Goffs is on the main line of the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railway 30 miles west of Needles. In 1883 what is now the BNSF was built through Goffs by the Southern Pacific Railway. Later Southern Pacific sold to Santa Fe. Southern Pacific put the name Goffs in the map. Goffs was a rail junction from 1893 to 1923 while it served a desert shortlinne as well as the Santa Fe mainline. Santa Fe developed facilities here and a depot was constructed and functioned from 1902 to 1956, and it was home to a section crew.
By 1910 there were enough children in the area to justify creation of the 1,000 square mile Goffs School District. Classes were held in a rented building for the first three years, beginning in 1911. In 1914 the County of San Bernardino built a Schoolhouse featuring a unique mission style architecture. Instead of the usual wood frame and tarpaper commonly found in remote communities, it was constructed of heavy wood frame, steel mesh, and stucco. It embraced 2,000 square feet including 800 square feet on two porches specially designed to provide protection from desert heat and wind. The interior had three rooms and an entryway. There was a library room that served as the community library as well as the library for the school. There was a smaller room that served as a cloak room. Finally, there was the single 800 square foot classroom. It was a one teacher eight grade School.
Throughout the existence of the School - 1911 - 1937 - enrollment never exceeded about 35 pupils at any one time and commonly less.
In 1990 Dennis & Jo Ann Casebier bought the Schoolhouse and with volunteer help much work has been done on the property. Today there are combined collections consisting of more than 30,000 historical photographs and negatives, about 6,000 volumes of books pertaining to the desert West, over 500 oral histories, and much more.
In 1993 a non - profit tax - exempt organization was formed - the MOHAVE DESERT HERITAGE & CULTURAL ASSOCIATION - with an element of its goals being to assure the cultural center begun on the Goffs Schoolhouse property will exist into perpetuity and that the wonderful collections of the Desert West historical materials will thus be preserved. Central to this is the Goffs Schoolhouse. The first goal of the organization being restoration of the Schoolhouse.
The National Old Trails Road
U.S. Highway 66
37198 Lanfair Road - Goffs
Essex, California 92332
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