True Facts, Legends & Lies

Goodies that may or may not be true facts, somewhat exaggerated, or even wild-eyed stories. You be the judge.

Luncheon at the Ladies Club

And Scotty went on soliloquizing: “I was down in San Berdo the other day, and a man got me into one of them women’s afternoon fandangos;  you know, one of them afternoon affairs where they all talk and don’t say nothing.  And a “fly-up-the-creek” woman came up, all “a side-winding,” and said: ‘Now Mr. Scott,... Read More »

Same Old Bull

Wyatt Earp and his brand new Packard. — Wyatt had bought a brand new auto and was taking Josie out to visit a friend in Arizona. Somewhere south of Needles a large, renegade bull leapt out from behind a hummock of creosote. The bull huffed and puffed and stomped and scrapped his hooves, lowered his... Read More »

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 »

Legend of the Hassayampa

Wickenburg, Az. At any rate, it was not people who went into the desert merely to write it up who invented the fabled Hassayampa, of whose waters, if any drink, they can no more see fact as naked fact, but all radiant with the color of romance. I, who must have drunk of it in... Read More »

Sagebrush Inn: Route 66

Now, there is no question that Bessie catered to some wild goings on at the Sage Brush Inn, but the thing that seems to titillate people is the rather persistent rumor that she was a madam and operated a brothel. This rumor is wide spread and taken as a given by many, maybe most, and... Read More »

Shorty Harris — Out to Lunch

  Shorty Harris and companion eating next to an automobile somewhere in Death Valley during the 1920s. Rhyolite, Nevada was founded in 1904 after Shorty Harris and Ed Cross discovered Rhyolite Quartz at the Bullfrog mine. By 1906 the town had two railroad lines and a population of 10,000. The mines, however, did not produce... Read More »

The Prospector

The prospector is one of the unique, one of the most exceptional and most worthy of all those remarkable characters who have exploited and led the way for the development of the west. The west owes him a debt of gratitude which the west can never pay. Always poor, often homeless, self-reliant, hopeful, generous and... Read More »

Ode to Barstow

The devil wanted a place on earth, sort of a summer home. A place to spend his vacation whenever he wanted to roam. So he picked out Barstow, a place both wretched and rough. Where the climate was to his liking and the people were hardened and tough. He dried up the streams in the... Read More »

Cave of the Golden Sands

by John Mitchell – Desert Magazine, December 1967 Fifty years ago, about the time the Salt Lake railroad was being built from Salt Lake City to San Pedro, California, many small mining camps were springing up all along the line and the hills were full of prospectors. An old man with long white whiskers, mounted... Read More »

The First Timbisha

In December of 1849 anxious gold seekers and their wagons broke away from the Mojave San Joaquin Company (Mojave Sand-walking Company) to take a shortcut to the goldfields of California. Their map was incomplete and vague not informing these wayward pioneers of the numerous ranges of mountains between them and their destination. As a result... Read More »

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