Whatnot

Apple Valley’s Dinosaur Park

Opening Shots  Apple Valley’s Dinosaur Park – by Myra McGinnis If you drove north on Central Avenue in Apple Valley, about 3 miles from Highway 18, a strange sight might give you a moment surprise: a group of dinosaurs would appear on the horizon. This meant figures represent the work of Lonnie Coffman, a soft-spoken, wiry,... Read More »

Pictorialism

Pictorialism, an approach to photography that emphasizes beauty of subject matter, tonality, and composition rather than the documentation of reality. The Pictorialist perspective was born in the late 1860s and held sway through the first decade of the 20th century. It approached the camera as a tool that, like the paintbrush and chisel, could be... Read More »

Getting Used to the Wind

Death Valley was having one of its periodic wind storms when the tourists drove up in front of Inferno store to have their gas tank filled. Hard Rock Shorty was seated on the bench under the lean-to porch with his hat pulled down to his ears to keep it from blowing away. “Have many of... Read More »

Shorty’s Grubstake

Once I asked Shorty Harris how he obtained his grubstakes. “Grubstakes,” he answered, “like gold, are where you find them. Once I was broke in Pioche, Nev., and couldn’t find a grubstake anywhere. Somebody told me that a woman on a ranch a few miles out wanted a man for a few days’ work. I... Read More »

Desert Rat 10 Commendents [sic]

DESERT RAT TEN COMMENDENTS   [sic] BY THE EDITOR (from Harry Oliver’s Desert Rat Scrapbook) I Thou shalt love the DESERT, but not lose patience with those who say it’s bleak and ornery (even when the wind is blowing). II Thou shalt speak of the DESERT with great reverence, and lie about it with great... Read More »

Roads to Yesterday — Van Dusen Road

In 1861 the county of San Bernardino contracted with John Brown to build a toll road through the Cajon Pass from Devore to Cajon Summit. That would do fine to get wagons and freight between San Bernardino and the Mojave Desert. At the same time the county also approved a subscription road to be built... 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 »

The Walters Family

The Walters family is an important part of Hesperia history.  Starting with George Francis Walters, who moved his family from Illinois to California because his wife, Harriet C Finigan Walters had asthma. The family first settled in the Riverside area where he went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad. According to Bolton Minister, son... Read More »

The Lost Breyfogle Mine

The most famous lost mine in the Death Valley area is the Lost Breyfogle. There are many versions of the legend, but all agree that somewhere in the bowels of those rugged mountains is a colossal mass of gold, which Jacob Breyfogle found and lost. Jacob Breyfogle was a prospector who roamed the country around... Read More »

All in Favor Say “Eye.”

Strange, but not true … (or, All in favor, say “Eye.”) Oro Grande, Ca. This is not where Sammy Davis Jr. was in an auto accident and lost his eye–it would have been found by now if it were! I know. I went and looked for it. http://digital-desert.com/oro-grande-ca/ So I was curious; A MYSTERY FROM... Read More »

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