Trails & Trains

Walking the Mojave Indian Trail

Travel in General 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,... Read More »

The Black Bridge

“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... Read More »

Railroads come to Goldfield

Transportation to and from Goldfield improved greatly with the arrival of the railroad. On September 12, 1905, at 12:30 p.m. the first passenger train arrived in Goldfield, greeted by 300 people. It was operated by the Goldfield Railroad Company. The arrival of the Railroad kicked off three days of celebrations, but mourning for some stage... Read More »

Fort Piute

Piute Hill Fort Best Preserved Mojave Outpost By L. BURR BELDEN Fortifications along the western extension of the Santa Fe trail, route of the Whipple survey, were built initially because of Indian attacks on covered wagon trains of settlers. The Mojave War followed the massacre of one train by Indians at the Colorado River crossing... Read More »

Victor Valley Volcano

The Wheeler map made in the 1880s shows a volcano between what is Victorville and Barstow. The questions is; Is the “Volcano” either Stoddard Mountain or Bell Mountain?  So it looks as if the “Volcano” is nowadays known as Stoddard Mountain. Maybe next time; Is Stoddard Mountain a real... Read More »

The High Desert Illusion

Does this … … Blow your mind? — Cajon Junction (el. 2950′) at I-15 and Hwy. 138 is actually at about a 300′ higher elevation than Victorville (el. 2650′). The slope from the summit to Victorville is gradual, not as noticeable, and provides us with the illusion that we are further up than we actually... Read More »

Michael White (Miguel Blanco) & Rancho Muscupiabe

The Old Spanish Trail had become increasingly used as a pack mule trail between New Mexico and California, and with this traffic came the opportunity for those to take advantage of the distance and desperate nature of the land. California horses were beautiful creatures, and the mules were taller and stronger than those in New... Read More »

Victor Valley Crossings

Fr. Francisco Hermenegildo Tomás Garcés, (April 12, 1738 – July 18, 1781) was a Spanish priest who crossed the Mojave Desert in 1776. This map shows his route across the Victor Valley. Following the Mojave River after crossing at Oro Grande he walked through what is now downtown Victorville bypassing the rocky narrows and connecting... Read More »

September 1883 – the Cajon Pass

September 1883 to California Southern Railroad, with Santa Fe backing, completed its line northward from National City ( just south of San Diego)  to San Bernardino. The next step was to build a line to connect with the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad’s line  from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Needles, and the California Southern Extension Railroad... Read More »

An Invitation to Summit

Dear Sir: When I came over here three months ago, I brought four copies of Desert with me. Needless to say they have become rather dogeared as I have read them from cover to cover several times, and passed them around to my friends who have enjoyed them immensely. The last day I was in... Read More »

Next Page »