Austin Hall, the much loved focal point of the Trona Community, once stood on this site.
Built in 191 the unique structure with its one-foot thick concrete walls, boasted 45 arches
on three sides. The building provided a cooling shelter from the blazing heat with its
patio center and oleander trees. Early employees were housed and fed in its spacious rooms
and eventually all the town's businesses were housed here. The patio became an open-air theatre
with adjoining pool hall, a a barber shop, post office, library, grocery and department store
and a telegraph office with a switchboard for the single phone line into Trona.
The building was named for Stafford W. Austin, the court appointed receiver for the troubled
California Trona Company. Austin guided the company through its evolution from the
John Searles owned San Bernardino Borax Mining Company to the eventual
successful American Potash & Chemical Corporation. The building was removed in 1965.
Plaque placed by the Searles Valley Historical Society, Trona, CA in 2002