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DECEMBER 1983
VoL. 4 7 , No. 2
ISSN 0194-3405

•r
By GEORGE BRADT
COLLARED LIZARD (Crotaphytus
collaris): This lizard is one of the
handsomest of them all. It is strik-
ingly marked with a double black
collar, blotched and banded legs and
tail, and all this over a vivid yellow-
ish-orange ground color. It has a
large head, thick body, and a tail
measuring twice the body length.
These are rather speedy creatures
and when pursued can be seen to
rise up onto their hind legs and run
along half erect. The Collared Liz-
ard is found from New Mexico west-
ward into central California. The
specimen in the photograph lived
in an ancient volcano crater near
Las Cruces, New Mexico.

DESERT MAGAZINE
EW GRANTHAM
Editor

M. BANDINI,
Photo Editor
P. RICHARDS,
Ci rculation

Volume 47, Number 2 DECEMBER 1983

CONTENTS
LeCONTE'S THRASHER 1 Front Cover
COLLARED LIZARD 2 G. Bradt
LUPINE 4 Mary Beal
EXPLORING GHOST RAILROADS OF THE
MOTHER LODE: PART I 5 DW Grantham
THE SALTON SEA 7 Desert Staff
DESERT QUIZ 11 Desert Staff
POETRY 11 Various Contributors
HIGHGRADERS OF GOLDFIELD 12 Arthur Woodward
SACRED M3UNTAIN OF THE TRIBESMEN 16 A. La Vielle Lawbaugh
CACTUS CITY CLARION 20 Current News
ANTOINE LEROUX - PATHFINDER 22 Charles Kelly
CALENDAR OF WESTERN EVENTS 27 Events to Attend
WHEN CAMELS CAME TO THE DESERT 28 Frances E. Watkins
DESERT PRODUCT OF THE MONTH 31 Desert Staff
MDUNTAIN TREASURE 32 Barry Storm
OCTOBER IN MONUMENT VALLEY 39 Desert Staff
END OF THE RAILS 40 Rear Cover

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Copyright 1983 by DESERT MAGAZINE. All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced in any manner without securing written
permission from the publisher. CONTRIBUTIONS: The editor welcomes
unsolicited manuscripts and photographs but they can be returned ONLY if
accompanied by a fully postage paid return envelope. While we treat sub-
missions with loving care, we do not assuine responsibility for loss or
damage. Writers Guide is free with large S.A.S.E., with sample copy of
magazine, $2.00. Please have a nice day.
By MARY BEAL

Lupines are among the best known flowers in the world,


and blue is the color most frequently associated with them.
But there are many species, some of them amethyst, lilac
and violet, and it is these lesser known members of the
family that I want to present to Desert Magazine readers
this month.
First, however, let's give a thought to the origin of the
name Lupine, of world-wide usage. Farmers of ancient Chick Lupine — Lupinus microcarpus, var. horizontalis
days thought this plant robbed the soil of fertility, perhaps
because it is often found on waste lands. From this idea
of the plant's ravenous or wolfish character came the name 3000 feet, preferring deep sand. Quite common in western
Lupinus, from the Latin for wolf, lupus. It has come Arizona, southeastern California from Death Valley to
down to us from the Romans but no longer are rapacious the Mexican border on down into Sonora and Lower
qualities attributed to it. Actually the plant is a legume, California.
and is being planted in some southern states for soil fer-
tilization. Var. barbatulus
Many Lupines are showy and handsome enough to be Is identified by stout, hollow, very erect stems, larger
cultivated as favored ornamentals and it is not surprising leaves, and racemes up to 12 inches long, the corollas
that several species have an established place in gardens. pale lilac or purplish with a more reddish tinge. Found in
Western species are among those in the front rank for the Needles area of the Mojave desert, the Colorado desert
popularity, even in Old World gardens where they were and western Arizona. Another interesting species is the
introduced by the early European botanical explorers sent Wide-petaled or Chick Lupine.
to our pioneer West to seek new plants to beautify their
gardens. Lupinus microcarpus var. horizontalis
Lupine leaflets have the habit of folding up, usually or
during the heat of the day — you might call it taking a Lupinus horizontalis var. platypetalus
mid-day nap, though it's usually too long a sleep to be
labeled a nap. A low trim plant 5 to 10 inches high, with somewhat
succulent, stout hollow stems, branched from the base or
One handsome amethyst-flowered species is the Coulter a little above, the branches at an ascending angle. Except
Lupine, named for Dr. Thomas Coulter who first collected for the upper surface of the leaves, the herbage is soft-
it about 1831. You may know it as Arizona Lupine or hairy, the long-petioled leaves with 5 to 9 leaflets V2 to
Loose-flowered Lupine. Botanically it is listed as 1 inch long. The clean-cut upstanding racemes measure 4
Lupinus sparsiflorus to 10 inches atop peduncles varying from short to long.
The flowers are on very short pedicels, arranged in 3 to 8
An extremely unstable species, which has led to the close neat whorls, more or less remotely spaced. The
segregation of several varieties, these are also inconstant. corollas are lilac or lavender, fading to white and becoming
The species is generally larger than the varieties, usually a papery in age. The ovate pods are covered with long soft
foot or two high, the stem rather slender, with few to hairs and sit erect in the whorl of calyxes, like so many
many branches, the herbage clothed with soft hairs and baby birds in a nest.
also a scattering of stiff hairs. The palmate leaves have 5
to 9 leaflets, linear to oblanceolate, 1/3 to 1 inch long, on Found in the northern, central, and eastern Mojave
petioles 1 to 3 inches long. The slender racemes are 3 to desert on sandy or gravelly flats and slopes at moderate to
9 inches long and may be loosely flowered or occasionally higher elevations.
densely so. The corollas are typical pea blossoms, about V2 Another wide-spread annual species of different habit of
inch long, a violet or lilac hue, the banner centered by a growth is the Bajada Lupine or
white spot which ages to a bright red-purple. The hairy Lupinus concinnus
oblong pods are about Vi inch long, constricted between
the 4 to 6 seeds. It favors sandy soil of foothills, valleys The specific name is interpreted as shapely, elegant or
and mesas, up to 4500 feet, in southern Nevada, Arizona, skillfully put together. Varying from the upright fashion of
southern California and Lower California and should be the preceding species, it follows a more diffuse pattern.
found in bloom from March to May, often adding large From 4 to 8 inches high, the several branching stems from
sweeps of attractive color to the landscape. The common- the stout base are inclined to spread out. the lower ones
est variety is arizonicus. sometimes classed as a separate often decumbent. The herbage is densely clothed with soft
species. hairs, which sometimes turn rusty or tawny in age, the
many long-petioled leaves with 5 to 8 oblanceolate leaflets.
Var. arizonicus The short racemes are rather dense and very short-
Ordinarily 5 to 8 inches high, somewhat succulent, the stemmed, well scattered as a rule, and surpassed by the
flowers mostly smaller, the freshly opened corollas pale foliage. The corollas are lilac or violet, edged with a rich
purplish-pink, lavender or lilac, often drying deep violet, reddish-purple, the banner centered by a spot of yellow.
the leaflets broadly oblanceolate. Usually found below It is an exquisite color scheme.

December 1983
EXPLORING GHOST RAILROADS OF THE MOTHER LODE
PART 1: THE ANGELS BRANCH
BY: DW Grantham

In this months trip, we will Unfortunately, part of the


explore the path of a long a- Jamestown station burned several
bandoned railroad that served the years ago so the park is missing
Mother Lode area. Part of this a valuable artifact. In the
railroad the Angels Branch, round house, one can see many
Tuolumne City, and Melones Branch items of rolling stock, including
are abandoned. several steam engines in running
condition. The Sierra is fre-
Leaving California Highway 99 quently used for filming by the
at Merced, California, we proceed studios. Recently, The Gambler
north along County Highway J-59. II with Kenny Rogers was filmed
Soon we are paralleling another there.
abandoned rail route, the Yosemite
Valley, and a Southern Pacific The careful observer will
Branch. In a few miles, the notice that the Jamestown Station
Southern Pacific right-of-way site is not on the main route of
heads west and we head northeast, the railroad. Unusual?? Not really.
still following the Yosemite The Station faces what should
Valley route. After crossing the have been a busy branch line, now
Merced River, the Yosemite Valley abandoned--The Angels Branch.
route leaves us. We pass through The line served mining customers
the town of Snelling, itself of North Tuolumne and Southwest
steeped in early California Calaveras County.
history. Soon, we crossed the
former right-of-way of the The Angels Branch has been gone
Hetch-Hetchy Railroad and an for many years, but it is possi-
abandoned part of the Sierra, ble to follow large portions of
just before Crimea House, a long the route. Tracks are still in
gone stopping place on the way to place leading North from the
the Southern mines. At Keystone, Jamestown Station to just beyond
we crossed the still active tracks the Pine Alley Equipment Rental
of the Sierra and turned east on Yard. Some old equipment is parked
California Highway 108. on this track, including a non-
operating steam engine.
A short 15 minutes later we
arrived at the town of Jamestown. The right-of-way headed north
The itself is a most attractive from here somewhat paralleling
small Mother Lode community with the present day Rawhide Road.
the usual (one) main street. Going north on Rawhide Road from
Along Main Street are numerous Highway 108, the road climbs
antique shops, a restored hotel, until a summit is reached. The
and many other small businesses. right-of-way is visible on the
South of town is the railroad North side of the road and then
depot and roundhouse. This area turns 90 degree from the road
has recently been acquired by the and follows the side of the
California State Park System. mountain which is really a large
lava flow.

THE DESERT MAGAZINE


We continued down Rawhide
Road past the former site of
Rawhide, California, (1904-
1906), looked at the historic
Rawhide School building, and
stopped about % mile before
Highway 49. The railbed
crosses Rawhide Road at this
point and heads toward its
next station, Tuttletown.
At the junction of Highway 49
and Rawhide Road, we turned
left.

Very quickly, we arrived


at Tuttletown (1857-1927).
Numerous ruins mark the site.
From here, the right-of-way
proceeds north and winds
around Jackass Hill. Melones
Located on the hill are a Reservoir
series of switch-backs. The French ffsf
hill was so steep and curvy
that the trains could not Rawhide
navigate the grade. There-
fore, the trains would have
to go part way up a curve
and then back into the next
one.

Switchbacks are very Returning to our truck, we


unusual in California rail- drove North on Highway 49,
roading. To walk back and paralleling the right-of-way,
see these, part at the to the South junction with old
Historic Monument commerat- Highway 49. At this point, the
ing Mark Twain's cabin right-of-way bears to the east,
(there are two--go to the one dips down to the former river
on the north). The historic level, crosses the river on a
marker is built on the bridge, and begins to climb out
right-of-way. Walk south and of the river canyon on the North
carefully cross the highway. shore. Most of this area is
If you follow the right-of- under water now due to the fill-
way around the hill, the ing of the Melones Dam.
switchbacks will be found.
Some of the property in the Located below the new bridge,
area is privately owned so under many feet of water are the
be sure to ask permission, former towns of Robinson's Ferry
if necessary. (1879-1902) and Melones (1902-
1942).

DECEMBER 1983
Tucked into the heart of the during one of the Sink's unions
Great Colorado Desert Lies the with the Gulf. These petrified
Salton Sea Basin, a below-sea- shells of the ruffled oyster,
level bowl rimmed with mountain averaging eight inches across,
ranges. At the bottom of the have been here millions of years.
bowl, the Salton Sea sparkles like Helen Burns, in her booklet
a giant sapphire in blazing sun. Salton Sea Story, reports that
there are many square miles of
The Salton Sea has been called marine fossil beds here and that
"Nature's Magnificent Mistake." some of them are 200 feet thick.
There is no doubt that it is
magnificent, but the mistake If we are determined to point
might be questioned. If Mother the finger at Mother Nature we
Nature erred in forming the might ask why she trapped some
present Sea, she is guilty of 200-million-acre-feet of ocean
many other fumbling episodes in water in Lake Cahuilla, then
the past. In prehistoric times permitted it to evaporate, leav-
the Salton Sink was a part of the ing approximately nine billion
Gulf of California and separated tons of salt which did not
from it on several occasions. evaporate! Another example of
When it was isolated from the Nature's muddled thinking is the
Gulf for the last time a large fact that she set up a row of
lake resulted (referred to as four small volcanoes along what
Lake Cahuilla) which may have is now the southwest shore of
continued to exist until as late the Sea, then proceeded to cover
as 300 or 400 years ago. them with water. They bubbled
and steamed in protest, forming
There is abundant evidence of mud pots that were conspicuous
the invasion of the Colorado in the area for years.
Desert by the ocean many years
before recorded history. It is Men with imagination tried to
pointed out in The Mysterious turn the Salton Sink situation to
West (a fascinating book by their advantage on several
Brad Williams and Choral Pepper) occasions. In 1884 the New
that the Salton Sink contains a Liverpool Salt Company started
vast oyster-shell bed formed production, utilizing the heavy

DESERT MAGAZINE
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The Liverpool Salt Works in 1903. Site is now under water.

deposits in the northwest part of So sudden was this onslaught that


the basin. This enterprise ended a string of freight cars was
abruptly in 1905 when water returned trapped on a siding next to the
to the Sink. Another commercial sprawling Liverpool Salt Works.
venture was born about 60 years ago The cars and the factory still
when it was discovered that enough remain at the bottom of the
carbon dioxide was obtainable from Salton Sea!
wells to support a dry-ice business
with the Los Angeles area serving Old-timers now living in the
as the market. It passed away valley tell harrowing tales of
quietly a short time later. homesteading the land, excavating
a canal 80 miles long to bring
In 1901 a heading was built on water from the Colorado River to
the Colorado River and a canal to water their crops. It was barely
convey water to Imperial Valley operating when the river went on
was constructed, entirely within a rampage, washed through the
Baja California, Mexico. This canal, swept over the valley,
canal still exists and is called destroyed farms and homes. It
Canal del Alamo. Heavy floods of took two years to stem the flood
the Colorado and Gila Rivers in and turn the river back to its
1905 and 1906 cut through the course, but it had left behind a
headworks, enlarged the conveyance large sea in the Salton Basin.
channel, and flooded Salton Sink.
DECEMBER 1983
The people rebuilt the canal, A series., of shifting sand dynes
extending it to water every part of cuts diagonally across the area,
the two valleys and , in record intersecting U.S. Highway 80
time, made it the largest irriga- near Yuma, Arizona.
tion system in the western hemis-
phere. They coped with heat and At the upper end of the sea
dust, sea and sand, salt and silt; the Coachella Valley, with citrus
they assumed staggering debts, groves and date palms, is a bit
adjusted crops to conditions never of the Old World in the New; at
experienced by anyone anywhere-- the lower end the Imperial Valley
and brought the land to a high extending to the Mexican border,
level of productivity. Today is a vast checkerboard of green
people from arid regions all over fields and feedlots that supply
the world come to the Salton Basin American tables with everything
to study techniques used. from lettuce and carrots to sugar
and quality beef.
Salton Sink is a natural
reservoir for storage of drainage It is a land for hard sweating
water from the gross Salton work as well as for leisure and
watershed, which comprises some play, the two so delicately
6500 square miles of Southern balanced that one is not complete
California desert land plus about without the other. The basin was
1000 square miles of Baja California formed in geologic eras millions
Mexico. of years ago; sea and agriculture
are new. They came into being
It is a land of sharp contrasts: less than eighty years ago, and
high and low, drab and colorful, grew up together-paving the way
new and old; it contains rich for the vacationland that was to
agricultural districts thriving follow.
on irrigation, and naked burning
deserts. People have come from As agriculture progressed
far and near to wonder as its unique through the years, transportation
features, and have remained to play. kept pace with it. Highways and
In the last decade the basin has Skyways followed railways,
become a winter vacationland without annihilating distance. This
the winter. turned up a new by-product-
vacationing. People were constant-
Summer, or near summer, abides ly on the lookout for new play-
in the basin the year round. grounds, new places to see.
Months of torrid days, with Many of them had thought the
temperatures that sometimes reach desert an expanse of burning
130 degrees, are followed by balmy sands to be shunned, but now they
winters with many days in the high became aware of its charms. The
70's and low 80's. Nights are Salton Sea was there, and they
always sheer magic. came to look it over.
The dark brown Chocolate They found a beautiful body of
Mountains on the east, scarred by water 42 miles long, 10 to 15
rainwashed gullies, attract few miles wide with a maximum depth
visitors; but thousands flock to of 50 feet. The fact that its
the purple Santa Rosa Mountains on surface was 234 feet below sea
the west whose perpendicular walls level was intriguing. They found
are mosaics of brightly-colored the heavily salted water soft and
quartzes, flints, granites and caressing to the touch, and un-
schists. believably warm.

Magazine
The sea may have sparkled like Water skiing and motor boating
a sapphire by day, but when the are the major attractions. The
sun went down it took on the high density of the sea, due to
luminosity of an opal that its salinity, makes it one of the
struck fire in the moonlight. fastest bodies of water in the
There was an eerie quality to world for speed boats. At the ...
its beauty. Also, the sea was 500 mile regatta held in October
a natural for water sports. records are consistently broken.

They found other attractions The annual Corvina Derby and


in the basin. They enjoyed the the famous Salton Sea Swim draw
health-giving sunshine, the many swimmers and spectators.
scenic and geological wonders, Swimming in the sea is an ex-
the fan palms (not related to perience to remember; one floats
the date palms), smoke trees like a cork.
with wispy blue flowers, Joshua
trees with arms like gorillas. Fishing is excellent. In addi-
They saw for themselves the land tion to perch and bass, the sea
that furnished them with melons, is stocked with corbina or corvina
grapes, cotton and vegetables. a prized game fish belonging to
They visited the people of the the croaker family, so named
basin -big people doing big because it makes a croaking sound,
things. Busy as the growers were it usually ranges from 4 to 8
they took time out to make every pounds in weight, but one wary
visitor a booster. warrior managed to evade anglers
for a long time and, when finally
Access to the area is easy caught, tipped the scales at 33
and people come in ever-in- pounds.
creasing numbers. Accommodations
range from deluxe in the towns The area is at its best for
to modest along the sea, and water sports from January through
are constantly expanding to take April and from September through
care of the influx of people. November. In summer the water
State Beach Park on the east temperature rises to 90 degrees,
shore has six miles of beach in winter drops to 50.
frontage with improved camp sites,
picnic areas, bathing beaches and Rock hounds and geologists
a boat ramp-at a nominal cost. find the basin a happy hunting
It is a recreational paradise ground. Huge animal tracks,
that becomes a trailer city in presumably those of prehistoric
winter. mastodons, are solidified and
preserved in rock around an
If space is all taken, as it ancient water hole. Vast coral
usually is on week ends, a ranger reefs, enormous beds of fossils,
will guide the traveler to un- shark's teeth, and oyster shells
improved areas along the sea have convinced geologists that
where he finds facilities ade- the basin was once the floor of
quate for comfort. the Gulf of California.
Much of the recreational The Salton Basin has come a
activity is concentrated at long way in a short time. No one
Salton City on the west shore. who has seen its wonders, taken
It is a busy place with people and part in its recreational facili-
trailers, marinas, beaches, a ties, and known its people will
luxurious yacht club and a ramp big ever forget it.
enough to launch ten boats at a time

DECEMBER 1983 10
THE PAINTED DESERT TO A NODULE
By GEORGE L. WILLIAMS By JOSLAH NATHAN NUTTER
Flagstaff, Arizona Long Beach, California
By DOROTHY ROGERS OLD Oh, you were just an ugly rock
With easel set, the artist stands beside the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Until the lapidary's art
Painted Desert, Revealed at last.the hidden beauty
Oh, crumbling ruins defying Time's great hand, Held within your stony heart!
VC'aiting foe the dawn's first rays to clarify its You stand and furnish me a gloomy trace
hues. • • •
Of vanished tribes who once lived on this land,
He thinks to paint a masterpiece of this chaos of You breathe the secrets of a vanished race DESERT GARDEN
color And warn me of the swiftness of Life's pace, By JERKY M. DARRELL
But falters at the shading of its purples and its But Time's erosion weakens your thick crust Alma, California
blues. And slowly you are blending with the dust. If you must upon the desert dwell.
As the sun mounts swiftly higher o'er this Take a hint from me.
land of ancient fire, If you cannot live without a garden, group
The hills and valleys lay benumbed in glacial Cacti at the base of a Joshua tree.
cold, DESERT MOONLIGHT Let there be cereus both low and tall,
The artist waits, bewildered at the swiftly chang- By JENNIE R. AULTMAN And gargoyle growing opuntias queer,
ing picture A stately staghorn, a bisnaga pink,
As the purples turn to yellows and the yellows Trinidad, Colorado And coryphantha dainty, dear.
turn to gold. Long shadows lie across the desert sand, Tall silvery cholla with its jumping spines
When the sun has reached its zenith and the The twilight deepens, chilly grows the air, Beside a low, bristling grayhead,
landscape lays a-shimmer, In silhouetted form the rocks rise bare An Opuntia ursina like a patch of snow,
And the fantasy of color fades into a tawny-grey, And ghastly as if chiseled, and some hand With a parishi beside for a stain of red.
Th;n the mirage works its magic. Tiny mound Had placed them there between the sky and Group engelmannis with their purple bloom,
becomes a mountain. land; About barrels big and full and round,
And a yawning chasm opens where the level The desert sun has disappeared, a glare Now scatter about your spiney plants.
valley lay. Still lingers in the sky as if to share Desert rocks of yellow, green and brown.
The cooling atmosphere near where they stand. And when summer's strident heat
Swiftly evening shadows lengthen; steal across Reluctantly the sun withdraws her light,
, this lonely land, Beats upon the waterless land,
And the humbled artist, sleeping, dreams no And darkness closes down upon the scene, Everything will shrivel up,
more of being great. While stillness reigns as desert birds take flight; But your gallant spiney band.
Thru the desert's revelation he has learned his Then suddenly the moon with silver sheen
Leaps the horizon, lo! the desert night So if you must upon the desert dwell,
limitation: Take this hint from me.
God alone achieves the perfect; man can only With trailing robes comes forth, a beauteous
queen. If you cannot live without a garden, group
imitate. Octi around a Joshua tree.

In the history of the Southwest in the column on the right, select the one which best fits the de-
UUfifiL » few names stand out above
others because of some special
scription in the center column, and write it in the blank space.
For instance, every one who has read anything about the South-
part played in the exploration and conquest of the desert west knows Jacob Hamblin was not a Paiute Indian chief. So,
country. Some of them were missionaries, others were fighters, you rearrange them correctly. A score of from 12 to 15 is good,
Some were Mountain men, others were Indian chiefs and a from 16 to 18 is excellent, and if you do better than that you
few were dreamers. Each of them demonstrated a, high degree belong at the head of the history class,
of skill and courage in his chosen field. From the list of names Answers are on page 31.
He was a Paiute Indian chief. Jacob Hamblin
He rounded up the Navajo. . William Lewis Manly
He was governor of New Mexico. John Wetherill
His dream led to the reclamation of Imperial Valley. Edward F. Beale
3.. He was a leader of the Apaches. Palma
6_ He crossed Death Valley in '49. Juan Bautista de Anza
He led the Mormons to Utah. Kit Carson
He was a famous Mountain Man. Adolph Bandelier

9- He was with Kearny's Army of the West ' Major J. W. Powell


10- He was the first to navigate the Grand Canyon. Bill Williams
11- He was a leader of the Navajo. Winnemucca

12.. He brought the first cimel caravan across the de<crt. Lieut. Joseph C Ives

13- He led the first white part)- to Rainbow bridge. Lew Wallace
He wrote Wonders of the Colorado Desert, Charles R. Rock wood

15- He was a friendly chief of the Yuma Indians. Geronimo

16- He brought the first white colonists to California. Brigham Young


He found the lower Colorado river navigable. Georcs Wharton James
He was a Mormon missionary. Father Kino

19- He founded missions in Pimeria Alta. W. H. Emory

20- He was a famous archeologist. Chee Dodge

11 THE DESERT MAGAZINE


By ARTHUR WOODWARD poof! What were wages when a man
At the height of Goldfield's could high-grade several hundred dol-
HOWLING WIND whipped boom, nearly a half century lars a day if he was smart?
the sand around the base of ago, miners working for lour or
Columbia Mountain, about 20 At first development was slow. Some
five dollars a day sometimss of the early speculators grew restless.
miles south, of the newly established went off shift with a s much a s
camp of Tonopah. Nevada, in the fall Veins seemed to pinch out and were
S50 •worth of rich ore concealed lost. Gold hungry desert rats, failing
of 1903. Tne wind devils tore at the in pockets in their clothing.
lone tent of Harry C. Stimler, the to pick up chunks of pure gold, packed
Kigh-graders, they were cailai, up their outfits and drifted away.
young 22-year-old half breed Chero- and before the owners put a
kee prospector, destined to be known A few of the faithful remained and
stop to the practice it is esti- on October 20, 1903, a group of 17
as '"the father of Goldfield," although mated that millions of dollars
at that moment he felt little like a man men gathered on the main street of the
worth of "picture rock" was tiny tented camp, and perched upon a
of destiny. stolen in this manner. The in-
However, when t h e h u r r i c a n e , pile of lumber, discussed the organiza-
formation in this amazing story tion of a regular mining district.
known to the desert dwellers of that was taken from the records of
region as a "Nevada zephyr.'" had sub- the old mining camp. Only these few really saw the neces-
sided and Stimler was able to see the sity of such an organization. They had
landscape around h:rn in the clear the faith necessary to bring about the
light of an autumn sun he discovered Butler and a man named Kendall.. creation of a bonanza camp. Among
that he had pitched his camp almost Now he had struck it rich. All he those present were Doc OTooie.
on the site of a very rich ledge of ore. needed was capital to develop the Johnny Jones. Tom Ramsey, Bert
This he located and in honor of the area. Higginson, Harry C. Stimler, Billy
elements he called his find the "Sand- Marsh, Al D. Meyers, Charles Taylor,
storm." Shortly afterward he staked Naturally, as the mines were dis-
Ole Eliott, Al McClelland. Claude M.
out another claim which he called the covered and developed, they attracted Smith, Bob Dunn, Doc White Wolf,
"January." the attention of hardrock miners from
far off Idaho and Montana. They Jim Gleason, Tom D. Murphy.
Out of these two initial claims Gold- swarmed in from Arizona. Colorado A recorder of claims was needed.
field, "Queen of the Camps," was and Utah. The news that most of the
born and a lusty queen she was, al- discoveries were picture rock or jew-
most from the first day of her birth. elry rock brought in fortune-hungry
Tonopah had been discovered in the lessees by the score, each one hoping
summer of 1900 by Jim Butler and to land a rich mine and skim off the
its mines already were producing much golden cream. Miners who were will-
wealth. Stimler had been in the rush ing to work for a paltry S4 to 55 a
at Tonopah but had missed his golden day just to be allowed inside the mines,
opportunity in that area. Having in- came by the hundreds. Here was the
curred debts amounting to about $15,- opportunity of a life time. Wages,
000 he had been grubstaked by Jim

Goldfield's Columbia Avenue in


1909. With the exception oj the
$200 thousand Goldfield hotel on
the right, all these buildings were
destroyed by a fire which later
swept the town.

:vSS£ 1 ^ ^ ,it^iL. ^lt~::-:i^jg&zz^£x*&3


DECEMBER 1983
12
today contain ore in paying quantities
which was left behind by the get-rich-
quick lessees of 45 years ago.
The monthly pay roll in Goldfield
in 1908 was around $500,000 but this
was just chicken feed compared to the
golden harvest of rich picture rock
carted out each day by the high-grad-
ers who worked as laborers in the
mines for a mere $4 to $5 a day.
In the beginning, the lessees paid
little attention to the practice of high-
grading but it dawned upon them that
even as they were milking the veins
of their precious contents to the detri-
ment of the owners, so were they being
milked of countless thousands of dol-
lars by the miners. In fact, the few
dollars in wages -paid to the workers
were a pittance compared to the sums
being realized through the sale of il-
licit gold.
Labor troubles developed. One cause
Changing room in one of the mines, where miners were required to change was the issuance of scrip in lieu of
clothing after coming from the shaft. Despite the protests of the miners, cash, when the banks of Goldfield suf-
these rooms were installed to stop the high-grading of rich ore. fered a temporary shortage of cur-
rency. Big Bill Haywood, known as
the "Big Fellow," organizer for the
"Kid," said one of the group ad- saloon keepers, adventurous women Industrial Workers of the World, also
dressing Smith, the youngest of the and the usual quota of characters. And, called the Wobblies, moved into Gold-
party, "you're gonna be official claim as I remarked previously, the mines field to direct strike tactics and keep
recorder. Speak up, what shall we became the targets for high-graders. the miners in a constant state of agi-
call this camp?" By the time Goldfield was four vears tation. Then the companies put in
Stimler, half jestingly, had named old it had a population of 15,000 in- changing rooms where the miners were
the place "Grandp.ah" (big spring) in habitants and it was still growing. The compelled to change clothes as they
contrast to Tonapah, an Indian name mines had produced the fantastic sum went in and out of the mines. This
for "little spring," but this name had of 545,000,000 in gold and in the two innovation brought forth a storm of
been voted down. banner years. 1906 and 1907, $37.- protest. It interfered with the highly
Smith was flat broke and bashful. 000.000 were taken out of the depths lucrative business of high-grading. It
"Heck, fellers," he said, scuffing at of the desert. had been customary for miners work-
the ground with his foot, "I don't No wonder J. W. Scott, a local poet, ing in the stopes that produced the
know anything about recording. I in his poem Goldfield, proclaimed her: richest ore to wear specially made
can't take such a job." shirts and trousers. Stout canvas pock-
"Hell you can't. You can read and Splendid, magnificent, Queen of the ets in the legs of the trousers and
write can't you? We'll tell you what Camps, sewed to the underside of the back of
to do. You're elected." Mistress of countless Aladdin's lamps. the shirt were loaded each day with
"'Okay, if that's the way you feel Deity worshipped by kings and tramps. choice lumps of picture rock contain-
about it. I need some money so I'll The lure she is of tlie West. ing small fortunes in free sold.
take the job. My full name is Claude Among the great mines of the camp The first case of high-izrading to be
M. Smith and my first job is to call at the time were the Mohawk. Jumbo. prosecuted had been that of John
the name of this camp Goldfields." Red Top. Combination. Florence. Con- Sheridan who was arrested in 1904 for
"Goldfields she is. boys." said Al solidated. Combination Fraction. Great allegedly stealing picture rock from
Meyers, he of the sturdy frame with Bend and Daisy. The ore from some the Combination. He was tried in the
hands as big as hams and a heart of of these mines was unbelievably rich, District Court at Hawthorne and was
the same size. some of it assavinc as high as S20.000 acquitted. In 1907 the mine owners
a ton and in 190S a vein of consider- began cracking down on the high-
Later the "s" was dropped and the graders. On the night of November 6.
town was known simply as Goldfield. able size produced ore worth S76.000
a ton. young R. W. Savior was arrested near
Smith set about the task of record- In general the original discoverers the Combination mill at midnight. He
ing notices and when he received a fee either sold their claims outright or had a sack of high grade ore. believed
he stuck it in his pocket. He hoped in leased them to men who had enouch to have been stolen from the Combina-
this way to collect enough money to read}' capital to develop the prooerties tion. When first accosted Savior
pull stakes and get away from the place into paving mines. Naturally, with the dropped the sack and fled. Later, he
which in his heart he considered a gold fairly bubblins out of the auartz. attempted to sneak back and recover
dead camp. the lessors turned their attention to his loot, and waiting officers arrested
Then the Mohawk, one of the Gold- skimming the golden cream from the him.
field mines, produced riches beyond mines. If picture rock, the ore which T. J. Smith was another miner ac-
belief and the boom was on in earnest. showed seams of pure gold, did not cused of high-grading. He was accused
Goldfield became a mecca for pro- show enough color to the naked eye, of having received stolen ore from
moters over night. With the capitalists it was bv-passed in favor of a richer miners who had taken it from the
came the horde of sharpers, gamblers, deposit, hence many of the older mines Little Florence mine. An amusing

13 DESERT MAGAZINE
r
^'-^;-^f^JVvViii*;L:'i^;.i \.-v«.'',"i-^'gl

Nevada prospector in the days when new gold strikes were


being made every jew months.

incident developed at Smith's trial, fine the term "glom," Inman replied: u t y . I t appeared that he had
One of the arresting officers, Deputy "Glomming is high-grading and high- "glommed" that particular piece for
Sheriff BUI Inman, was called to the grading is glomming." h i s Q w nc o I l e c t i o n a n d c o u l d n - t s e e
stand to testify. He produced a hand- Thereupon his honor ordered the , , . ,
t h e h u m o r o f ihe
some specimen of picture ore which choice bit of jewelry rock placed in situation when Judge
he stated quite candidly he had evidence and marked officially as an Hubbard calmly kept it as evidence,
"glommed" at the scene of the raid, exhibit. This legal procedure brought The amount of gold involved in this
When requested by the judge to de- forth a storm of protest from the dep- case was $536.50. Smith was acquitted
Goldjield in 1908. Only a jew of these buildings remain standing today, v

^^St£^tim^i£^
DECEMBER 1983 14
November 23, 1907, after the jury derground watchmen, has ordered a Deputy John Ramsey faced one of
had deliberated 15 hours. strike when effective change rooms the men, J. Johnson, with a bob-tailed
Of all the assaying firms in Gold- were placed upon the properties, has shotgun and demanded that he throw
field at that time, it was estimated that protested against every effort to pre- up his hands. Johnson was lodged in
at least 90 percent of them were deal- vent this practice, and in every way jail and later released on S500 cash
ing illicitly in high-grade ore. encouraged the ore thieves and bail. He promptly skipped out.
In a statement concerning the prev- thwarted the efforts of the mine own- Another raid was made on the
alence of high-grading, the Mine Own- ers to detect or punish them." premises of an assayer at 618 Fifth
er's Association issued a statement Late in 1907 the losses through Avenue North, on the evening of De-
December 9, 1907, blasting the miners' high-grading had become so serious cember 17, 1907. Constable Inman
union for condoning the practice: that the owners called upon the law- (the same man who had glommed the
"The union has encouraged, pro- enforcement officers in the camp to high grade specimen) and his friend
tected and assisted its members in put an end to the thefts. On Decem- E. Gardner, allegedly caught the as-
stealing ore from the mines of the ber 10 five men, all members of the sayer at work reducing some stolen
district. The ores of Goldfield are Western Federation of Miners, were ore. This establishment had all of the
very high grade and in all the mines arrested at gun point on the 300-foot earmarks of a crooked joint. There
are millions of dollars worth of ore level of the Rogers Syndicate lease was an elaborate electric bell system
running in value from $2 to $20 per and taken to jail. When caught .three wired to give notice of the approach
pound. This ore has been stolen in a of these men had on their persons 100 of strangers and a peep hole in the
way almost beyond belief. During the pounds of choice specimens valued at door which opened from the inside.
six months ending December 31, 1906, S20 a pound. All of the illicit operations were con-
there was stolen from the Mohawk A few hours later three men were ducted at night. The assayer was
mine alone not less than $1,000,000 observed entering the Rosebud shaft reputedly an old hand at the game
and during the past six months there of an adjoining lease after secreting and it was said he had been arrested
has been taken from the Little Flor- their tools in the Little Florence mine. in Goldfield twice before for the pur-
ence lease not less than $2,000 a day. All these mines had connecting under- chase of stolen ore. His place was
The union has refused to permit un- ground tunnels. completely equipped with electrical
crusher plant, furnace and cyanide
tanks.
So it went, raid after raid upon the
assayers, and arrest upon arrest of the
high-graders themselves. Hundreds of
pounds of picture rock were confis-
cated but thousands of pounds escaped
the vigilance of the guards. Some of
the ore was shipped out of the state.
Three trunks, filled with high grade
ore valued at $4000 and stolen from
the Little Florence lease, were found
in Salt Lake City. It was returned to
the company offices in Goldfield.
George . Richardson, another assayer
was arrested for receiving stolen ore.
He too was said to have been in the
business before, having previously been
arrested in Pueblo, Colorado, with
$16,000 worth of fine specimens from
the Mohawk mine of Goldfield in his
possession.
Today Goldfield—almost, but not
quite a ghost town — dreams in the
shadow of Columbia Mountain. Some
of the mines are again active and the
townspeople, those who have stuck to
the old camp like the faithful who laid
out the camp in 1903. feel certain that
when the price of eold eoes up. Gold-
field, like the fabled Phoenix of old,
will arise from its ashes and once again
become Queen of the Camps.
"Maybe ya shoulda took a look at this five acres before ya bought it . . .'

DESERT MAGAZINE
15
By A. La VIELLE LAWBAUGH
Map by Norton Allen
*Y INTEREST in the ancient
Indian ceremonial grounds in
California's Black Mountain
began early in 1949 when I was pres-
. enF at a meeting in Los Angeles spon-
sored by the Archeological Survey
Group of the Los Angeles County
This a r t i c l e was o r i g i n a l l y w r i t t e n i n 1950 Museum. It was stated that prehis-
toric ruins probably would be found
It was the time of the annual time was guaranteed for the in this region.
truce. All the nations were return home. Preparation for Following this meeting a little group
selecting their emissaries for the ceremonial was vested in of us made a reconnaissance trip into
the journey to Black Mountain. those nations adjacent to the the area. Driving from Los Angeles
No naticn claimed ths moun- sacred mountain. All who we left the black top highway at Gar-
tain although it lay almost di- came from afar provided their lock and took the steep, tortuous can-
rectly between the Chemehuevi own food and in some years, yon road into the Apache Mine. Find-
and the Panamint Nations. It water. In dry periods the water ing the trail blocked by an impassable
was a sacred place to the an- which the crater usually con- sand wash, we stopped at the nearby
cients. No man bore arms tained was non-existent. The home of Mrs. Jane McDonald. Mrs.
against a neighbor during the Shoshone, the Ute and Gosiute Birdie Hungerford, caretaker at the
long journey to and from the came from as far as the Great mine and who lived nearby, was with
mountain. He was sale from Salt Lake region; the Mojave, Mrs. McDonald. They extended to us
harm even though the way led the Eamia and the Cocopah a courteous welcome and very gener-
him through the territory of from the Colorado Rivsr valley. ously gave us much information about
several enemy nations. A per- the area.
—This is the legend of Black Three weeks later, on our second
iod of one moon was recog- Mountain as told by an aged
nized at the same season each attempt to scale Black Mountain, my
Indian to a miner whom he wife Neva and I drove in through Last
year for the trek. After the had befriended in the El
secret ceremonies which were Chance Canyon. Where this canyon
Paso Mountains of Califor- swings abruptly eastward there are
held atop the mountain, a like nia. colorful clays and ash materials laid
down in its eroded walls which were
This pyramid-shaped mound of basalt rocks was sur- The author on the peak of Black Mountain. Indians no
rounded by six well-defined ringed enclosures—prob- longer come here and white visitors seldom scale this
ably made for ceremonial purposes. remote desert mountain.

I
SIX RINGED ENCLOSURES
ATOP PYRAMID BLACK MTN.
,o_ ^SUMMIT, EL.5259

"\C STEEP
^DECLIVITY

IMPASSABLE
BLACK MTN SANDY WASH
MINING CO.
SEISMOTITE MINE

MESQUITE CANYON
ROAD

\ . CUDAHY MINING %MESQUITE


*vi% CAMP N CANYON

ALTDALE' •
* OLD INDIAN CAMP SITE
0 HOUSE RINGS
• •••'. "3J5
' • ' •:#$ fff PETROGLYPHS
^KOEHN-. •• DRY LAKE
RED ROCK y MILEAGE CHECK POINTS
TAVERN * La Vielle It -43

strongly accented by the bright morn- Geology tells us that this petrified Over the north rim of Last Chance
ing sun. These materials were first forest had its setting in the upper Mio- Canyon, near the Holly Cleanser Mine,
deposited layer upon layer as volcanic cene or lower Pliocene, some 2,000,- . there is a beautiful little grove of
ash. The decomposition of the ash 000 years ago,- {Desert, December Joshua Trees.
which released silica for petrification 1943). The ground surface at that Our first stop for information was
converted the ash into a claylike rock time, upon which the fauna flourished at Burro Schmidt's place. Burro is a
called bentonite. When pure, benton- and from which the flora sprang, is veteran miner who has lived in Last
ite is nearly white but in the Black now termed the Rosamond formation. Chance Canyon for many years. He
Mountain vicinity it is stained all Then came the violent era of volcan- had never climbed Black Mountain
shades of red, orange, blue, yellow oes and uplifting of mountain ranges. and so could not help us much. We
and brown by iron minerals which also Layers of volcanic ash together with continued along the road to the Black
had their sources in the volcanic ash. vesicular and compact basalt covered Mountain Mining Company's camp.
Temperature variations at the time of the Rosamond. The massive red tuff- Delia Gerbracht. who lives there and
deposition also played a part in the breccia exposed at Red Rock Canyon is vice-president of the Kern County
color scheme. dramatically displays some of these Chapter of the Western Mining Coun-
The Old Dutch Cleanser seismotite layers of volcanic ash. The fine green- cil, received us with open hospitality.
mine in the north fork is visible from ish-gray tuff which marks the Rosa- That afternoon she took us on a con-
the trail up the east fork. The tram- mond has yielded fossil remains in- ducted circle tour around the base of
way up the steep slope to the bed of cluding the three-toed horse and Black Mountain. While we drove
pure white pumice near the top of the hornless rhinoceri. Some of these fos- along she told us of the early mines,
high wall hasn't been used for some sil finds were made in the petrified and of contemporary mining. She
time. Only a caretaker lives at the forest area. showed us old Indian camp sites,
little cluster of company buildings. The trail up the east fork is soft in many petroglyphs. bedrock mortars
There are no indications that the mine some places. A deserted shack and and quarries. Both she and her father
will be reopened. Up the north fork, some new mining equipment being in- were deeply interested in archeology.
too, are the Chocolate Sundae Peaks stalled on a canyon slope caught our As we rounded the eastern flank "of
(our own name for two beautifully attention. Greasewood and sagebrush the mountain our guide pointed out
shaped and colored formations) and are the predominate plants in the east the general location of some caves high
a petrified forest. fork. There are a few scattered vuccas. up on the slope from which had been

DESERT MAGAZINE 17
cups for the device are still there, lying
at the base of the stand. It seemed
that every loose particle in the Owens
WILD FLOWERS Valley to the north had been whipped
of into a seething caldron which was
BLACK MOUNTAIN spilling over Black Mountain. A
column of yellow color rose perpen-
dicularly from Randsburg which was
distinguishable through the haze by
reflection of the sun on metal roofs.
To the southwest, across the El Pasos,
a strong wind was furiously sweeping
Koehn Dry Lake, raising an angry
cloud of tawny dust.
The mountain proper is a hog-back
extending generally east to west with
four outstanding humps along its run.
Our way now was west, along the top
of the mountain. Shortly after leaving
the markers we came upon an old
SCARLET PAINTBRUSH Indian campsite. Many chips were in
Cast Ilieja miniata Dougi. WILD BUCKWHEAT evidence; a scraper was found. In a
Eriogonum fosciculatum Benth
small, sheltered cut, on the north slope,
we came upon a small patch of mari-
BUTTERFLY-MARIPOSA posa lilies which had survived the ele-
BLUE LARKSPUR
Delphinium parr/i Groy Catochortus venustus Dougl. ments and the onslaughts of sheep
' ' La Vitlle herds. They were a darker shade
lg-49
than Chinese red. This exotic wild
flower seemed out of place on rugged
taken some elaborately clothed Ka- the existence of a regular campsite. Black Mountain. The pretty name of
chinas. The cloth material was re- The entire surface ol Black Moun- mariposa is the Spanish for butterfly.
ported to have been flax. tain is composed of a layer of olivine Picture taking was almost impossi-
Delia is a wild flower enthusiast. basalt, laid down when the eruptions ble. I used speeds of l/200th second
She told us how beautiful her country occurred. Decomposition of the basalt and even then couldn't always hold
had been each spring until seven years and wind transported particles have the camera still enough. Further along
ago when the first sheep were driven covered over much of the rough we found jasper and moss agate chips
through. The bajada which extends jumbled blocks of basalt. All over the and then the first real ruins. They
from her place up to the base of Black mountain we saw sprawling masses of were on the wind-swept northern flank
Mountain was a sea of deep vivid red angular, dark brown boulders. It's al- of the mountain, set in a wild jumble
each May; a magic carpet of mari- most as though a giant had strewn of huge basalt blocks. The prehistoric
posas. The sheep not only ate the wild gigantic pebbles at will on the slopes, builders had taken advantage of nat-
flowers but also damaged the root and or in other places carefully piled them ural hollows formed when the boulders
bulb beds with their sharp hooves. up in pyramid-shaped heaps. Canyon came to rest—evened them out into
Other wild flowers which annually erosion has exposed the underlying round enclosures and carefully walled
made their appearance were scarlet Rosamond, the upper surface of which them in. An entrance was left in the
paintbrush, forget-me-nots, blue bro- has been burned red. wall which averaged waist high. A
diaea, purple onion, tansy phacelia, The crater, 50 feet deep and 350 roof structure was probably formed of
blue bonnets, dwarf lupine, blue lark- feet in diameter, was southwest of the small limbs taken from trees growing
spur, wild buckwheat and apricot mal- summit. Mountain clover, bunch grass, at the base of the mountain and closed
low. wild buckwheat and blue larkspur over with tules from the water's edge
contrasted with the brown and black in the crater. The floors of these ruins
That night we camped on the ba- boulders scattered at random about were strewn with debris.
jada at the base of Black Mountain. the crater. A common plant which
The velocity of the wind increased as We were near the pyramid-shaped
occurred from the floor of Last Chance peak at the west end of Black Moun-
the sun went down and before bed- Canyon to the summit of Black Moun-
time we abandoned the idea of sleep- tain. From down below and from
tain was the desert trumpet, a member almost any approach it gives the ap-
ing on our cots. We spent the night in of the buckwheat family. Other names pearance of a very regularly shaped
the car, as we have done before, when given me by local residents for this pyramid. From a closer view it is
there was wind or rain. During the curious plant are bottle weed and merely a huge pile of basalt blocks.
night the wind changed, and rocked squaw cabbage. Rotting debris and What earth Is there has been trans-
the car so violently I started the motor other signs indicated that water had ported to the interstices of the angu-
and swung the car around to keep it stood in the crater at the southwest lar rocks by the wind. Many of the
headed into the storm. side where rules appeared to have boulders were covered with a yellow-
Daybreak brought no slackening in grown. Within our own time, water ish red brown lichen. This colorful
the force of the gale. We ate a cold has been reported in the crater. parasite actually eats the rock upon
breakfast in the car, then started the From the crater we trudged on up which it lives. Through the acids
climb to the summit of Black Moun- to the peak of Black Mountain at an which they secrete, lichens attack even
tain. We carried only camera equip- elevation of 5259 feet. Two markers the hardest of rocks. The rock be-
ment, lunch, canteen and field glasses. are set in concrete near a cairn of neath the lichen is easily scraped away
There was no trail up the mountain rocks. A wooden tower which for- to a slight depth.
side. In a deep saddle we found flint merly served as a stand for an ane- The top of the pyramid was crowned
chips but no other evidence to support mometer is slowly going to ruin. The with six well-defined ringed enclosures,
18 • • DESERT MAGAZINE
Two o/ f/i£ ceremonial rings on the shelf at the base of the pyramid-shaped cone
of basalt rocks. A metate was found at the entrance to one of these enclosures.

the floors of which were covered with Perhaps in wet seasons temporary North Dakota; pipestone quarried in
bunch grass. They bore no evidence springs flowed or the pools were Minnesota was traded over the plains
of having been living quarters. Their formed in natural depressions. area and as far south as Georgia; ob-
exposed location would indicate an- In the late afternoon as we made sidian gathered in Yellowstone Park
other use. If the old ceremonial legend our way down the slopes we met a was traded into Ohio; copper, mined
be true, they may have played an im- small king snake. When young these in the Lake Superior region, found its
portant part in the annual pilgrimage reptiles resemble the venomous coral way into the Southern states; and
to the mountain. They could have snake in all but color. But the king worked turquoise from New Mexico
been look-out posts built to offer a snake not only is harmless but is gen- has been found in Mississippi mounds."
degree of protection from the violent -erally regarded as a friend of man. and American Indian tribes were fre-
winds. we let it go or. its way. quently at war with one another, much
Later. Neva and I came to a rough For amateur archeologists it had as the clans of old Scotland. Unlike
terrace of boulders. At its base was a been a day of many interesting dis- the Scotch clans who joined forces to
level shelf of land upon which were coveries. We can only guess as to why fight the English, the North American
two circular house rings. This village the prehistoric Indians of the Mojave Indians never united to throw back
site was almost directly under the pyra- Desert and beyond came to this arid the early European settlers. Quite the
mid and extended eastward for about mountain—but we had found plenty contrary, they sided at times with the
one quarter of a mile. We rested in of evidence that they did come here— whites in attacking neighboring tribes.
the largest of the two rings and ate our and we would like to believe that their But while the tribesmen warred on
lunch. There was a metate at the en- mission, as explained by the Indian each other. Black Mountain remained
trance to the largest enclosure. The legend, was one of peace. For those a place of peace where tribal feuds
rock comprising the crude wall was who may find it hard to believe the were forgotten and the Indians of
stacked about 30 inches high. The • legendary long trek to Black Moun- many nations came to commune with
upper wall and roof covering may tian, it may be well to quote some their gods.
have been constructed from tules and observations by Edwin F. Walker In these days when humans are still
grass. We found many flint chips in which are based on authentic archeo- at war, it is good to know that there
the immediate area but no finished logical discoveries: "There were many does exist, out on the Mojave Desen,
implements. P r o c e e d i n g e a s t w a r d trails north and south, east and west, a shrine where peace-loving people
across the campsite we encountered along which traveled Indian traders, still may go and perhaps learn some-
more house rings,, some petroglyphs who were welcome even among war- thing about those primitive tribesmen
and metates. Neva found an arrow- ring tribes. Shells from the Gulf of whose religion was so important to
head near the second group of house Mexico were traded as far away as them that they would declare an an-
rings. There were evidences all along Wisconsin, and abalone from the Pa- nual armistice for purposes of wor-
here of places where water had stood. cific coast was known to tribes of ship.

DECEMBER 1983
Milestones, Magic, Myths, and Miscellaneous of the Great American Desert

DEVIL'S HOLE PUPFISH TO GET HOME SOLAR ONE


ASH MEADOWS, NEVADA - THE TINY DEVIL'S DAGGETT, CALIFORNIA - THE FIRST LARGE
HOLE PUPFISH, LAST SURVIVORS OF A SCALE SOLAR ELECTRICAL PLANT, SOLAR ONE,
PREHISTORIC SPECIES, MAY GET A PERMA- IS NEARING OPERATIONAL COMPLETION. IT
NENT PRESERVE UNDER A NEW DEAL FOR STILL IS IN ITS TEST PHASE, BUT IS
13,000 ACRES OF ARID NEVADA DESERT. EXPECTED TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
OWNERS OF THE ASH MEADOWS LAND HAVE THE $143 MILLION DOLLAR PLANT CONCEN-
AGREED TO SELL FOR $5,5 MILLION TO TRATES SUN ENERGY WITH THE HELP OF loio
A CONSERVATIONIST GROUP SEEKING A HELIOSTATS (MIRRORS) THAT FOCUS REFLECT-
PRESERVE FOR THE PUPFISH, CAUGHT UP ED SUNRAYS ONTO A BOILER ATOP A 5JU
IN A LEGAL FIGHT THAT WENT TO THE FOOT TALL TOWER. WATER INSIDE THE
BOILER IS HEATED TO ALMOST 1,000 DEGREES,
U.S. SUPREME COURT IN 1976. CREATING STEAM. THE STEAM THEN POWERS
THE PLAN ALSO CALLS FOR A $1 MILLION, A TURBINE ELECTRICAL GENERATOR. IHE
FIVE-YEAR LOAN AT A LOW 5 PERCENT CAPACITY IS 10 MEGAWATTS OF POWER.
INTEREST RATE TO PREFERRED EQUITIES THERE IS A VISITOR CENTER FOR INTERESTED
WHICH ORIGINALLY BOUGHT THE LAND TO PARTIES. A SIMILAR OPERATION IS LOCATED
DEVELOP IT, COMPANY PRESIDENT IN HESPERIA.
CLARK WSONG SAID,
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IS A PRIVATE, DESERT AREA TO EXPORT WATER
NON-PROFIT GROUP WHICH HOPES TO GET
THE PROPERTY AND TURN IT OVER TO SNOW CREEK, CALIFORNIA - A BOTTLING
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. OPERATION IS PLANNED ON 12 ACRES NEAR
THIS FORMER TOWN. NON-CARBONATED WATER
D & RGW RR REOPENED WILL BE EXTRADED FROM DEPTHS AS DEEP AS
1000 FEET THROUGH STAINLESS STEEL PIPES
AND BOTTLED DIRECTLY INTO SPECIAL PLASTIC
THISTLE - UTAH - A MAJOR EAST-WEST BOTTLES WITHOUT THE WATER EVER CONTACT-
DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN RAILROAD ING THE AIR. THE WATER WILL BE SOLD AS
LINE WAS REOPENED AROUND A 3 MILE A MINERAL WATER DRINK,
LONG RESERVOIR AND MUD SLIDE RECENTLY,
A NEW TUNNEL WAS CONSTRUCTED ABOVE
THE SLIDE. RAILROAD OFFICIALS HAVE NOT
DECIDED WHETHER OR NOT TO REPAIR A
LINE RUNNING THROUGH SOUTHERN UTAH.
THE AREA WAS HARD HIT BY THE RECORD
SNOW AND SPRING MELT.

20 DECEMBER 1983
Milestones, Magic, Myths, and Miscellaneous of the Great American Desert

CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR STILL OPERATING MONO LAKE IN DISPUTE


RENO-NEVADA-/VITRACK IS STILL OFFERING LEE VINING, CALIFORNIA - No ACCORD HAS
TRAIN RIDERS THE CHANCE TO RIDE FROM BEEN REACHED REGARDING THE WATER IN
OAKLAND TO RENO, ONCE A DAY INEACH MONO LAKE. LOS ANGELES USES ITS WATER
DIRECTION THE TRAIN RETRACES THE PATHS FOR DOMESTIC PURPOSES. THE LAKE COVERS
OF HISTORY. LEAVING RENO, THE TRAIN 60 SQUARE MILES, HAS NO NATURAL OUTLET,
CLIMBS UP THE TRUCKEE RLVER CANYON TO AND, DUE TO A DECREASING VOLUME OF WATER
A HIGH POINT OF 7033 FEET AT NORDEN. HAS BECOME 2% TIMES AS SALTY AS THE
CURRENTLY, IT CROSSES A WHITE WINTER PACIFIC OCEAN,
WONDERLAND, THIS IS WHERE 47 PEOPLE
PERISHED IN OCTOBER 1845 WITH THE ILL YET IT CONTAINS A TEEMING POPULATION OF
FATED DONNER PARTY. THE ROUTE THEN A RARE BRINE SHRIMP, WHICH SUPPORTS A
GOES DOWN THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE LARGE BIRD POPULATION. THE LAKE IS THE
SIERRA NEVADA, ACROSS THE FERTILE MAIN NESTING AREA OF THE CALIFORNIA BULL
SACRAMENTO VALLEY, ALONG THE SACRA- AND A RESTING PLACE FOR SOME 7 0 OTHER
MENTO RIVER AND INTO OAKLAND, TOR SPECIES OF- BIRDS WHO STOP THERE ON THEIR
INFORMATION, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ANNUAL MIGRATIONS. THE ISLANDS USED FOR
/WRACK OFFICE. NESTING ARE IN DANGER OF BECOMING ACCESS-
ABLE BY LAND DUE TO THE DRYING OF THE
LAKE.- IF-THAT HAPPENS, ANIMALS SUCH AS
HISTORIC MAP EXHIBIT COYOTES AND WOLVES CAN WALK OUT TO THE
ISLANDS AND FEED UPON THE NESTING GULLS.
SANTA FE, NEW FEXICO-CURRENTLY ON
DISPLAY THROUGH JANUARY 29, 1984 IS Los ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER
AN EXHIBIT OF 3 5 HISTORIC MAPS OF AND OTHER PARTIES ARE ATTEMPTING TO
THE SOUTHWEST. THEY WERE MADE BETWEEN ARRIVE AT A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.
1540 AND 1803, SOME SHOW CALIFORNIA
AS AN ISLAND. EXHIBIT IS AT THE FINE
ARTS MUSEUM ON PALACE AVENUE, OPEN PALM SPRINGS TO HOST RACE
9 TO 5 DAILY EXCEPT SUNDAY AND
MONDAY. PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA - HAS BEEN
SELECTED FOR-A HELIUM - FILLED BALLOON
RACE. THE-RACE, THE LARGEST I N THE WORLD,
BURROS OUT - SHEEP IN is TO BE HELD MAY 5, 1984 AT RUTH HARDY
PARK. ABOUTZO BALLOONISTS ARE EXPECTED
CHINA LAKE, CALIFORNIA - NAVY OWNED TO COMPETE.
LANDS NEAR THIS HIGH DESERT CITY WERE
RECENTLY CLEARED OF FERAL BURROS.
THEN TWENTY-FIVE BYHORN SHEEP, 8
RAMS AND 1 7 EWES, WERE RELEASED. IHE
SHEEP PREVIOUSLY INHABITED THE AREA
BUT DISAPPEARED. THE BURROS WERE
BLAMED FOR THE DISAPPEARANCE.

THE DESERT MAGAZINE 21


Kern's sketch of the Yampai Indians who ambushed Leroux as he was scouting for the
Sitgreaves party in northern Arizona.

Antoine Leroux is one of the "forgotten men" of western American history.


over rocky ledges and around large bould-
As trapper, scout, guide and Indian fighter, he was no less esteemed in
ers he had almost reached its summit when
his day than his brilliant contemporary. Kit Carson. Unfortunately, there
he heard the ominous twang of bowstrings
was no biographer to record the exploits of this French-Canadian guide
and found himself the target for a flight
of 100 years ago, and it has been necessary for Charles Kelly to go to
of arrows. Before he could dismount he
many sources to compile the meager record contained in this brief story
had stopped three of the sharp flint points,
of one cf the West's most dauntless trail-blazers.
two or which struck hirr. in :he head and
one in :he wrist.
Stunned by the sudden att.uk he- fell
from HIS horse, cj.:i\vi'z himself in French
".ace cy r.. r Th« for having been so care!e;s. He should have
known the Yampai Indians would have
(J LTNRISE of November 3. 1S51, "Very well." Sitgreaves said, "the horses lookouts on every high point. They were
j found a government exploring ex- need rest and the grass is good here." close by, he knew, but fearing his rifle, re-
pedition camped on Yampai creek Picking up his rifle the guide rose to go. mained concealed until they were sure he
in northwestern Arizona. Across the break- "If I find water." he said. "I will make a was dead.
fast camprire, finishing his third cup of smoke signal and you can move on in the Fortunately, Antoines skull was hard
biack coffee, squatted the French-Canadian morning." and the two arrows had danced off. leav-
guide on whose knowledge of the country "Good! We will watch for it." ing painful bur not serious wounds. The
.ind its hostile inhabitants rested the suc- Mounting his Indun pony Antoine was one in his wrist had gone deeper. He pulled
cess or failure of the expedition. soon out of sight in the broken desert. Up out the shaft but could not dislodge the
"Well. Ancdinc." said Cart. Lorenzo to tint point it had not been necessary to flint point. Catching his horse he slowly
Sitgreaves. "will we find good water on do much scouring. He knew the country and carefully worked his way down the
today's journey?" over which they had passed and was famil- slope out ol range, then mounted and rode
"1 am not certain of that, Captain," re- iar with all its streams and waterholes. But back toward camp, wrapping his bleeding
plied Antoine Leroux, thoughtfully. "I the desert ahead was new to him. As he wrist in an old piece of buckskin.
have trapped this creek many times, but rode on and on the chances of finding water The pain of his wounds was bad enough,
never crossed from here to the Mojave seemed more uncertain. Finally, in the dis- but what he could not bear was the thought
villages where you want to go. It might be tance, he saw a small mountain and rode of what Captain Sitgreaves and his men
best to wait while I look over the country toward it, hoping to obtain a more exten- would say when they learned he had been
ahead." sive view of the country. Climbing steadily so careless as to fall into an Indian ambush.
22
DieiMIiR 1983
Cosnino Indians in northern Arizona.
For Antoine Leroux had a reputation to How had he gained such an intimate of his travels. If he had, he would now be
maintain. He had trapped every stream in knowledge of so vast a territory, whose as famous as his contemporary, Kit Carson.
the Southwest and was considered the out- wild inhabitants had been hostile since the However, the little it has been possible to
standing guide and authority on all that days of early Spanish exploration? Unfor- glean from various sources seems well
country and its hostile Indians. Because of tunately we have little information on An- worth recording.
his experience he had been hired to guide toine leroux's early life, for like most The Leroux family appears to have set-
this expedition. French-Canadians, he never kept a journal tied in St. Louis at an early date. Antoine
Mojave Indians visited by the Sit greaves party in 1851.

DESERT MAGAZINE
first went to Taos, over the Santa Fe trail
in 1822, probably with the Robidoux
brothers, and thereafter made it his head-
quarters, marrying a Spanish woman and •&§&
receiving a grant of land near Arroyo Seco.
He undoubtedly assisted Antoine Robi-
doux in establishing Fort Robidoux, near
present Delta, Colorado, and afterward
(1837) Fort Uintah in northeastern Utah.
His earliest expedition into Arizona seems
to have been with Michel Robidoux in
1827. Near the Maricopa villages this party -
'was attacked and nearly wiped out. The
survivors joined James O. Pattie's trappers,
continuing down Gila river to the Colo-
rado. Here Pattie's group turned south to
the gulf, while George Yount's party, un-
doubtedly including Leroux, went north at
least as far as the mouth of Virgin river.
On a subsequent trapping expedition
Leroux met Bill Williams on the stream
which now bears his name. These incidents
are all that is known of Leroux's early
travels in the Southwest, but his detailed
knowledge of that section proved he had
explored almost every mile of it.
For some reason Leroux does not appear
again in the records until 183<5. In that
year Gen. Kearny and his dragoons left
Fort Leavenworth for California by way
of Santa Fe and Gila river, guided by Kit
Carson, Thomas Fitzpatrick and Antoine
Robidoux. Behind them came Col. Cooke
with the Mormon Battalion and a wagon
train which, not always able to follow the
cavalry, had to find a different route. The
pathfinder employed for this difficult task
was Antoine Leroux, whom Col. Cooke
described as "a most sensible and exper-
ienced guide." Leroux guided these wagons
where no vehicles had ever traveled before,
his exploit placing him alongside Carson
and Fitzpatrick in ability.
When the California campaign was con-
cluded Leroux seems to have returned to
Taos. Trapping was then about played out IS
and he devoted more time to his ranch. But
he was often called upon whenever the
services of a dependable guide were re-
quired. In March, 1S49, he guided Lieut.
s • • - S3«S
• ^ ^ v """'-16 ~-' *^-r-V«i*-£jSL "*-- i » ' ' v - " "'* ^'-.'••*~ - - - i ••-?'isr
:

J. H. Whittlesey's military expedition


against a band of hostile Utes, the same
band which soon afterwards killed Leroux's
old friend, Bill Williams. Again, in No-
vember of that year, he was chief of scouts
under Capt. Grier, leading an expedition to
avenge a massacre of whites by Apaches at Zuni buff Jo dancer sketched at the time Capt. Sitgresies
Point-of-Rocks, when a Mrs. White had u4as mapping the Zuiii river.
been taken captive. Discovering the hostile
camp Leroux halted the command for a work the government in 1S51 ordered to Yampai creek, where Leroux ran into
parley with the Apaches; but Kit Carson. Capt. Lorenzo Sitgreaves to map Zuni the Indian ambush and was seriously
disregarding instructions, rode headlong river, the Little Colorado, and continue wounded. Making his way back to camp
toward the camp, revealing the presence across the Colorado into California. In he was treated by the army surgeon, Dr.
of soldiers. The surprised Indians wounded Santa Fe, where his expedition was organ- Woodhouse, who removed the flint point.
Capt. Grier, then killed Mrs. White before ized, Sitgreaves hired Antoine Leroux as His head wounds healed quickly, but the
escaping. guide. one in his wrist became infected and gave
During that same year Lieut. Simpson This expedition traveled to the mouth him much pain and trouble the rest of the
led an expedition into the Southwest, leav- of Zuni river, down the Little Colorado journey.
ing his name on Inscription Rock and end- to the falls, around the west base of San From Yampai creek Sitgreaves traveled
ing his work at Zuni. To continue that Francisco mountains, then across the desert southwest to the Mojave villages along the

DECEMBER 1983 24
Women grinding corn in Zurii pueblo.
Colorado, then south to old Camp Yuma, mountain pass and its possibilities as a Leroux crossed and sometimes followed
where the camp was attacked by Indians, railroad route, describing them accurately his route with Sitgreaves two years pre-
one soldier being killed. That no greater in advance and saving much difficult travel. vious. On White Cliff creek he met the
loss was suffered was due to Leroux's Crossing the mountains this party struck band of Yampai Indians who had tried to
knowledge and advice. Sitgreaves had the headwaters of a stream later named for kill him, but the size of Whipple's party
planned to explore upstream as far as the Capt. Gunnison, followed it some distance,' kept them peaceable. Christmas was spent
Virgin, but shortage of supplies compelled crossed to the Uncompahgre and struck the at Cosnino Caves near Winona, Arizona.
him to continue from Camp Yuma direct to old Spanish trail which Leroux had traveled After abandoning most of their wagons
San Diego. many times with Robidoux. the party made a difficult crossing of the
Leroux remained in San Diego until Within sight of the Abajo and Lasal Colorado at the Mojave villages, being the
April, 1S52, when he was engaged by John mountains on the upper Colorado, Leroux first, Leroux said, to pass that place without
R. Bartlett to guide the Mexican boundary- pointed out the Spanish crossing of Green a fight. Continuing west to the old Spanish
survey eastward from that place. When river, mapped the route and returned to trail they met a group of Mormons who
Bartlett's party reached the Maricopa vil- keep his appointment with Whipple. Tra- told them Capt. Gunnison and most of his
lages on Gila river, Leroux met Chief veling at night, with only two companions, party had been massacred by Indians on
Blanco, who led the fight against Michel he passed through the hostile Ute country Sevier river in Utah.
Rcbidoux, in which he nearly lost his life. safely. Of his services with Gunnison the Returning from Los Angeles in May,
The year 1S55 was a busy one for An- artist Mollhausen said: "The confidence 1S54, Leroux traveled from the Pima vil-
toine Leroux. In May he met Edward F. which he inspired—a confidence that had lages to the Little Colorado at the mouth
Beale, superintendent of Indian affairs, on been earned by thirty years' toil in pri- of Canon Diablo, discovering the famous
the Santa Fe trail. Beale wished to be meval wilderness—made us all rejoice not ruins in Verde valley. This route is shown
guided to California and Leroux agreed to a little at having secured his services." on early maps as the Leroux trail.
go, but was taken sick and could not make Back in Albuquerque Lieut. Whipple Of his subsequent activities very little is
the journey. In the meantime two govern- had assembled an immense cavalcade of known. No doubt he retired to his ranch
ment railroad survey parties had reached 114 men, 16 wagons and 200 mules. He at Arroyo Seco or his home in Taos. I have
New Mexico, one under Lieut. Whipple, left on November 7, his route being not been able to learn the place or date of
the other led by Lieut. Beckwith and Capt. through Laguna and Zuni, past the present his death. But Antoin.e Leroux deserves
Gunnison. At Albuquerque Whipple en- sites of Holbrook and Flagstaff, around something better than oblivion. During his
gaged Leroux as guide, but while the ex- Bill Williams mountain, down Bill Wil- lifetime he was considered the equal as a
pedition was preparing for the journey his liams river to the Colorado, upstream to scout of his fellow townsman, Kit Carson,
services were requisitioned by Gunnison, Needles where he crossed, then up Mojave contributing much to early knowledge of
who was to explore a route from Santa Fe river past Soda Lake to intersect the Span- the Southwest. The routes he explored later
to Gr.inJ river and across the Green into ish trail and continue into California were used by both railroads and highways
the Great Basin. Picking up his "exper- through Cajon pass. In later years this be- through New Mexico and Arizona. But his
ienced and well known guide" in Taos on came approximately the Santa Fe railroad only monuments are Leroux Wash at Hol-
August 19, 1S53, he began searching for route. brook, Leroux Island in the Little Colo-
a practicable railroad route through the To conduct such a large expedition rado, and Leroux Springs near Flagstaff,
mountains. through almost waterless deserts placed a named in his honor by Sitgreaves and
Gunnison found that Leroux knew every heavy responsibility on the guide. In places Whipple. All those he guided spoke highly

25 THE DESERT MAGAZINE


Indian blacksmith shop at Zuni in 1851.
of his knowledge and ability, but none took delegate to the territorial convention at No biographer discovered Antoine Le-
time to record a description of the man Santa Fe in 1851, and had been frequently roux in time to preserve his story. Practi-
himself. consulted by topographical engineers when cally all that is known of him is contained
It is exceedingly unfortunate that Leroux the first railroad surveys were projected, in this brief sketch. This is a great loss to
left no written record of his experiences, As late at 1868 his letters containing ac- western history, for Antoine Leroux was
since he had a good education in both curate descriptions of the Southwest were one of the real pathfinders of the South-
French and English. He was selected as a quoted by John C. Van Tramp and others, west.
Fort Yuma at the time the Sit greaves expedition crossed the Colorado there in 1851.
FT.

DECEMBER 1983 26
Calendar of Western Events FEBRUARY 18 - 19 BRISTLECONE CHARIOT
JANUARY 1 - SEPTEMBER, FORGOTTEN FLAMES
An exhibit of photographs and artifacts RACES, Twenty-Five 3 team races
depicting the history of fire-fighting each day starting at 11:00 AM.
in Carson City. Daily, at the Nevada At the Fairgrounds in Ely, Nevada.
State Museum in Carson City, Nevada.
FEBRUARY 19 - LAS VEGAS TRAVEL FAIR,
JANUARY 14 - HIDDEN CAVE TOURS Las Vegas Convention Center.
Leaves at 9:45 AM from the Churchill 10:AM - 5:00 FM. Admission $1.00.
County Museum in Fallon. Information
C702) 423-3677.
MARCH 3 - 4 GEMS AND MINERAL
SHOW, Monrovia Rockhounds,
JANUARY 1 4 - 1 5 , "GEMBOREE 84" Masonic Temple,
Tule Gem and Mineral Society, 204 West Foothill Boulevard,
Veterans Memorial Building, 324 North Monrovia, Calif.
Kaweak Street, Exeter, Calif., Displays, lectures, dealers,
Exhibits, dealers, demonstrations, Free Admission.
Admission Free.

JANUARY 31 - DEATH VALLEY; LAND OF MARCH 14 - APRIL 11, DESERT


CONTRAST, An Audubon Wildlife Film WILDFLOWERS, a class presented
by Kent Duran. Duran will speak at at the Living Desert Reserve,
the showing. 7:30 FM Wright Hall at Palm Desert, Calif. An
the University of Nevada, Las Vegas opportunity to learn about more
Information (702) 739-3394, than 60 desert plants.
Information frcm College of the
Desert, (619) 346-8041.
FEBRUARY 9 - 12, GEM AND MINERAL SHOT
Tucson Cannunity Center, 260 South
Church, Tucson, Arizona, Hours 10:00 MARCH 17 - 18 RIVER GEMBOREE,
AM - 8:00 FM, Sunday to 5:00 FM, Silvery Colorado River Rock Club,
Exhibits, programs, Annual meeting of Junior High School Building,
clubs, dealers. Large show* Hancock Road at Lakeside,
Admission $1.50. Bullhead City, Arizona,
Dealers, demonstrations,
FEBRUARY 1 6 - 18, SCOTTSDALE GEM AND displays, Free Admission.
MINERAL SHOW, Camelview Plaza,
Camelback Road and 70th Street, MARCH 31 - APRIL 29, TUCSON
Scottsdale, Arizona, FESTIVAL 84, Fiesta's Craft Market,
Exhibits, dealers. Dancers, entertainment, gunfighters,
local food booths. Program is
FEBRUARY 17 - 26, NATIONAL DATE different on each weekend. Various
FESTIVAL, Riverside County's Fair locations in Tucson, Arizona area.
Grounds, Indio, California.
Exhibits of dates, citrus, Arabian APRIL 21 - 22 SPRING ROCKHOUND POW
Nights Pageant, Rockhound exhibits. WOW, Saddle Mountain near Mattawa,
Also Carnival and Midway, Southeast of Vantage, Wash. ,
Admission charged. More on this in includes dig for picture wood.
The Next Issue of Deserts Tailgaters and swappers welcome.
Ifo: Mrs. N. Greenlee, 7043 So.
Clement Ave., Taccma, WA. 98409.

THE DESERT MAGAZINE 21


In 1857 Uncle Sam brought a herd of camels to the
United States to be used for transportation across the
Great American desert. The experiment failed. But it
wasn't entirely the fault c; the camels. They did their
job and thrived on the desert vegetation of the South-
west. But they had bad dispositions and they made
hideous noises—and neither man nor mule liked the
smell of them. The camels are gone—and in this
story Frances Watkins has recalled some of the
strange incidents of their passing.

This old lithograph was taken from the Senate Executive


document printed in 1857 and titled "The Purchase of
Camels for the Purposes of Military Transportation."

atne to tke posed to live without eating and could go


forever without water. They smelled like
nothing on earth, and made outlandish
gurgling, burbling noises, so that the
By FRANCES E. WATKINS horses and mules hated them and bolted
whenever they came near. Strange men,
who were neither Indian nor white tended
the creatures. By the time Saveita's bruises
/ y AVEITA dozed comfortably on Poor Savieta cowered in the dust, while
were dressed and she had eaten a supper
j the back of her pony as he ambled the camel train, journeying by night to
of stew and corn bread, she was somewhat
along the trail. She was on her way escape the heat of the day, passed silently
calmed.
to the trading post to dispose of corn on its westward way. It was dark before she
and squash and beans she had raised in summoned courage to go on to the home Things were brighter in the morning.
her garden, and was surrounded by a bulg- of her sister, near the fort. Limping, wail- The entire family went to the scene of
ing load of pots and baskets. ing, she wakened the family who roused to the catastrophe, and together they salvaged
hear her tale of woe—of ghostly, ghastly most of the wares she had brought to trade
A rhythmic clang of bells came through at the post near the fort, although her pots
the warm summer dusk. She must be visitants—of scattered and smashed goods.
And they laughed at her! It seemed that were in fragments and the shelled beans
nearer her journey's end than she had sowed broadcast. She endured much good-
susposed, for tame cattle seldom wandered the supernatural beasts were camels, queer
natured teasing. If she had been content to
far from the corrals. beasts brought from far away to carry
carry her property in a tihti. a netted carry-
burdens over the desert. They were sup-
If Saveita had been fully awake she ing frame, they told her, like her sisters
would have known that this sound came and nieces, instead of perching proudly on
from no ordinary cowbell. And she might a pony's back, this would never have hap-
have been warned by the alert cock of the pened. Then, the trader lautrhed so hard
pinto's ears, by his wan- step as the metallic over her story of the tremendous beasts
tankle came closer to the great rock which and their spectral leader that he gsvc her
hid .1 turn in the dusty trail. excellent bargains, and her oldest niece
Suddenly all four of the pinto's feet lent Savieta her kiku for the return trip.
left the earth in one leap. He achieved the She returned home on her own two feet.
incredible feat of reversing himself in well satisfied with her new turkey-red cal-
mid-air, and disappeared in the direction ico, wheaten flour and enough blue and
of home, leaving broken pottery, baskets white beads for i twenty-strand collar, in
and vegetables scattered aloni; the trail spite of aches and humiliation. There was
behind—also Savieta. The plump Pima more laughter and joking when she ar-
Indian matron was very much surprised rived on foot, the gay red ana blue ribbons
and somewhat dazed is she brushed the of a maiden's kihtt fluttering about her
hair from her face and looked around. motherly face. Indians have long memories
for a joke, .md Saveita knew that she
Too startled even to scream she was would never live down this adventure.
<ti!l sitting on the ground when through
the haze there loomed a fearsome appari- The next morning she got her willow
tion—a strangely dressed man leading basketry splints with black devil's claw
Mich a creature as she had never dreamed. for the pattern down from their place un-
It's big head bobbed up and down at the der the roof, and started a basket. It was
end of a long curved neck. It had stiff a small basket, with a flat base and straight,
awkward legs with spreading pads in- Grave of Hadji Alt (Hi folly) at steep sides, around which marched three
stead of regular feet, and, most astonish- Quartzsite, Arizona. Hadji Alt uas chunky camels, led by an Arab cameleer.
ing ot all, it had a great rounded hump on one of the camelteers brought to When it was finished she made another,
its back. It was followed by another and United States with the animals bigger basket, with camels and Indians,
another. in 1S57. . and, up near the rim, a picture of herself

28 THE DESERT MAGAZINE


in her new checked dress, hands upraised
in amazement. • : .; •»'••.
1
While Saveita wove her baskets, the
heavy bronze camel bells tankled on their
westward way. There were not too many
settlements along the route to the Colorado
River when camel transport was just an-
other government experiment, but the
course of the caravan was marked by runa-
way horses, frantic mules and swearing
soldiers. Skeptical beholders prophesied
that it would never work. Camels in Amer-
ica were against all nature, they said, una-
ware that under their feet rested the bones
of vast herds of camels that had roved this
region way back in the Ice Age.
It didn't work, but nature had nothing
to do with it, unless it was human nature.
It was just one of those unbelievably fan-
tastic episodes in American history which
Gilbert and Sullivan would have consid-
ered too bizarre as a plot for light opera.
In fact, there was a sort of musical comedy
atmosphere about the whole thing, and
no one would have been surprised if the
handsome young hero had burst into song,
accompanied by a chorus of uniformed
troopers, while Indians and muleteers
danced across the stage and Arab camel
drivers guarded their charges. All that was
lacking was a heroine, and that could the Pima Indians saw the camels, they made baskets picturing the strange
easily be overcome by a dark-eye senorita animal. One of these baskets along with the camel bell is in possession
coquetting at her barred window, or the of Southwest Museum in Los Angeles.
golden tressed daughter of a settler, sturd-
ily driving her father's covered wagon.
tation across the unknown wastes of the els. This was in 1852, and by March, 1853,
Early in the romantic fifties, while life Great American Desert. Kis suggestion the War Department had S30.000 at its
in America was still something of a fabu- was received 'with enthusiasm by the vis- disposal, a big sum for those days.
lous fairy tale, young Lieutenant Edward ionary, ambitious Secretary of War, Jef- The first miserable, seasick camels were
Fitzgerald Beale, stationed at Fort Yuma, ferson Davis, who promptly applied for unloaded at Indianola, Texas, February
proposed the use of camels for transpor- an appropriation for the purchase of cam- 10, 1857. Nobody wanted them, nobody
loved them, except Lieutenant Beale and
their native drivers. The lieutenant, seek-
ing a wagon road across territory recently
acquired from Mexico from Fort Defiance
in Arizona to the Colorado River, gateway
to golden California, tried out the first
camel herd, which acquitted itself to his
entire satisfaction. Not, however, to the
satisfaction of the cavalrymen and hostlers
who had to take care of the clumsy brutes,
and who refused to learn how to load
and tend their temperamental wards. Cam-
els weren't horses, they weren't mules, they
weren't even oxen. They did not act like
any civilized animal. Besides, if you hurt
a camel's feelings he poured, and camels
turned out to be touchier than the most
thin-skinned spinster. They pouted when
they stepped on a cactus thorn, when their
humps hurt, when their loads were a few
pounds too heavy, when they were hungry,
and sometimes just because they felt like
it. It was all very confusing, so, somehow,
accidents began to happen. One or two
camels at a time would break away from
the picket lines, to disappear apparently
without a trace. Strange to say, men who
could trail a mule through impenetrable
This drawing was used in 1857 to show members of congress the huge loads the chaparral in the darkest hours of a pitch-
"r • camels could carry if brought to the United States for military transportation black night, failed to track an escaping
: - •' "•-'•"• •' • \ " across the desert.

1983: ig-::-;"-''. 29

Hfi&Baw
this venture is a law, still active on the
statute books, forbidding camels the public
roads during daylight hours. A few were
kept by General Edward Fitzgerald Beale,
the inventive lieutenant, advanced in years
and military honors, who used them to
haul stores for his ranch at Fort Tejon,
California. There were riots and stampedes
in the pueblo de Los Angeles whenever
the general's outfit came to town. Finally,
camels were restricted to the military res-
ervation.
Some of the "lost" camels lived and even
multiplied in the secure fastness of the
Arizona desert, where, according to well-
authenticated tradition,'their ghosts still
wander, although the last of the herd has
long since joined his comrades in the
happy hunting ground. No doubt Saveita
and her kinsfolk enjoyed an occasional
camel steak, before the last tough old
hump-back was shot by 3 wrathful pros-
pector whose burros had been routed by
the poor lonely derelict.
At General Beale's Fort Tejon ranch,
a bronze camel bell, probably one of those
heard by the Indians on that first journey,
was all that remained of his dream of
great caravans of richly laden camels sway-
ing across the southwestern plains. The
heavy bell, with its cryptic inscription,
still wired to a stiff horsehair rope, found
its way into the collection of the Southwest
Museum, to keep company with Saveita's
basket, the record of her first glimpse of
a camel.
Now, the Southwest Museum overlooks
Sycamore Grove, a favored picnic ground
since the first days of the pueblo de Los
Angeles, in California. There, one sunny
afternoon, practically all the Germans
from the town had gathered for a celebra-
tion, their rigs hitched nearby. Hi Jolly
CHadj Ali?) one of the imported camel

wmemm drivers, a veteran of the French army in


Algiers, who did not like Germans any-
way, arrived in the midst of an impas-
sioned speech anent the glories of "der
faderland." He came seated proudly in a
high yellow cart to which were harnessed
Bronze camel bell from ranch of General Edward F. Beal at El Tejon, California, two bored, high-stepping camels. Syca-
where som: of the camels were corralled after the experiment in transportation more Grove is a long walk from the heart
uas given up. of Los Angeles, even today, and it was
longer in the seventies, when only "coun-
camel up a sandy wash at high noon. Cav- might come to nothing after all. Officers try" lay between, but that German picnic
alry horses stampeded or became unman- and men in charge of the camels adopted a walked home, every step of the way, while
ageable when stabled near the camel policy of passive resistance. Unless under its horses careened over the southern Call-
corrals, another count against the brutes, positive orders, the camels were supported forn;a h m t h e debr;s of k s ns and
TT .t • t-.t 1 I.
However, there is little reason to doubt in luxurious idleness. After some years
in Invnrinne irtlonodt A f fc^ cs\ma «T*»I re ^

surreys and buggies littered the valley, its


that the animals would have thrived with of useless expense, the government finally
sold the herds at auction. Private enterprise beer and sausage spread as' a banquet be-
proper management and food, for they fore ground squirrels and coyotes.
did very well even under adverse circum- was scarcely more successful than the gov-
stances. ernment. In 1863 a camel transportation And by what whim of fate or law of
But events were moving fast in the company carried freight between Tucson, coincidence, did the basket made by that
United States. Romantic extravaganza and Arizona, and the seaport of San Pedro, Pima woman so long ago, come into the
comedy were swiftly shifting to tense California. Then for reasons which were same haven as the camel bell, where both
drama, soon to culminate in the grim never recorded, it ceased operation. A herd may be seen, mementoes of the days when
tragedy of Civil War. There was little time was taken north into Nevada to carry sup- transcontinental railways were as yet vis-
and less inclination for experiments which plies to the mines. The only souvenir of ioned only by idealistic lunatics?

30 THE DESERT MAGAZINE


Our product of the month, DECIPHER, is a
fascinating new game of secrets that will have
you scrambling to solve its $100,000 message.
The game is based on a cipher code, which
PRODUCT OF THE MONTH substitutes numbers for letters to spell a
hidden message. For example, Julius Caesar
wrote to Cicero using a Caeser substitution
key--each letter is moved three places down the alphabet, thus DESERT
would be written "GHVHUW".
Thomas Jefferson was called the Father of American Cryptology. In 1922
Jefferson's wheel cipher turned up and cryptanalysts were astonished that
the machine he built was as sophisticated as those used by the army today.
Of more particular interest to DESERT readers, Thomas Jefferson Beale
transported a treasure of gold,silver,and jewels from Santa Fe, New Mexico
to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fearing for his life or robbery,
he buried the treasure and then vanished. He described his treasure's
secret location in a series of three ciphers. Neither he nor his treasure
has been found. To date, only one of his ciphers has been solved.
The solution to this modern treasure is locked in 2 safe deposit boxes
A $100,000 prize will be awarded to the purchaser of the game who correct-
ly solves the puzzle. An entry blank is included with the game. DECIPHER
is available in department stores and game shops. It does offer a very
difficult challenge but then again, the greater the challenge, the more
interesting the problem is.

QUIZ ANSWERS
Y U L J l v A.LJ could be run on this page at modest cost —
only 750 per word per issue (I or 2 issues), 700 per word per issue
(3-5 issues), and only 650 per word for the same ad in six consecu- 1—Winnemucca was a Paiute chief.
tive issues. 2—Kit Carson rounded up the Navajo.
3—Lew Wallace was governor of New
We need copy on the 10th of the second month preceding issue. Mexico.
4—Charles R. Rockwood dreamed of
TO: Desert Magazine Trading Post the reclamation of Imperial Valley.
5—Geronimo was a leader of the
P.O. Box 1318, Palm Desert, California 92261 Apaches.
6—William Lewis Manly crossed
Here is my ad. Death Valley in '49.
It is .words long (10 words/$7.50 minimum). 7—Brigham Young led the Mormons
I want it to run in the issue(s). to Utah.
8—Bill Williams was a famous Moun-
Cost: words x _ times x $=$ tain Man.
9—W. H. Emory was with Kearny's
Enclose check or money order (U.S. funds) with order. Army of the West.
10—Major J. W. Powell was first to
COPY navigate Grand Canyon.
11—Chee Dodge was a leader of the
Navajo.
12—Edward F. Beale brought the first
camel caravan across the desert.
13—John Wetherill led the first white
party to Rainbow bridge.
\A—George Wharton James wrote Won-
ders of the Colorado Desert.
15—Palma was a friendly chief of the
Yuma Indians.
16—Juan Bautista de Anza brought the
Name _ first white colonists to California.
17—Lieut. Joseph C. Ives found the
Address lower Colorado river navigable.
City State. 18—-Jacob Hamblin was a Mormon mis-
sionary.
Zip Telephone^ 19—Father Kino founded missions in
Pimeria Aha.
Examples: P.O. Box 1318 counts as three words; telephone numbers as two words. 20—Adolph Bandelier was a famous ar-
Abbreviations and zip codes are one word. cheologist.

31 DESERT MAGAZINE
Rising sheer above the Arizona desert like the ramparts of a long-forgotten world the weird
Superstitions of Apache thunder gods and Spanish ghosts guard the secret of long-lost mines.

Atoun tain /team te


In the Superstition mountain region of central conversation when he had the chance. And conversation with
Arizona seasoned prospectors and dude gold- anyone who thought he knew where gold could be obtained was
hunters alike still search for the fabulous mines re- of high interest at a time when the mysterious Dutchman was
puted to have been discovered and worked by the keeping the whole territory excited with reports of fabulous
ill-fated Peralta party from Mexico 100 years ago. hidden treasure.
According to legend, the gold concentrates that had "You mean you want a grubstake then," Clark said. "But how
accumulated when Pedro Peralta and his miners am I to know that you really have directions to where gold can
were killed by Apaches, later were recovered by a be found? You haven't been in these parts long, you know."
nephew—and here is the story of their recovery. "That is true," the Mexican said. "In fact, I have just come
from Sonora where my father died. And you remember the
By BARRY STORM letter calling me home. My father's name was Manuel Peralta,
and he said that many years ago in his youth, before there were

r
Americanos here, he had worked placer gold in the Rio Salado
HE YOUTHFUL looking but ragged Mexican, who near the mountains called the Superstitions. He said that there
called himself Ramon Peralta y Gonzales, had obviously was more such gold in those mountains in a canyon called Fresco.
endured an exhausting journey. He was gaunt and the He made me a map to this gold, and I have come to get it."
roan horse, which had been his only transportation from Cali- Clark's interest immediately was aroused. For it was only
fornia, was gaunt, and both of them were streaked with des- three years ago that Andy Starr had told how a dying man
ert dust. But to Charles M. Clark, who was the telegrapher at named Jacobs had stumbled out of those same mountains with a
Maricopa, neither man nor beast had suffered anything which wild story about finding a Spanish bonanza with the help of a
could not be cured by rest and good food. So in this year of 1874, map obtained in Sonora. And perhaps this map came from the
before the Southern Pacific had laid its tracks through the same source!
isolated Arizona villages and Ed Schieffelin had staked out his "Let me see this map then," Clark exclaimed excitedly. "May-
fabulous Tombstone claims, Clark offered the Mexican food be I'll grubstake you."
for himself and the trade of two Indian ponies for the exhausted "But, no," said Gonzales hastily. "I do not wish anyone to
roan horse. see the map."
Gonzales accepted both with an obvious gratitude. And then "Then I'll not help you," Clark said.
after a few days rest he went to work around the village, making It was only with great reluctance, and when he saw that he
adobe bricks. Indeed, he must have intended to stay, for he in- could expect no help otherwise, that Gonzales finally produced
formed his people in Sonora of his whereabouts by mail. But the map. He kept it firmly clenched in his own two hands while
within a few weeks, he received a letter from his father, who was he allowed Clark to take a brief look at it. Clark saw that it was
dying, asking him to come home immediately. an outline sketch of the Four Peaks on the north and of Weaver's
The second time Gonzales appeared at Maricopa many months Needle on the south and that between the two a line had been
later he had just come from Sonora, as he told Clark. And again drawn to intersect the Rio Salado or Salt river at a point about
he was even more fatigued than before, and the pony which he midway between where the tributary canyon marked Fresco
had ridden far and hard was beyond salvage. But this time, Gon- came into the river. Four crosses were marked around the
zales confided, he had a map to gold, and he needed help to tributary junction with Canon Fresco—and that magic word
get it. '' mina!"
Maricopa was an isolated spot so Clark didn't mind making "Mine!" Clark translated excitedly. "Then where from this

THE DESERT MAGAZINE 32


Abe L. Reid, pioneer Arizonan who found a piece of rich Spanish ore in 1930 on the north-
ern slope of Peralta-mapped mountain but not, in two years of hunting,
the hidden mine from which it must have come.

line between the peaks which crosses the Salt river is the right farther up the Canon Fresco which his father had mapped,
canyon—this Canon Fresco?" though that golden canyon was indeed right at hand, running
"You'll help me with a horse and provisions and a rifle to southeast from the little valley later called Mormon Flat. It was
save me from Apaches?" asked Gonzales narrowly. in fact Tortilla canyon which trended east, and the mina
"I'll grubstake you, if you let me copy the map," Clark ex- location was about the junction of Peters canyon which came
claimed. And so the trade was made, and after Clark had hastily into it from the south, a scant four miles above.
copied the map, the son of Manuel Peralta rode off toward the And now all Gonzales had to do was fill up the sacks which
Superstitions on Clark's horse, with Clark's rifle in the boot he had brought along. So he returned to Maricopa days ahead
under his leg and with Clark's grub in his saddlebags. of schedule.
Crossing the desert toward the northeast then, the Mexican Clark really became excited now when he saw with his own
rode on past the western end of the mountains, through the pass eyes this golden proof, so he thought, of the mapped way to
at Apache Gap and on to the Salt river beyond at Mormon fortune. For Gonzales showed him, and shared with him, a large
Flat. And then he merely followed up the riverbank until he baking powder can full of the yellow dust, which Clark did not
encountered the two old arrastres near the site where his father know was lode concentrates panned from the arrastres and not
had said placer gold had been obtained. Near the site, too, of true placer gold. And Gonzales, in the excitement, did not dis-
the mapped Canon Fresco! close the full truth of the fortune he had found but instead
But the arrastres were not all that he found. persuaded Clark to sell him the horse carrying the fortune
There were human bones scattered about, still partially cov- for a paltry 300 dollars with which to travel on, he said, to
ered by the last disintegrating remnants of clothing. Nearby was relatives in California. Then he left Maricopa, riding west into
the tumbled ruins of an old camp. the sunset, to vanish forever as far as Clark was concerned.
Gonzales passed by the remains of the 26 year old mas- Clark tried to find the source of the gold which he had seen
sacre of the Peralta workers wonderingly, and went over to with his own eyes; then both he and his son searched, still unsuc-
the camp. And then with a gasp of amazement he saw behind cessfully. They did considerable placering in LaBarge canyon
the tumbled ruins of the breast-works, where Pedro's unlucky with small success, entirely overlooking the fact that it is really
men on the river had made their last stand, the glitter of yellow a tributary of Tortilla creek, coming into the latter near its
gold shining through rotted hide sacks—concentrates from mouth.
Pedro's mines back in the mountains! To this day Tortilla creek is still unrecognized as the true
This was indeed rare good fortune which Manuel Peralta had Canon Fresco. Here, Russel Perkins of Tortilla Flat reported
not foretold upon his deathbed. For with such a treasure Gon- finding huge ash piles and other remains of an obviously large
zales could live a full life in California. And no need now to seek encampment, and Clark's son, Carl, stumbled upon a piece of

THE DESERT MAGAZINE


hexagon drill steel sharpened Spanish-style in the form of a Dowell who spent most of his time off duty either drinking up
pointed, four edged spearhead instead of the chisel bit style his gold or prospecting for more. But he didn't dig it up as fast
used by American miners. as he spent it and after a year he had run up quite a bill at Car-
But though Clark never learned of it, Gonzales reappeared rol's store. Then one day his regiment was transferred to Mon-
once more in the Superstitions 56 years later, seeking this tana.
time, from information obviously gained from relatives, the Carrol promptly asked for payment of his bill, and the soldier,
source of the golden concentrates which he had found upon the to avoid having his pay attached, offered an alternative—"a
river. This time, too, in 1930, he came into the mountains from sporting proposition." He knew, he said, where there was a
the southern side, trying apparently to set a course for Weaver's ledge of rich ore in the Superstitions, even though he hadn't
Needle from the desert below. But he was very old and the worked it as industriously as he should. If Carrol would call his
climbing was hard and in some way he missed his direction bill even, he would tell him how to find it. And Carrol, him-
slightly so that he found himself in upper LaBarge canyon on self, ought to have some idea about its value after cashing in the
the east side of Bluff Springs mountain instead of in Needle gold that the soldier had occasionally brought in.
canyon on the west side. It was only the difference of a scant Carrol did indeed have a very good idea of the value of that
mile between but the sheer crags of the intervening mountain ef- rock. He had already made plenty of profit from it, and secretly
fectively blocked any view of La Sombrera from LaBarge can- entertained the idea that a fortune was there if the ore lasted
yon. And Roy Bradford was camping there! long enough. It was free milling gold in rotten hematite quartz
Gonzales came to his camp, and casually asked Bradford to which could be worked by hand at no cost. So he agreed to ac-
direct him to a high, black-topped hill which lay due north of cept the phantom vein in full payment.
another higher, hat-shaped peak which should be somewhere The soldier instructed him then to go to the parade ground
in the vicinity. He was Gonzales, he said, and he was seeking at Fort McDowell, draw an imaginary line between the flagpole
old mines which relatives from Mexico had once worked many there and Weaver's Needle which could be seen in the distance,
years before. and then go up a canyon from Mormon Flat into the Supersti-
Bradford was all excitement, for he himself had been search- tions where the line intersected. Probably there, he would still
ing for some years now for exactly those same mines. In fact, he find the soldier's tracks, leading up canyon to the ore.
recently had found at the junction of Bluff Springs and Needle John Carrol took this good advice shortly afterwards and ac-
canyons a huge saguaro into which stones had been embedded tually obtained enough gold to cause him to sell out his busi-
high up in such a way as to lead him to believe that they had ness and retire in ease. On his last trip to the ore, Carrol took his
been shot there by a nearby mine shaft blast. So Bradford was son along, and they rode horseback for over an hour from the
digging, he thought, even then upon the site of a hidden mine. river up what could only have been LaBarge canyon. Then they
And he too bluntly pressed the old Mexican for further details. reached a well mineralized region of hills made reddish by
At this excited show of interest Gonzales fell into a wary oxidizing iron where many small arroyos drained down into the
silence from which he refused to be moved. Then Bradford, see- canyon. There they tied their horses and cooked lunch, leaving
ing that no more information was forthcoming and not wishing behind to mark the spot a frying pan, coffee pot and some cot-
to disclose the site of his own digging to a total stranger, told ton sugar sacks in which they had carried supplies.
the Mexican that the mountain he sought was yet many miles From this point they went west up one of the arroyos a short
farther north. So Gonzales thanked him and again vanished distance to where a quartz ledge lay exposed upon a right bank.
into thin air, never to return. But with him vanished forever Here the elder Carrol obtained the small fortune which set him
Bradford's one chance at fortune. up for many years after. And then the ledge apparently vanished
Yet, many years •earlier, during the 1890's, John Carrol, a into thin air—was probably covered by erosion in the mean-
Mesa merchant, did cash in on his chance, and took his time. For twelve years later the younger Carrol returned alone,
son with him on one trip to the ledge of bonanza gold successfully refound the lunch camp, but never again the rich
ore to which he had fallen heir in payment of a delinquent bill. ledge he had once seen.
The ore had originally been found by a soldier from Fort Mc- The thunder gods alone knew the secret!

Apache Lake and other man-made bodies of water in the desert now hide much of the Rio
Salado down which the Peralta brothers trekked a near century ago to find rich placer
deposits and fabulous, half-legendary bonanzas in the nearby Superstitions.
Ruins, mine sites,
and rubble litter the
hillsides. The right-
of-way appears out of
the water near the old
highway and climbs up
the hill in a Westerly
direction, passing under
the new Archie Stevenot
Bridge on its North
side. I found several
spikes and a crucible
along this stretch of
right-of-way.

Rounding the hill,


the right-of-way turns
east and passes numer-
ous mine sites such as
the Morgan, Melones,
South Carolina, Union,
Santa Clara, Iron
Mountain, and Finnegan,
to name a few. It re-
crosses Highway 49
about 10 feet above road
level, goes past the
town of Irvine(1896- This is how the area around Melones
1909), and then into the appeared just prior to flooding by the
Carson Hill area. new dam.
Carson Hill was the The right-of-way is just behind
site of some of the the rest area and turns north here,
richest gold strikes in crossing the highway and heading for
California. The largest Angels Camp in almost a straight line.
gold nugget ever dis- At Angels Camp, the station and other
covered in California, buildings are preserved as a residence.
195 pounds, was found The original nature of the buildings
there in the early 1850"s. are very obvious and are easily recog-
Carson Hill was active nizable as railroad buildings.
on and off from 1849 to
1880 and again from To reach the station, go north on
1909 to 1935. A station Highway 49 to Highway 4. Turn east on
and numerous sidings Hwy 4, a short distance to Depot road.
were there. Not much Turn right (south) to the station. It
remains today except a is a private residence so please respect
very large glory hole the owners privacy. For more information
on the hill behind the refer to DESERT, July 1968 (Carson Hill),
right-of-way and lots October 1969 (Melones), and July 1967
of litter around the hill. (Angels Camp). The trip from Jamestown
This is rattlesnake to Angels Camp is about 15 highway miles.
country so be careful.

THE DESERT MAGAZINE 35


DESERT MAGAZINE BOOK SHOP
T w e n t y M i l e s From a M a t c h : Homes teading in M a r t h a and t h e Doctor: A Frontier Family in
SNAKE RIVER COUNTRY W e s t e r n N e v a d a by Sarah E. Olds * C e n t r a l Nevada by Marvin Lewis
BillGulick In 1908, Sarah Olds packed up her brood and went home- Caught up by gold and silver fever, Martha and James Gaily
steading in the desert 33 miles northof Reno. With her invalid left their secure home in Ohio and headed for Austin, Nevada.
Photography by Earl Roberge husband, she and her family made a home out of a rude cabin, in 1864. For ten years their Lives took a downward path of
"Born in incredible beauty, flowing through incredible des- planted fruit trees and a garden, drilled for water, hunted sage despair until their luck finally changed. Their remarkable story
hens for sale in Reno, and built a schoolhouse. This story is for was pieced together using the diary entries of Martha and the
olation, nourishing incredible fertility . . ." anyone who has ever dreamed of pioneering. It is a true journalistic writings of her doctor-husband fames. What
So begins Bill Gulick's story of the Snake, perhaps the last account, told simply and honestly, with a delightful sense of emerged was a fascinating study of two opposing views of
important wild river left in the Pacific Northwest, a river that humor. "A book to warm the cockles of your heart and make frontier life. While her husband saw only the adventure and
has, in earlier times, played a monumental role in exploration, you proud of the human race." -Pacific Historian. ISBN052-4. excitement of their new life. Martha focused on the poverty,
in empire and in settlement. Now, because the wide expanse of fear, and misery of the frontier. "A rich addition to the very
1SZ pSs., if/us.. 55.50 few family chronicles of early statehood Nevada." —Western
country through which it flows is sparsely settled and capable Historical Quartcrly. ISBN 0494. 247 pgs.r 55.00
of great development in the years to come, the present and
future of the Snake should be as vitally interesting to the W e s t e r n C a r p e t b a g g e r : T h e Extraordinary Memoirs
reader as its colorful past. 195 pages, HVixl-l1^, 100 full-color of "Senator"*Thoma5 Fitch by Eric N. Moody
illustrations by Earl Roberge. Thomas Fitch tried his hand at everything from law to mining H a r d s c r a b b l e : A Narrative of t h e California Hill
to politics. But his true fame was earned as the premier carpet- C o u n t r y by Anita Kunkler
Cloth, boxed $35.00 ISBN 0-S7G04-215-7 bagger of them all, "the most corrupt man that ever followed Told through the eyes of a growing girl, these personal remi-
politics on the coast." But this reputation may have been niscences are the story of a family and an area which long
undeserved. The memoirs from the pen of Thomas Fitch re- continued to mirror early frontier practices. It reflects the he-
OWYHEE TRAILS; veal a fascinating individual who was humorous, scandalous, roic geography of Northern California and reveals the crude
and sensitive. This entertaining view of the frontier west is isolation and harsh physical conditions of life in a difficult
The West's Forgotten Corner heightened by little-known glimpses of Mark Twain, John time. "Related with such candor that we are left with a con-
Mike Hanley with Ellis Lucia Fremont, Wyatt Earp, Erigham Young, and Virginia City min- vincing portrait of a rustic way of life which remains a part of
ing magnates. Those who love the humor, adventure and our cultural heritage." -Library Journal. ISBN 044-3, 298 pjp.r
The Owyhees. as they rise impressively from the high des- audacity of the OU West will prize Western Carpetbagger."illits..S5.00
ert of Oregon and Idaho, have been the site of mining booms -N&ada State Journal. ISBN 0SQS, 284 pg$.. 55.25
and Indian battles, holdups and range wars. Precious metals
abounded on their slopes, and their valleys held another sort
of riches in the form of water and feed for cattle and sheep.
Rancher-author Mike Hanley. who lives in Jordan Valley,
Oregon, under the shadow of the Owyhee Mountains, and his History of Nevada, 1540-1838 Eureka and its Resources
collaborator, the well-known writer. Eilis Lucia, recount the by Hubert Howe Bancroft by Lambert Molinelli
boisterous past and intriguing present of this still wild corner Bancoft's History of Nevada was first published in 1890 as part of In the late 1800s. the town of Eureka. Nevada, was seeking
of the West. 6x9, 225 pages, 102 photos. a thirty-nine volume history of states and countries stretching new residents to help stimulate its booming mining economy.
from Alaska to Panama. The book appeared just after the To encourage growth, real estate agent Lambert Molinelli
Paper $9.95 ISBN 0-87001-2S1-5 mining decline, enabling Bancroft to describe the events with a wrote this promotional book to lure new citizens. He touted
sense of immediacy. The history begins in 1540 with a descrip- the virtues of the town, including its prosperous mines, ad-
tion of exploration in the earliest days. It continues with a vanced transportation and communication facilities (stage and
THE COMPLETE SOURDOUGH COOKBOOK discussion of emigrants, early settlers, and the Comstock Lode telegraph), and handsome new buildings. To further embel-
and closes with a review of state politics and development of lish Eureka. Molinelli included advertisements from local pur-
Don and Myrtle Holm the state's resources through 1888. Includes a new foreword by vevors and businessmen. This reprint preserves the original
James Hulse. "Finest work, ever done on the history of the contents and features a new foreword. "A charming account of
One of t h e near-lost culinary a r t s t h a t is only now being mining in boom rimes." -Pacific Historian. ISBN 069-9, 137
western United States." -Las Vegas Review Journal. ISBN063-0,p$s.. illus.. $6.00
rediscovered is that of WHirtlough cookery. Here, t h e Holms 3t7pgs.. maps, $8.00
offer one of t h e most significant collections of recipes to herald
this revival. From the right " s t a r t e r " to delicious sourdough
b r e a d s , cakes, waffles, nnd even pizzas, all t h e items have Story of the Mine Early N e v a d a : Period of Exploration, 1776-1848
by Charles Shinn by Fred Nathaniel Fletcher
been tested a g a i n a m ! again in t h e modern kitchen. Many When it was first printed in New York City in 1896, Vie Story of This reprint edition, originally published in 1929. focuses on
have been adapted for t h e h u n t e r and camper, to be cooked as the Mine received instant national acclaim and went through «n exciting period ot history tilled with explorers, fur trappers,
they once were, in t h e camp stove or over t h e campfire. ten printings. It is a remarkably revealing history of one of the and traders. Using first-hand accounts, Fletcher brings to life
West's richest mining strikes, the Comstock Lode of Nevada. the adventures of explorers who often found themselves trav-
Paper SG.95 ISBN 0-S7004-22:1-8 "The story of the Comstock is all there in Shinn's articulate eling across the harsh desert without food, water, wood, or
language: the rise and fall of the silver kings, the chicanery, grass for their livestock. "Fletcher focuses upon the early ex-
DON HOLM'S BOOK OF FOOD DRYING, and hard work, the stock dealings and the impact upon na- plorers, and the tale he tells of their adventures is an exciting
tional politics and economics," ~-Billings Gazette. ISBN 059-1,one to have back in print." - Books of the Southwest. ISBN 061-2,
PICKLING AND SMOKE-CURING 277p$s., illus., $6.50 195 pp., mnp.$5.2S
Don and Myrtle Holm
".. . there is a revolution in eating and the preparation and
preservation of the avaiiubie foods in a shrinking world. Shor-
Water and Power
tages and continued rising prices for supermarket goods, will The Conflict over
make it imperative that home makers learn how and routinely I.os Angeles' Water Supply
practice the old-time arts of preserving foods. TRIGGERNOMETRY
in the Owens Valley
"You can have fun at the same time you are becoming Eugene Cunningham WILLIAM L. KAURI
self-tauuht and proficient in the ancient and wonderful ways
ot* Prying, Pickling, and Smoke Curing." A gallery of sunfighters—Wild Bill, Billy the Kid, Ben " T i m is the definitive account of how Isn
Paper 15.93 ISBN 0-S7004-2:»0-5 Thompson, Captain Jim Gillet, Ranger Bill Mac Donald, Gen- Anpeics scented its water supply from the
eral Leo Christmas, wolfish Bass Outlaw, grim John Slaugh- O»rns Valley Well wriucn and researched,
ter, Curly Bill, ami a host of others—who stood behind the star the tmiik ahnundj with colorful pCTIOCul-
OLD-FASHIONED DUTCH OVEN COOKBOOK and some whom thoy faced across drawn pistols spring alivu in Ntfl and drarnaiic events. Unlike cirltcr
Don Holm the pages of Triggvrnontetry. bnturin, it taffies the 0 » e m Valley «ory
As a veteran novelist, Mr. Cunningham has been as much up to ihc present, adding many new
The fust of its kind in print, this is primarily an outdoor interested in the gunfightei's mind as in his flashing hands. element* .o a frmilur j.o.y a lul.d.
cookbook socializing in old-fashioneii Dutch oven cookery and N'ot merely what a Wcs Hard in did, but what quirk of mental- thoughtful and pmktxame Jiudy"
in sourdough recipes. There are numerous tempting rvcijie* ity and interplay of circumstances forced him to do it, is —Pjti/k Hittorun
for hungry fishermen and hunters, including pot ruasts, inul- shadowed in the portrait, making Tritjgvrnonictry brilliant "Here, in engaging amplitude and in
Ugttn stews, and dishes made from bear meat, buffalo, wood- biography as well as history. comprehensive and n j i detail. is the man
chuck. It has a special section on sourdough cooking1, and inclusive, impartial KcCttfM ) i t published "
favorite recipe) of several outdoor writers of the- Northwest. $12.95 ISBN 0-87004-032-1
-LoiAr.geUs Ttmti
Cover plate by Chark-a Cunkling. Sketches by Jack OitUT- "A brilliant buok. by far the ben I hfff
rv ever read about the key element in the
Paper S5.95 dexclopmcru of the American Suudi*ejt.
ISIJN 0-S7004-|:U-9
SOUTHERN IDAHO GHOST TOWNS •«« T u n and Power u not only
die most detailed book on die mhiect bui
FEURYBOATS IX IDAHO H (tyne Spa fling die Ftilf one to anempt to be babmed
James L. Hunt Icy S o u t h e r n Idaho h a s many ghost towns scattered a m o n g its and fiir, and, more imponant, losim-ced"
m o u n t a i n ! and d e s e r t s . In tins book. Wayne S p a d i n g provides -r\>v York Turn
Hon.- is thf first lentfthy account of tin.1 water transporta-
tion system, such as it wits, that served Idaho from the time of an excellent guide U> eighiy-t'our uf them, describing t h e his- '•ftunito in raemi*! pmreuhtmi
Lewis and Clark until the present, Even before the earning of t o r y of each a n d its c u r r e n t s t a t e of p r e s e r v a t i o n . Many tcxjjy's (csouice promises and cunlWii."
the while man. the native peoples of the Gem State knew the phoLugriiplis ahtiw highlights of t h e sites, and maps pinpoint
—itWKM Stiff m
many grout rivers in their land and how to cross thom. This is the locations. It will hi- welcomed by t h e wdderness explorer
ami t h e a r m c h a i r t r a v e l e r alike. ti\9 135 pages. WiHumi 1.. K.>hr1 ii the iwartt-wtnmnj
the story of the Idaho ferryboats and the important part they editor and |Ku|fi( director of the widely
played in the settlement and development of our beautiful Paper $.».!)5 ISBN 0-87001-2JD-7 xibmird CMtfornu WjurAtl.it.
state. GxiV inches, 278 pa^-vs. 127 photographs, 27 maps. Cii MI Bflh MM H M i
•C.I Nt-li.U IMF RhSl'HISlPflY'KtiltnCAl.
Taper t7.9$ ISIJN 0-ST004-2H3-7 SOINCL't NMKUNM1 M

36
DESERT MAGAZINE BOOK SHOP
Pioneering in Silver City U n d e r the M o u n t a i n
The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1849-1903
H. B. Ailrnan's Recollections of by Molly Knudtsen Edited by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Territorial New Mexico This collection of vignettes about life in Central Nevada is A truly unique documentation of the early West by Alfred
1871-1892 much more than a historical document. Says Knudtsen, Doten, an influential newspaperman on the Comstock Lode.
"These are the stories neighbors and families tell, where fact Doten's personal diary provides an intimate look at the Califor-
Edited and Annotated by grows just a little larger than life. This is the stuff of legend." nia Gold Rush, the Nevada Silver Rush, and the decline of the
Helen j. Lundwall The author shares her experiences of riding horseback through - mining frontier. Equally as important, the journals are filled
some of the rich archaeological areas of the valley. She di- with intimate details of the man's private life, providing an
Harry 6 Ailman, like thousands of other vulges the secret of converting flour, yeast, and potato water insight into the daily events of the time that formal histories
adventurous younj^ men, came west to seek into the perfect loaf of bread. And through colorful anecdotes, can never impart. "A unique and immensely valuable docu-
his fortune in Ifw Lite ltifiOs. He is set apart she passes along the legendary accounts of Colonel Dave Buel. ment for the social history of the frontier West. No other record
fruni these countless others not just because "Molly Knudtsen has developed a collection of gems and has is so filled with the sharp, immediate, blunt facts of life on the
he- struck it rich, but because he !e!t an
invaluable firsthand account oi his trek west
strung them along Central Nevada's bracelet of charm mining frontier. Bursting with the stuff of real life.. .an extra-
and of his life as a miner, merchant, and Under tin Mountain is more than a book; it is an experience." ordinary chronicle." -Sacramento Bee. ISBN 032-X, 2,351 pp..
-Nevada State Journal. ISBN072-9, U0p s., illus., $10.50 3 mis., illus., $25.00 each volume or S60.00 for set with tlipaat.
banker in southwestern New Mexico. S
Discovered and published nearly a century
alter it was written, this memoir is an
authentic and detailed account of the hard Nevada Place Names: A Geographic Dictionary The Nevada Adventure: A History (5th ed.)
work, persistence a n j luck reuuired to by James Hulse
succeed in commerce in that era. by Helen S. Carlson
A curious passion for attaching names not only to towns but to A history of one of the most colorful states in the Union. Hulse
Accompanying the ensaginj; text are ten
sketches, sixteen photographs, and tour every physical landmark has existed in all ages of man. It took traces man's experience through the rugged terrain of Nevada
maps. *. Hele'n Carlson fourteen years of research to uncover the origin from prehistory to the atomic age, including Nevada's dra-
of some of Nevada's most obscure place names: Horse matic growth in tourism and industry and the state's concern
Ailman's story will appeal to all
interested in authentic pioneer voices. It is Heaven, Akah-az Island, Purgatory Peak, Starvation Flat, and for ecology and human rights. Hulse also follows the early
an invaluable source of information on Puny Dip Canyon, to name a few. The book contains historical explorers of the Great Basin and the ordeals of the first immi-
mining and commercial development in fact peppered'with folklore, and sometimes frustrating leads grants. "An excellent summary of the state's past." -Book
southwes:ern New Mexico. Exchange. ISBN 067-2, 282 pp., illus., $9.00
that end in mystery. "A treasure trove for the Western history
a f i c i o n a d o . " '-Lorcff Beach Independent Press-Telegram. ISBN
Heien J. Lundwail is the librarian at the 041-9, 282 pp., $15.00
Public Library of Silver City.

April 19S3 214 paRes, illustrated


5""4 x s
Cluth: -»*S5-j $17.50
Paper: -€6S6-1 S9.95

"ltl'l:<l:iii it: iivwnffAM U'itli llw I


Desert Magazine Book Shop
A Gift of Books Will Be Remembered Long After
the Occasion is Forgotten.
Name
Address
GHOST TOWNS OF THE NORTHWEST Citv _State_
S'orman D. Weis I enclose $< _(check, money order or charge)
Among the sixty-two ghost towns described, nearly twenty
are "unknown," seldom visited, never before written about, MY CHARGE: • VISA-
mysterious in origin and location. The author has researched
and studied the remains of these "unknown" sites and talked
with those old-timers who could be found. The book, describing
the ghost towns of five Western states, will appeal to anyone Credit Card No.
who appreciates a good story, as well as to insatiable search-
ers for remnants of the Old West.
Illustrated with 252 photographs, and 17 maps. Expiration Date MasterCharge
Cluth SI1.93 ISBN 0-S70O4-2O1-7 MonthA'ear Interbank No.
HELLDORADOS, GHOSTS AND CAMPS
OF THE OLD SOUTHWEST
Signature
Sorman D. Weis (charge not valid unless signed)
Come with Norman D. Weis on a 7.000-mile tour of the Old
Southwest. See the weathered ruins of 67 ghost towns and
abandoned mining camps — some famous, others little known,
and one never before mentioned in written history.
A lively, humorous text and 'JS5 stunning black-and-white
photos recall the roaring times when miners dug for gold,
silver, or coal in California, Arizona. N'evada, New Mexico, and
the southern portions of Colorado and Utah.
Cloth SU.95 ISBN 0-S700I-2I3-2

THE BLACK ROCK DESERT


Sessions S. Wheeler California residents add 6% sales tax
The unknown people who, thousands of years ago, lived be- Enclose Self Addressed. Stamped So. 10 Postage/handling $1.50
side a large lake and left behind puzzling evidences of their
cultures; the first white explorers; the forty-niners who fol- Envelope for Our FREE 10-Page Catalog. TOTAL
lowed I.assen's "Death Route"; the desert's vicious Indian
war; lost mines; and the history of the basin's big ranches are Ordering Information 51.M) postage and handling per order. NOT each ilem.
all included in the fascinating story ot* an unusual part of our I'sc the convenient o r d e r form. Prim all information Noniulh. we ship uiihm -tS hours of receiving \our order
earth, Nevada's Black Rock Desert.
"Buck" Wheeler is widely known as an authority on dearly. In the event of a dela\ exceeding two ueeky vou wiil be
Nevada history and geology. THE BLACK ROCK DESERT is On orders exceeding SJO 00 1'niied Parcel Service is used nonlied .is [0 i[s cause.
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December 1983
Valley in Ootabesi
In this photograph taken in Monument valley, Dick ange sandstone against a blue sky flecked with the
Freeman has caught four of those intangibles which fleecy whiteness of passing clouds—and you will un-
constitute that elusive thing called the lure of the desert. derstand why artists and poets find in Monument valley
one of the loveliest settings in all outdoors.
PEACE! Since it has neither mines nor forests nor rich
agricultural lands, Monument valley has never known COURAGE! Undaunted by withering sun and with
the bitter conflict of man competing against man for the little rainfall, the juniper, sage, rabbitbush, cacti and
tangible riches which are identified with luxury and scores of other members of the plant world carry on here
year after year and occasionally burst into gorgeous
power. The people of this remote region are the soft-
blossom as a symbol of the courage which is their's.
spoken Navajo—and their's is a peaceful occupation.
They are shepherds. ADAPTATION! Monument valley has peace and
beauty and courage because here in this remote region
BEAUTY! Where in all the world is the beauty and the natural laws of adaptation have had little interfer-
majesty of natural things better symbolized than in this ence from hands of men. The living things in this setting
picture? Visualize these towering buttes of red and or- have adapted themselves to their environment.
n
:. III
§§

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