A Town with Many Names
Occupied Historic Town
Garlock, originally called Cow Wells then El Paso City developed from a spring that quenched the thirst of many cattle and cow punchers on cattle drives through the valley in the 1800ís.
Official records indicating a town site can be traced back as far as 1880 when Cow Wells served as a way and stage station with a population of approx. 100 citizens occupying a makeshift township with a general store and an eatery run by a woman in a one room shack. Miners with claims in the nearby El Paso Mountains considered Cow Wells the nearest point of general civilization, serving those traveling towards the mining camps to the north. Lone prospectors would crawl out of the hills with their mule teams transporting their finds and to purchase supplies.
Although the first gold claim in area dates back as far as1853; it was not until 1893 that any large amount of population growth was recorded when a census listed 600 men, 14 women and 6 saloons at El Paso City, or El Paso Well (formerly Cow Wells). By this time El Paso was a supply point and watering hole where ore was freighted out and food, feed, liquor and supplies were brought in.
El Paso City eventually took the name of Garlock after Eugene Garlock arrived here from Tehachapi with an 8-stamp mill in 1894. Soon every nearby prospector and small mine operation was transporting ore here for processing.
Today only a few old shacks, crumbled foundations and a large clearing in the desert sage brush indicate the once thriving little town.