In 1896, Ezra Hamilton owned a brick factory in Los Angeles. He made brick pavers for the streets of the growing city. He began to notice flecks of gold in the clay and thought it worth checking out. He traveled to where the material was dug out of the ground and panned in the washes until he found some gold float. He followed the gold dust trail up into a canyon and discovered a rich vein of gold. He called the claim, Tropico. Through the years since the Tropico gold mine has been the richest producing gold mine in the western Mojave Desert.