Industry in Death Valley has played a major role in shaping the legacy of this National Park. While short-lived gold and silver mines came and went, borax remained the dominate mineral resource in this harsh landscape. The many uses of borax were not utilized until later in the 19th century when the Pacific Coast Borax Company began marketing it's many applications under the iconic 20 Mule Team trademark. The term "20 Mule Team" references the way in which the borax was hauled from Death Valley via mule and carriage. One of the two remaining carriages can be found at the Harmony Borax Works just outside of Furnace Creek.
The Harmony Borax Works was a processing site that was only in operation for five years. This facility employed 40 men and processed three tons of borax daily. Once it was realized that the summer heat impeded the ability to process the minerals, the site was moved to the shade of the Amargosa Mountains. Over 100 years later, the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Access to Harmony Borax Works is via a paved, 2-mile road north of Furnace Creek just off of Hwy 190. A half-mile interpretive trail loops around to the various points of interest. An old furnace and processing building, an original 20 mule team carriage, and the dilapidated remains of some adobe buildings are all that is left of this historic site.