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The large number of artifacts discovered here suggests that Lake Borax was home to one of the first major lakeshore dwelling communities in North America.
Fast forward several thousand years to the Gold Rush era when the California Borax Company began harvesting borax from the lake for use in extracting gold from the rocks.
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The area we now call Borax Ridge delivers spectacular views of Mount Konocti and Clear Lake, as well as the Borax Lake archeological site.
But borax was not the only attraction in this area.
Obsidian, a glasslike volcanic rock formed from cooling lava, was being culled from Mount Konocti, an active volcano at the time.
Miners would place scoop shovels onto boats to lift the borax from the water, and at the company’s peak, they’d pull up to two tons of borax from the lake each day.
They don’t mine borax from Borax Lake anymore, though you’ll still find streets nearby with names like Sulphur Bank Road and Sulphur Bank Mine Road.