in the various canyons, salt flats, and high snow-covered peaks of the valley. Those explorations resulted in an intimate knowledge of the area.
    In 1972, Miriam and her husband, Ben, coordinated an effort to have the Amargosa Canyon area along the Amargosa River in the southeastern portion of the Death Valley region, set aside as a protected area. Assisting in this effort were 40 scientists, historians, bird watchers, and desert enthusiasts. The effort was successful and the Amargosa Canyon area was established as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) by the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan of 1980 to protect the natural, geological and cultural resources of the area. It is managed by the U. S. Bureau of Land Management.
    Through that effort, Mim gained an in-depth knowledge of Amargosa River area resources and considered herself an expert on the history of the region.
    Following Ben's death, Mim became interested in the mining history of the Amargosa area, particularly the mining of niter. Prior to the synthetic production of nitrate salts (saltpeter) at the turn of the 20th century, the mineral niter was valued as an ingredient in the manufacture of gunpowder. Exploitation of niter discovered in the soils of the Amargosa area was seen as a domestic alternative to importation of niter from the Atacama Desert of Chile.
    Mim researched the subject with the goal of writing a history of the people and drama involved in the search for niter in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Although Mim passed away before she could write her book titled, A Well-Known Secret: The Niter Hunters of the Amargosa in the Death Valley Region, her research materials have been preserved in the hope a new researcher will become inspired to complete Mim's vision.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Property rights reside with the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Archivist at the Mojave Desert Archives.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research. For access, please contact the Archivist at the Mojave Desert Archives at archivist@mdhca.org.

    Preferred Citation

    Miriam A. Romero Amargosa Niter Collection. AR-2016-002. Mojave Desert Archives, Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association, Goffs, California. Date accessed.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gifted by Carol Edwards to the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association, 15 July 2015.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in 129 series in alphabetical order by subject. For the paper-based materials, Ms. Romero's original order has been maintained within each series. The digital materials, which were unorganized, have been arranaged by subject following the paper-based structure. Digital correspondence has been consolidated into a single series.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Carol Corbett, Chris Ervin, and Jacqueline Ridge.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Mojave Desert Archives, 37198 Lanfair Road # G-15, Essex, CA 92332. Consent is given on behalf of the Mojave Desert Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Amargosa River Valley (Nev. and Calif.)
    Saltpeter
    Geologists--United States--Biography
    Romero, Miriam A.