T he town of Manvel ( Barnwell) California was
founded in 1893 in great hopes of being the northern terminus of the Nevada Southern Railway, then being built from Goffs on the Santa
Fe main line. By March the town had an established post office and within the next six months the Santa Fe Main line had arrived.
O ver the next eight years this town with its population
of 75 to 80 residents would serve as a supply center for Eldorado, Goodsprings, the intire Ivanpah district, Searchlight and then after
1898 the adjacent Vanderbilt. Stages and Freight haulers running in and out from all directions.
T he settlement grew and supported two stores,
butcher shop, blacksmith, doctor, a small school and of course two saloons, one being named the Last Chance. Even with the fact it was
a transient town, it never was considered to be wild.
B y 1902 the newly renamed California Eastern had pushed its
construction north making thier way into Ivanpah Valley. Manvel lost some trade by then but became more important between 1902 and 1908
because of the frieght traffic going to Searchlight. It remained a station until 1908 when the Barnwell and Searchlight Railroad. was completed.
T hen in 1908 with the lost of the Searchlight trade
and a fire in September the town started to decline. The Eastern ceased operations several years later and the post office closed in 1915.
The Transvaal Miner, posted an article, Saturday April 14th, 1908 about the battle for the Searchlight branch to be built titled as
"To have two Railroads".
T he Searchlight Branch ran from the Barnwell Station up to Searchlight.
The main sidings were Barnwell, Hitt, and Juan Nevada. Hitt was a supply depot for Hart California and the Mine at Castle Mountain. To see the map
route click on Searchlight Spur .
T here isn't much left at Barnwell, but an homestead and water tank. The track has long since gone, but the railroad bed is still good in many places. To see
other siding click on Juan Nevada Siding .