Trails & Trains

1864 Travel Tip – Hold Hostages

From the diary of Sarah J. Rousseau , 1864: Regarding traveling with Indians across the Mojave Sunday, November 6 … The lava that has been thrown out looks like cinders. The mountains, some of them have a grand appearance, some a red color while others have a white appearance. Some of them I think must... Read More »

Trains & Railroads

Victor Valley [huge_it_gallery... Read More »

Van Dusen Road Notes

The Van Dusen Road branched off from John Brown’s toll road heading east along the ridge after reaching the Cajon Summit.   The road  found its way down the Antelope Valley Wash to the Mojave River.  At this point the trail crossed through the soft sand and ascended through a small  canyon  at the base of... Read More »

The Hardy Pioneer

by Jean Goldbranson – 1967 As you whiz down the freeway in a well protected automobile, have you ever wondered what life was like in the good old days as the hardy pioneer planned the trip 50 miles into the desert with wagon and a team of horses? Excerpts from ‘Water Supply Paper Number 224’ ... Read More »

Death Valley Scotty Special

In 1905, in an attempt to break the speed record from Los Angeles to Chicago, Walter “Death Valley Scotty” Scott paid the Santa Fe Railroad a purported $5500 to rent a three car train pulled by 19 different steam locomotives. The trip began in Los Angeles on 9 July and arrived in Chicago 44 hours... Read More »

Ghost Train: Tall Tale

Bill Sanger was known to have ridden the rods all over the map. In his time he had seen all there was to see. One day he was talking with Jim Craig about  mirages. Mirages are common sites. You see a lot of them, millions of them, in the dry lake bed out there at... Read More »

Crossing the Mojave: Kit Carson (1829)

Leaving the headwaters of the Verde River in Arizona the party traveled to the Colorado River to the Mohave villages scattered along the east bank between what is now Topock and Bullhead City in Arizona.  From there they traveled toward the middle of the desert, possibly on the route of either Fr. Garces in 1776,... Read More »

Back on the Trail

The Mormon Road going south across the Oro Grande Wash would come up and head straight into the Joshua trees and juniper woodland.  The slope was fair, the ground hard and the trail reasonably straight.  There were variations, though.  To the eyes of one, one way around a bush may look easier than it does... Read More »

The Father of San Bernardino County

Captain Jefferson Hunt b. January 20, 1803 d. May 11, 1879 … Jefferson Hunt had rejoined his family at Salt Lake Valley after the close of his military service, and he was called by President Young in November of 1847 to return to California to purchase seed, livestock and supplies for the people of the... Read More »

Las Vegas Valley – Setting the Stage

During the Spanish Colonial Period (1542-1821) in the American Southwest, the Spanish empire was competing for control over resources with the British, French, and Russian monarchies. They attempted to link colonies in the Spanish territories, later known as the New Mexico and California, by establishing trade routes to form a passageway across the entire Southwest... Read More »

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