The City of Barstow was a mining center for the area as far back as the late 1800’s when it was known as Waterman Junction. On January 15, 1886, the Post Office there changed its name officially to Barstow Post Office.

The original business district was more closely aligned with the current location of the Casa del Desierto Harvey House, which opened in 1911. In July of 1925 a “grand opening” event was held for the “newly rebuilt city” of Barstow along its current main street and path of Route 66. Barstow, itself, however, would not incorporate as a city until 1947.

The Casa del Desierto was placed on the National register of Historic Places in 1975 and had a rededication ceremony in 1999. The Route 66 “Mother Road” Museum opened in this building on July 4, 2000, followed by the Western America Railroad Museum on February 17, 2001.

Main Street – Route 66 through town – is dotted with historic mom and pop hotels. The city is home to the first Del Taco restaurant, and also to Rosita’s Restaurant, which was opened in 1948 by Rosa Griego.

By Scott Piotrowski