Like many other Mojave Desert communities, Ludlow began in 1883 as a water stop for the railroad. It was named for William B. Ludlow, a master car repairer for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. Two railaroad lines – the Tonopah and Tidewater to the north and the Ludlow and Southern to the south connected borax, copper, and gold mines to the A&P and later Santa Fe railroad lines. However, with the decline of the mines and the coming of the automobile, Main Street in Ludlow was moved from the railroad to align with the Mother Road and business moved with it. With the Ludlow Cafe, Ludlow Hotel, and a few other travelers’ businesses in town, Ludlow has continued to hang on despite the coming of the Interstate.

By Scott Piotrowski