Rosamond was officially established in 1877, and was named after the daughter of an official of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the town site owner. An application for a Post Office was filed on May 2,1855, with David Bayles appointed the first Postmaster, serving 100 people. The old Post Office building is now located at the Tropico Gold Mine site.
Mining and cattle were prime industries in the early days. In the late 1890’s, the Lida Mine (later Tropico Mine) opened. When pay dirt was struck several years later, the hills swarmed with miners. Assays on the ore went as high as $100,000 per ton. In the 1930’s, when mining again boomed, and the Army Air Corps established Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards AFB), the community was able to add street lights and a water plant.
Rosamond Chamber of Commerce brochure
Like many Americans after the Civil War who were looking for a better life, Charles Graves went west.
In 1879, the 23-year-old Graves got off a train in Rosamond and liked what he saw. He started raising cattle on 160 acres he homesteaded, delved into gold mining and by 1895 was postmaster.
In 1900, Graves married a Kansas schoolteacher who answered his newspaper advertisement for a wife. He built Rosamond’s first schoolhouse — and paid its teacher’s salary the first year — so his three sons and three daughters could have a better education than he had.
“The cowboys used to stay at my daddy’s place when there was a roundup,” recalled Katherine Paul, Graves last surviving child, in a 1993 Daily News interview at age 82.
In every respect Graves was the image of the Western settle, except one — he was African-American. Graves had been born into slavery in Kentucky five years before the Civil War started and was nine when the war ended.
Lancaster Museum/Art Gallery staff say a mistaken impression exists that African-Americans were not involved in the Antelope Valley’s settlement.
Before Graves, who died in 1938, African-Americans in the 1800’s and the early 1900’s in the Antelope Valley included explorers, homesteaders, farmers, barbers, miners, cooks, and teamsters, the museum’s research shows. By 1910, African-Americans made their homes in the Elizabeth Lake area, Palmdale, Lancaster, Mojave and Rosamond. from: Antelope Valley Edition of the Daily News (Feb. 8, 2004)
Town Council Formation
The Rosamond Town Council was incorporated on August 14, 1995. Rosamond Town Council, Inc. was formed by members of the Rosamond Rural Landowners Association which was founded in May 1992.
The Rosamond Rural Landowners Association was formed initially for the purpose of informing property owners of the annexation and assessment district that was about to take place. A 92 million dollar assessment was in the works. We let the public know what was happening and the assessment was trimmed back considerably to 32 million. Since that time we have been informing our members of various projects, legislative items, and anything that could affect their property or pocketbook.
Some of the different things that we have done are: Had guest speakers on sewer treatment plants, those for and against the formation of the Antelope Valley Storm Water Conservation & Flood Control District, Candidates for the Rosamond Community Services District and Southern Kern Unified School District Board, representatives from Waste Management concerning dump fees, and other items of concern to our membership and the general public.