Old Spanish Trail

Springs & Things — Before Time Began

I have heard that the Paiute Indians have a legend–a story they would tell about a giant who crossed the desert with an olla full of water in each arm. With each step he would leave his footprint in the ground, and water would spill from the olla into the hole as he walked on.... Read More »

The Las Vegas Mormon Fort

A Midpoint Waystation on the Mormon Road In April 1855, Brigham young, President of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, called 30 men to leave their families and possessions in the recently settled towns of Utah to serve a mission at the Las Vegas Springs. The verdant meadows watered by the springs had... Read More »

The Stoddard Boys

Of all the brother acts operating in and around San Bernardino County during the Mormon period, Few accomplished more for the ultimate benefit of the area than the Stoddard boys, Arvin and Sheldon. Neither cut an imposing figure. Arvin, the quiet one, was only 5’5″ tall and weighed 135 pounds soaking wet, while Sheldon wasn’t... 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 »

A Massacre at Resting Springs

From: Shoshone Country; Resting Springs – Loafing Along Death Valley Trails by W. Caruthers Early in 1843, John C. Fremont led a party of 39 men from Salt Lake City northward to Fort Vancouver and in November of that year, started on the return trip to the East. This trip was interrupted when he found... Read More »

Old Spanish Trail – 1864

Mountain Meadows, Virgin River, Muddy River, Las Vegas Springs (Mormon Fort). Resting Springs, Salt Springs, Bitter Springs. Bitter Springs, Impassible Pass, Camp Cady, Forks in the Road, Point of Rocks, Lane’s Crossing, Cajon Summit Cajon Pass, Blue Cut, Mormon... Read More »

Across the Mojave – Mountain Meadows

Mountain Meadows–the dark valley where in late 1857 the murder of 135 men, women and children took place. They were rendered defenseless and surrendered after several days of siege on their defensive circle of wagons losing 10 men in the battle. The unsuspecting victims, expecting to be led to a local town were marched up... Read More »

Some Thoughts

To the uninitiated there is something rather uncertain about the reasons why a person will take time to view a location or an artifact. Ask the visitor why they make the trek or handle an object. The  response may take the form of a smile, and perhaps the timeworn cliché ” because it was there.” ... Read More »

Pioneer Trail

Pioneer Trail – by Mintor Jackson Steorts Wagon wheel furrows cut deep in the sand, winding through desolate desert land, on through arroyos, climbing a rise to snow-covered mountains that reach to the skies; ruts that the elements tried to erase from the deserts redoubtable face, but fate has preserved, through all of these years,... Read More »