I enjoy hearing the stories about places from people that have absolutely no idea about what the story of that place is. For example; West of Dead Man’s Point a mile or so, on Bear Valley Road, there is a quiet little place with the sign out front that says “Lone Wolf Health Colony.” years and years I would ask folks about the place and for years and years I was told it was a “nudist camp.” It is not. I am a little bit disappointed. …
Following his a brief history of the Lone Wolf Colony originally written in 1966 by Paul and Sylvia Hopping.
Many years ago, in June 1922, a Mr. Sam Caldwell and a few other employees of the old Home Telephone Company, including Eddy Schock and a Mr. Crowfoot, realizing the beneficial health factors of the desert, started a movement to help World War I male employee veterans who were suffering from poison gas and the veterans who were unable to obtain the hospitalization and other care they required. Mr. Caldwell at that time owned 160 acres of land at Dry Lake flats, in back of Mt. Baldy. He donated this land for a health resort on condition that he should be one of the patients. It was Mr. Caldwell who gave the health resort its name of Lone Wolf Colony. He passed away in 1934.
The first small building was begun in March, 1923. Carpenters donated their time to assemble the materials which are brought to the desert in April. The health resort operated only 30 days on Mr. Caldwell’s property when it was found that the water supply was inadequate. The colony then move to a spot 5 miles west of Victorville. The colony at that time had two cottages and five tent houses. A water shortage again developed and at the end of the third year the colony moved to a site on Bear Valley Road near the railroad. It was there only a short time when it moved to its present 20 acre site on February 22, 1926.
A well drilled on this property and abundant water was found. The telephone company provided trucks and equipment and 250 employees donated their time. And one day the buildings, cabins, fences, pump for reservoir, pole line for electricity and telephone were installed, which was considered a very fine undertaking.
Funds to build the health ranch, which was incorporated February 7, 1924, were raised through various channels and company support. At the end of the 18th year the colony had in use and administration building and 10 small cabins. In 1950 there were five modern duplex concrete cabins. In 1958 a very large, fine, modern administration building, including a large lounge, dining room, stainless steel equipped kitchen and caretakers living quarters was completed in the colony had its first Thanksgiving dinner in the new building of that year.
Chickens and cattle are raised on the grounds that the Colony which provide meat for the guests. With abundant water, alfalfa is also raised which feeds the cattle and helps to hold down the dust and provide a green ground cover. The Ranch contains all types of farm equipment and tools. Water is piped to all corners of the property and there are restrooms and bathhouses at the camping area. Work parties are organized to help with the work around the Colony.
Boy Scout troops are welcome to use the south end of the property for camp outs but the colony superintendent must be contacted to set the date and time for such event. At least one scoutmaster of each troop must be a telephone man.
The present colony is located on a 20 acre site about halfway between Central Road and Dead Man’s point on Bear Valley Road, in section 2 in Apple Valley. It is owned by the male employees of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company.
The facility is open to male employees both presently employed and retired. There is no charge to employees of Pacific Telephone Company and Western Electric Company, Southern Area (West Coast Division), as the Colony is operated on contributions. All applicants, both active or retired, must make application and have a doctor’s recommendation before they can be admitted to the Colony. They are allowed to stay as long as the doctors think the desert climate is aiding their health. At this time there are average of six employees per day recuperating under the care of the genial host and hostess, Virgil and Goldie Long.
In 1963, air-conditioning and wall-to-wall carpeting were put in all the cabinets. At present plans are being worked on for a recreation hall, heated pool for therapy and an enclosed solarium.
Many of the old-timers are no longer here today the sum of the early founders were Eddy Schock, who helped Mr. Caldwell with the building of the original colony, Charles Rogers, who helped move the buildings and cottages from the first place and Mr. Crowfoot, now in his 90s, who is now living in Lancaster with his daughter. Mr. Schock is an active member of the Board of Directors of Lone Wolf Colony. Truly the desert is helpful and beneficial as is quoted from the Lone Wolf Colony bylaws as follows: “Where the curative power of the sun’s rays and the climatic condition are unsurpassed for the improvement of general health.”
The Mojave Historical Society expresses appreciation to Mr. Eddy Schock, the Board of Directors of Lone Wolf Colony and to Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Long further help in obtaining this history of Lone Wolf Colony.
The History of Lone Wolf Colony – by Paul and Sylvia Hopping
Mohahve III – Scrapbooks of History (c)1966, 2016
Mohahve Historical Society