The year 1849 marked a boon for the mining industry in California when a large silver strike was discovered a few hundred miles north of a small Southern California frontier town called Barstow. In 1850, the small town of Calico was quickly established, founded by prospector Jacob Calico. Now, only five years later, the town bustles with prospectors searching for mineral riches. Silver is king here and the Calico Mining District has become one of the richest in the state. It ’s 1855, and Calico boasts boomtown status, producing $86 million in silver and $45 million in borax. Additionally, the town ’s population has exploded; more than 1,200 people call Calico home. In addition to the typical trapping one finds in a mining town, Calico has 22 saloons, a Chinatown, and red-light district. More than 500 mines, including the legendary Silver King, Oriental, and Bismarck, are proving to be the engines that continue to drive the boomtown ’s great wealth.
Calico has a resident mayor and sheriff, although the town has a reputation for being quite boisterous and prone to attracting its fair share of n’er-do-wells, bandits, thieves, and drunkards.