Rand Camp began as a tent city, erected by eager miners who rushed to the Mojave Desert following a major gold discovery in April 1895. A year later, the town of 1,500 had been renamed "Randsburg." Saloons sprouted, a U.S. Post Office was established, and the community's first newspaper, "The Randsburg Miner," appeared. By 1900, Randsburg's 3,500 inhabitants had a "30 stamp" ore crusher, bank, churches and theaters. Railroad tracks soon connected the nearby town of Johannesburg to Kramer's Junction, some 25 miles to the south. At the turn of the century, when gold was worth only $12 to $16 an ounce, Randsburg's famous Yellow Aster Mine recovered $3 million in gold. In 1911, the take was $6 million. Most of the visible, or "free gold," in the Rand Mining District already had been found before WWII, when gold mines nationwide were classified as "non-essential" industries, and closed. Technological developments now over shadow earlier methods of extracting free gold from low-grade ores economically feasible. During boom and bust, fires and war, smallpox and influenza epidemics, Randsburg tenaciously has clung to life. It still does.