Category Archives: Trails & Trains

Walking the Indian Trail

Mataviam described travel in general to Kelly (1933: 23:7)  in the following way:

Travelers packed everything on their backs, and wore any kind of foot gear.  Children always wore shoes; if the children were too small to walk, their parents took turns carrying them.  They also took turns packing the water jar, which was carried in a burden basket (ais) or a net.  Blankets, etc., were taken.  Women took cooking utensils, including  manos, but not metates.  Men took weapons and walked ahead.  Dogs accompanied the party.  Children were given something to carry; perhaps a small skin sack, but not a burden basket or net.  Travel along certain routes had to be timed so that people could be sure that there would be water available in drier sections.  Timing  was particularly important if some of these sources were tanks and sandstone potholes.

Manos atop metates

Southern Paiute – Chemehuevi Trails Across the Mojave Desert:
Isabel Kelly=s Data,  1932-33 (Darling/Sneed Symposium, AAA 2004)
Catherine S. Fowler
University of Nevada, Reno

The Black Bridge

Railroad bridge Victorville, Mojave River

“One of Victor’s (Jacob Nash Victor) greatest contributions was supervision of a number of bridges constructed in San Bernardino County. The first and longest of these was the railroad crossing of the Mojave River in the lower narrows. It is not known just how directly involved he or Perris (Fred T. Perris) were with this project, since their correspondence includes a letter regarding recommendation from New England of another engineer-bridge builder anxious for employment just then. Whoever was directly responsible, huge granite blocks were shaped to fit snugly into cemented buttresses, which have not cracked or moved in over 100 years of continuous use and several devastating floods. The iron bridge, described as one of the finest structures of its kind on this coast, was brought in sections by railroad to Barstow and freighted from there to the site. This bridge was replaced early in the 20th century, including a second set of tracks, but the subsequent structures have all continued to utilize the same basic foundation buttresses. This would be the oldest structure in the region (the buttresses were built in 1885).”

~ History of the Victor Valley – Lyman
Published by Mohahve Historical Society