The town was originally founded in the 1880s just after the finding of silver in mines nearby to the city. In 1882, the Southern Pacific Railroad from Mojave to Daggett was being completed and it was thought that a good name for the city would be Calico Junction. But this name would be too confusing since it was right next to Calico, CA -- where the silver was just recently discovered. It was decided to name the city after, then Lieutenant Governor of California, John Daggett, during the Spring of 1883. For two years, it was the terminal of the 20 Mule Team run from Death Valley, but after one of their swampers, William Pitt was lynched, the Pacific Borax Company made the terminal in Mojave, CA.
Not only did Silver define Daggett's history, but Borax was also important to the city's economy. This borax was being mined, around the turn of the century, out of the Calico Hills nearby. This operation required many more laborers to come to the city to help. The Borate and Daggett Railroad was built to haul borax ore from the mines up in the hills down to Daggett.
Daggett is the location of Barstow-Daggett Airport. The facility is a general aviation airport serving the Barstow area. It is also the regional weather information center. The Airport was built as a modification center for the Douglas A-20 (Havoc) bombers then being sent to Russia on a lend lease program tCasey Daggett.
As of 2003, 1000 people lived in Daggett, though nearly 1500 live in the surrounding area. The town's altitude is approximately 2000 feet.
Daggett was home to a unique solar power plant named Solar I (after an upgrade, it became Solar II). The plant uses mirror-like "heliostats" to aim sunlight at a collecting sphere, through which oil flows. The large quantity of sunlight reflecting on the sphere superheats the oil, which is then used to create steam for power generation.
During calibration of the power plant's thousands of heliostats, a ball of glowing light can be seen in the nearby area. This ball is caused by the heliostats reflecting sunlight onto a specific point in 3d space. As the intensity of the light increases, it tends to reflect off dust in the desert air. This phenomenon is sometimes seen by passerbys on the nearby interstates 40 and 15.