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In the early 1860s a small deposit of a white, chalky substance was discovered by a ranch owner on a freshly caved bluff. The substance looked and felt like chalk so it became widely used by carpenters and coopers at fisheries. The rancher attempted to dig a 75’ shaft to mine the ore but gave up when he encountered considerable water along the way.

In the early 1890s, the property was purchased by the Pacific Coast Borax Company, predecessor to U.S. Borax. Samples of the chalky ore were analyzed, identified as a new mineral, and named "priceite". However, disappointing yields and difficulties in processing the ore, led to closure of operations in 1893.

The company donated land, west of Highway 101, (containing the original mining site) to the Oregon State Parks Department, while retaining ownership of the remaining property. In the next few decades, the property was used for cattle grazing and timber harvests. In 1961, U.S. Borax donated a different portion of the land to accommodate the relocation of Highway 101.

In 1998, the Brooking's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) was expanded to include the Lone Ranch property. As part of the UGB expansion, U.S. Borax was required to complete a Master Plan for development. In 2002, the property was annexed into the City of Brookings and in 2004, the City approved the Lone Ranch Master Plan.

In 2009, U.S. Borax continued their tradition of donating land for the benefit of the public, with the contribution of 10-acres to Southwestern Oregon Community College – to construct a new campus in Lone Ranch. The project received approval and was completed in 2011.

Start building in Brookings today.

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