Classics

Sad Fate of an Inventor

Editor; Dan De Quille –  Virginia City Territorial Enterprise –  1874  A gentleman who has just arrived from the borax fields of the desert regions surrounding the town of Columbus, in the eastern part of the state,  gives us the following account of the sad fate of Mr. Jonathan Newhouse, a man of considerable inventive... Read More »

Tempest in Silver

TODAY’S TRAVELER to Panamint sees a crazy quilt of bare foundations and ramshackle walls. He marvels, too, at the old brick mill which for almost 100 years has challenged decay and oblivion. But it is not what he sees that affects the traveler; it’s what he feels. As he stands on the road looking up... Read More »

Jim Beckwourth – Stealing Horses

Notes: Mountain man Jim Beckwourth flees California during the Bear Flag Revolt Stealing Horses Along the Way I had but little time to deliberate. My people was at war with the country I was living in; I had become security to the authorities for the good behavior of several of my fellow-countrymen, and I was... Read More »

The Story of Convict Lake

from The Story of Inyo – W.A. Chalfant -1922 The most desperate prison break in the history of the West occurred at the Nevada penitentiary at Carson on the evening of Sunday, September 17, 1871. Twenty-nine convicts, murderers, train robbers, horse thieves and others of like ilk, gained temporary liberty after killing one man and... Read More »

Naming Death Valley

In 1849 in the rush to the goldfields of California the Bennett-Arcane party of the Mojave-San Joaquin wagon train decided to try an unknown shortcut and became stranded in what is now known as Death Valley.  Two young men, William L. Manly and John Rogers walked out, across the desert and into the canyons north... Read More »

Death Valley’s Titus Canyon

by Betty J.  Tucker –  Desert Magazine April, 1971 (photos – Walter Feller) The road and scenery through Titus Canyon in Death Valley produces all the ups and downs of a young love, then steadies out into the young matronly area. Further on, it matures and gains the stature of sedate old age. That’s a... Read More »

Across the Palm Desert

from ; Thirty Years on The Frontier by ROBERT McREYNOLDS An ancient fight as ancient as the time dividing the bird from the serpent, a fight thousands of times repeated in the lonely places of the earth each year, but which man seldom sees, was witnessed by Mark Witherspoon and myself on the borders of... Read More »

But Where Was God?

from: Loafing Along Death Valley Trails A Personal Narrative of People and Places by William Caruthers For years, on the edge of the road near Tule Hole, a rough slab marked Jim Dayton’s grave, on which were piled the bleached bones of Dayton’s horses. On the board were these words: “Jas. Dayton. Died 1898.” The... Read More »

Mono Lake

from: Roughing It, by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) Mono Lake lies in a lifeless, treeless, hideous desert, eight thousand feet above the level of the sea, and is guarded by mountains two thousand feet higher, whose summits are always clothed in clouds. This solemn, silent, sail-less sea—this lonely tenant of the loneliest spot on earth—is... Read More »

How Joshua Trees Were Named

By DENNIS H. STOVALL – Desert Magazine – September, 1938 DRAWN by gaunt-ribbed oxen, a train of cumbersome immigrant wagons creaked slowly across the upper mesas of the Mojave desert in Southern California. Bearded men goaded the shambling beasts. Others rode lean-flanked horses. Women and children, faces drawn by thirst and hunger, looked out through... Read More »

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