On, we’ll call it Miner Monday, we look back at Holloway’s gypsum miner mascot over the years.
As part of our 90th anniversary campaign, we’re sharing “nuggets” of Holloway history, dating back to when the company was founded in 1932.
Here, you’ll see Holloway’s miner over the years. From left, the first miner was used as a creative for our old field signs, marking where loads of our gypsum were to be delivered. The second miner and donkey, was used along with our logo touting to “Improve Soil the Holl-O-Way” on The Miner newsletter in the 1980s and 90s. The third miner was off an old yellow safety mine shirt given to our team out at the mine a couple decades ago.
Below is a copy of “The Miner” newsletter, which shared local nuggets of agriculture news and best practices for the Central Valley Farming Community.
This January 1991 edition of The Miner has a nice interview with Al Holloway, on his grandfather and company founder Harvey Mulford Holloway, along with some additional history on himself and the company. Here are some blurbs from that article:
Originally a Los Angeles building contractor, Harvey M. Holloway had been offered the caretaker job by his son, Albert (Al’s father), who worked for a Bakersfield-based oil company.
In those days, oil wells weren’t subject to capping and sealing regulations, and frequently natural gas seeped from the wells. This, combined with the valley heat, was a volatile hazard. It had been Holloway’s job to sound an alarm when a fire occurred.
It was during reconnoitering trips of the area left to his charge that Holloway discovered the mineral that would change his destiny, and the destiny of much of the surround agricultural lands. He studied outcroppings of the strange white material, and would often observe owners of nearby farms come and carry off wagon loads of it back to their properties to be put on their vineyards and tree crops.
Holloway’s curiosity prompted him to take samples of the material to Bakersfield for analysis and assay. Frank Hornkohl, owner of Hornkohl Laboratories, told him the substance was calcium sulfate, or gypsum, a mineral known to neutralize alkali in soil and improve water penetration.
Holloway concluded that the substance might possibly have a commercial value, so he discussed the idea with his son, Albert (Al’s father). With Albert’s assistance, he acquired a lease for a 40-acre parcel of land, and, in 1932, launched his gypsum mining operation with not much more than a pick and a shovel.
You can read more about California ag history as part of Holloway’s 90-year anniversary celebration at hollowayag.com/90