Manual 20998471

Manual 20998471
San Francisco, California
Awarded first prize in Desert Magazine's December photographic contest. Photo taken with
a Rollieflex camera, 1/10 sec., F:22, Plus X film,
G filter.
2/aufrt9 &skim &Acts
Los Angeles, California
Second prize in the monthly contest was given
for this interesting study taken with a 2¼x3¼
Voightlander camera, 1/50 sec., F:16, Pana
tomic X film.
FEB. 2 Candlemas Day dance, San Felipe Indian pueblo, New Mexico.
Meeting of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona.
Turtle dance, Taos Indian pueblo,
New Mexico.
Meeting of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona.
Volume 6
Number 4
RED ROCK CANYON, Mojave Desert, California.
Photo by Fred H. Ragsdale, Los Angeles, Calif.
Beginning of Lenten rituals of
Los Hermanos Penitentes (The
PHOTOGRAPHY Prize winning photographs in December
Penitent Brotherhood).
February events on the desert
DATE NOT SET—New Mexico wool
December temperatures on the desert grower's convention, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Burros, and other poems
Throughout February special exhibition
The Greeks Had a Name---For City Rock Collectors
of arts and crafts of all Arizona
By ED AINSWORTH Indians. Museum of Northern
Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Soliloquies of a Prospector
Moicrves and Their Next Door Neighbors
Mean for December 56.0
A test of your desert knowledge 14
Normal for December 52.0
High on Dec. 15 GEOGRAPHY
Dirty Devil—The Saga of a River
Low on Dec. 8 35.0
Massacre in the Mountains
Total for December 0.36
. 18
Weather-ART OF LIVING Desert Refuge, by MARSHAL SOUTH .
. 23
Days clear 17
Days partly cloudy 7
Days cloudy 7
of possible sunshine LETTERS
from Desert Magazine readers
E. L. FELTON, Meteorologist.
Here and There on the Desert 29
Hard Rock Shorty of Death Valley
Mean for December 59.0
Normal for December CONTEST
Landmark contest announcement 55.2
High on Dec. 15 80.0
Low on Dec. 10 39.0
—Edited by ARTHUR L. EATON Rain—
Total for December 0.01
Normal for December 0.49
Briefs from the desert 37
Days clear
Just Between You and Mc
by the Editor
Days partly cloudy 38
Days cloudy
Sunshine, 91 percent, (283 hours of sunshine
out of a possible 311 hours).
JAMES H. GORDON, Meteorologist.
Yucca Valley, California
Relentlessly the rain did sweep
Down mountain sides, and canyons—
And even the sun could not condemn
When it saw new fields of rock and
The Harvey Girls, and other reviews .39
The Desert Magazine is published monthly by the Desert Publishing Company, 636
State Street, El Centro, California. Entered as second class matter October 11, 1937, at
the post office at El Centro, California, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Title registered
No. 358865 in U. S. Patent Office, and contents copyrighted 1943 by the Desert Publishing
Company. Permission to reproduce contents must be secured from the editor in writing.
LUCILE HARRIS and HARRY SMITH, Associate Editors.
BESS STACY, Business Manager. — EVONNE HENDERSON , Circulation Manager.
Manuscripts and photographs submitted must be accompanied by full
postage. The Desert Magazine assumes no responsibility for damage or loss ofreturn
or photographs although due care will be exercised for their safety. Subscribers should
send notice of change of address to the circulation department by the fifth of the month
preceding issue
One year
$2 50
Two years
Canadian subscriptions 25c extra, foreign 50c extra.
Address correspondence to Desert Magazine, 636 State St., El Centro, California.
—Phoio by Cal Godshall.
Pacific Beach, California
It once was part of a granite spire
On a lofty mountain summit,
Harp of the icy winter winds
And a mirror for the maiden moon.
Loosened by frost it fell from the cliff
Where it lay for a score of centuries.
Then a great flood swept it to the sea
And it was tossed by ocean waves
And buried in silt for a million years,
Hardened to stone with an iron stain.
Slowly it rose as the sea-floor moved
Till once again it is part of the land.
And now a brown ant puts it down
In a pile of chaff beside her nest
On a desert plain where I muse.
Pueblo, Colorado
Above your mystic rim a white veil clung,
The rumble of low thunder struck my ear,
While lightning leaped the chasm, and the sheer
Descent to age-old depths was all mist-hung.
It looked as if the clouds chiffon had flung
To hide the brilliant hues (which shine so clear
On sunny days) and mute sounds, so I'd hear
The lovely notes a swift-winged bluebird sung.
So through the ages from the first to this,
As struggling worlds toiled upward from the
In every age there surely came some bliss
To break the darkness, and new hope infuse.
To me today there came a bluebird's note,
Above curved pits I saw a rainbow float.
San Diego, California
Where carnivals erect their curious stands,
A small and sleepy group, the burros stay.
They guard old secrets of their ancient bands,
Disdainful of the parts they play today.
Do they remember how this West was won.
Who followed men to mines and on long trails,
Who knew the desert thirst, withstood its sun,
Brought wood and water, weathered wintry
They keep close counsel who are come to stand
Upon the borders of a pavement age.
If you had known Jerusalem and every land
Since Noah's time, you might appear as sage.
Small burden-bearers of the long, long trail,
Fate ,grant lush grass and rest in shaded vale.
• •
Tucson, Arizona
I know the fragrance of the heather
Wild on the moor in rainy weather,
Of forests dank and rife with gloom,
Of meadow daisies full in bloom.
I know the tang tall pines are sowing
Where a snow-cold wind is blowing.
Wild honeysuckle, cherry, peach—
How lovely is the scent of each.
These fragrances are old loves, all
Answering my heart's recall—
Until the greasewood, wet with rain,
Perfumes the desert ail- again !
Plattsburg, New York
I cannot sleep in shack, or palace on the strand:
I need the starlit sky and bed of sun-warmed
I will not be confined by walls—nor understand
The stifling ways of man—I need the open land.
Los Angeles, California
Leave all . . . and go to the desert . . .
Uncharted paths have a lure;
She, by her magic will win you
Teach you to know the obscure.
Live there . . . and learn of her secrets,
Watch her mysterious ways,
Fathom the wisdom of silence . .
Silence that's louder than praise
Spin all your dreams while you're with her.
Weave them with strands of desire,
Dye them with purple and amber;
Dreams are but prayers to aspire.
Learn from her patience and pathos,
Sternness with which to defend
Pèace, you have striven for bravely
Learn when denial's your friend.
Go to the desert and linger,
Seek there for courage and Truth;
Both are the gifts of the desert .. .
Both are the essence of youth.
Ed Ainsworih and daughter Sheila make a find on one of their rock hunting expeditions.
1whQ qeQQhi #ad
a A/am
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A lcrrge proportion of Desert Magazine readers have come to know Ed
Ainsworth through his column in the Los Angeles Times. What they
probably did not know until now is that he is one of the most rabid members of the desert rock collecting fraternity—only he has another name for
it. Here is the story of how he and his family were lured into a hobby from
which there is no retreat.
TS like being a pack rat. Only this
pack rat has no conscience. He never
leaves anything in return. He just
pac]cs......a way
My rock collecting mania—blossoming
terrifying maturity in the crowded
metropolitan area instead of in the open
Country_h as deprived me of a sense of
moral responsibility, my leisure time and
the companionship of my family and has
cost me many of my friends. Still I persist.
Gath c ring rocks has ceased to be a hobby.
It15 disease. And I am in the midst of
the a:ute attack.
A such things often do, it started in
O its
nocently enough. For several decades of
my life a rock had been a rock to me and
nothing more. My blood pressure remained normal in the presence of a geode.
Nothing happened to my pulses when I
chanced to glance at a piece of petrified
wood. Not even the sight of hloodstone or
black lava disturbed my calm.
Then I met some rocknuts at the beach
one day (dont worry, this will get to be a
desert story in a minute). They were Mr.
and Mrs. George L. Barbeau of Laguna
Beach. In their yard they had a fantastic
array of rocks of all kinds. They called my
attention to them. They pointed out big
white rocks with glistening silver streaks,
pink rocks, purplish rocks, brown-streaked
rocks. Suddenly, as if some demon were
whispering in my ear, it became apparent
to me that rocks were, after all, of different
varieties, shapes, colors and degrees of
This seemed an innocent enough discovery at the time. That was before I actually
started collecting rocks myself.
How would you like a couple?" the
Barbeaus inquired, in what they meant to
be a kindly gesture.
They proffered a gorgeous piece of material described as rose quartz and a lightgreen rock from the sea. Into my car they
went and then into the front yard. But
they looked rather lonely.
That was what started the trouble.
My wife and I decided that we should
find a few other colored rocks to go with
them. Even this early, though, we discovered that colored rocks of the quality to be
placed in gardens are not to be picked up
alongside the main road. The next prob 5
at old mines. We meant no wrong. Still
we invaded our first mine dump withom
benefit of permission from owner or
It was a gorgeous place, the location ot
which I shall not specify for fear there mav
be no law of limitations on the crime of
stealing mineral specimens. On the dump
there were magnificent chunks of purple
stone. On the nearby hillsides there were
quartz boulders shot through with pink
and purple. We had intended to get only
a few little pieces but by the time we had
finished loading the car, the body was
squashed flat down on the axles and we
had to sit on boulders for 130 miles on the
way home.
From then on, of course, there was no
We discovered that we had become pe
trol'ers of the most rabid kind ourselves,
and that weekends were made for but one
purpose—to get more rocks. It was at this
stage that we began to appreciate the necessity of mapping definite objectives and
It's a family affair—building rock gardens at the Ainsworth home. Left to right—
Ed, Cynthia, Mrs. Ainsworth and Sheila.
setting forth with the proper equipment
and necessary man-power to wrest the
treasures of nature from cliffs, mountain
lem was to locate a good place to go to ern California. He described himself as a sides and river beds.
'petroller." This he explained was a comhunt for specimens.
In the beginning, we were concerned
At first, the desert seemed too far away. bination of the Greek word "petras," mainly with size. Any stone that had a
We explored nearby canyons before ven- meaning rock, and the English word semblance of good looks would appeal to
'roller" meaning "one who rolls." Hence, our collecting instincts just because of its
turing farther afield. The results were dishave a "rock-roller," or collecting colossal proportions. One of our greatest
appointing. All the stones in San Gabriel
canyon and Big Tujunga appeared to be maniac. This, at the time, seemed to be early triumphs occurred on a narrow but
it ap- exceedingly well-traveled highway, with
of one uniformly hideous grey. Not a rather a strong description. Later,
steep banks on each side, so that it was imof
single hint
Anyway, Dr. Knopf advised trying the possible to get a car more than a few inches
relieve the monotony.
Rock hunting apparently wasn't as sim- dumps of old mines and certain recom- off the edge of the pavement. We spotted
mended areas in the great Colorado des- what appeared to be a portion of a large
ple as it seemed.
quartz boulder peeping out from the emNext, we consulted an expert, Dr. Carl ert. Fortunately, we were entirely unproperty
bankment. With those chortles of exciteof
Sumner Knopf
ment and anticipation which mark all
genuine rock-collectors, we tumbled from
the car and attacked the earth surrounding
Ainsworth home with its wagon-wheel gate on the hillside overlooking Arroyo
Seco in Highland Park, Los Angeles.
the edge of the stone. After half-an-hour's
digging, we had uncovered a ,g..n1 of purest ray serene about half as big as a piano
box, and weighing somewhere in the
neighborhood of 350 pounds.
Anybody with any sense would not have
attempted to get it into the car, of course.
But, as I have said, we had become rock.
collectors. Four of us gathered about the
rock and rolled it off the embankment to
the edge of the roadway. Because of the
embankment it was impossible to open the
car door on one side, and it was necessary
to roll the giant stone onto the actual pavement where cars were whizzing by in both
directions, with barely enough room to
pass, anyway. Every time we tried to open
the car door, some car would zoom past
and nearly blow us down. Thon, when the
crucial moment came for bending over and
heaving on the rock to attempt to get it
into the car, we were practically massaged
in the rear by each thundering juggernaut
as it sped by, with the occupants scream
ing uncomplimentary remarks into our
ears that were already red with strain of
The fact that we finally loaded the rock
is more a tribute to our bull-headedness
than to our good sense. At any rate, we
transported the monster 38 miles, w:th it
threatening any moment to fall bodily
through the car floor. It now decorates our
home entry-way, and although brighter
jewels surround it, "the big fellow" still
retains first place in our sentimental affections.
Naturally, our real mania did not approach its peak until we found what wonders the desert held.
Our first venture into the land of cactus,
sagebrush and Gila monsters was hardly
one to be recalled with any fond remembrances. It was in November, a bleak
and chilly day, when we rolled over Cajon
Pass and came out onto that long, flat
stretch which beckons to the side-road explorer beyond Barstow.
We had been invited to camp overnight
at the desert shack of friends. The evening passed most pleasantly in the warm,
one-room house. Then came the question
of sleeping. We had only blanl-ets with
us, and we were scheduled to sl-ep just
outside the house on the nice, soft desert
When we opened the door about 11
p. m. to go outdoors to retire, it was
jerked from our hands by the force of
the wind. The wind was beenning to
howl and screech, and it had an icy edge
to it. We laughed gaily and assured our
host that we would be most comfortable
with the car to "shut off the wind." Then
we started to spread our blankets. They
stood out from our hands like a flag in a
hurricane. We felt around in the dark for
some rocks—we hoped that tarantulas
went to bed before 11 p. m.—and deposited them on the lower corner of the first
blanket. Then by degrees we deployed the
other blankets into place, and while one
hardy soul stood outside and held on, the
others leaped in and grabbed the blankets
before they could blow off. Finally, we all
were in a more or less horizontal position,
holding on to the blankets with hands and
feet, and occasionally being blown half upright as the covers bellied out like a mainsail in a sou'wester.
Then, too, in about an hour it seemed
that not sand but all the rocks in the desert were underneath us. We writhed and
gripped the sailing covers.
The sand was blowing, too, by this time,
and it was necessary to keep one's eyes
Closed, although sleep was out of the
question. At about 12:45 it started to rain
and s'eet, along with the wind. This was
too much. We arose, and adjourned to the
house, where we all put our blankets on
the floor in a row, built a roaring fire in
the wood stove and had a big cup of strong
Squaw tea." That floor was the softest,
downiest and most comfortable bed upon
P ET'RUARY, 1943
which 1 have ever slept, after the bumpy
sand and the wind.
The next day we went jasper hunting,
our night's woes forgotten. Jasper sounded
particularly alluring because of the many
references to it in the Bible, and the promise that the streets of heaven were going to
be paved with it. Naturally, no rock collector—with the deteriorating conscience
that always gces with the hobby—could
expect to investigate the streets of heaven
in person, so we were exceptionally
pleased to get a chance at it in this life.
At a certain spot a certain number of
miles beyond a certain landmark, (how we
rock collectors do trust one ancther!) we
were told to alight from the cars and start
looking. Immediately, the loud cries that
began to arise indicated the presence of a
rich strike. The whole flat face of the desert at this point was an alternate succession of greasewood and chunks of jasper—
big, red-orange-yellow treasure-blocks of
it. We gathered and gathered while learning that it was one sequel of volcanic ac-
tivity. Then, when the groaning car could
hold no more, we set off to investigate the
possibility of the yellow and red hills at
Calico, the ghost-town across the great
valley. But Calico's rocks all were soft and
crumbly, and we went home that time with
only the heavenly jasper, which seemed
satisfying enough in itself.
All expeditions are not so gratifying
though. Into every rock collector's life
some gloom must come, some disappointment must poke its way.
We had heard about bloodstone. It
sounded exciting and colorful. We envisioned great masses of blood-red stone.
waiting to be transported to a new home.
So when John Hilton, the desert artist
and gem-expert, offered to guide us to a
great bloodstone deposit, we packed up
and were on the way.
Far into the hills we penetrated that
day, across miles of bumpy desert car
tracks, across storm-scoured washes, by
yellow palo verde trees and the pale lavender blooms of the leathery ironwood, up
This old wagon wheel is one of the souvenirs Ed Ainsworth picked up in his trips
on the desert.
a huge arroyo, past outcroppings of white
onyx, with the temperature all the time
around 118 degrees, and the air pulsating
with the heat. Finally, the desert truck encountered big grey boulders of a size
which not even it could surmount.
From then on we had to walk. On and
on we trudged, carrying the small canteen
and buoying ourselves up with the bright
vision of the gorgeous bloodstone waiting
for us ahead. On the way, we investigated
some baby geodes which were scattered
around like miniature cannon-balls, but
the bloodstone was the lure that kept us
At last the goal loomed ahead, and Hilton pointed out where the outcroppings
were to be found.
Wiping the sweat from our eyes, we all
dashed forward, and then turned around
in dismay. Before us were some sickly
green hunks of shale-like rock with what
appeared to be dirty brown smudges on
"Where is the bloodstone?" we demanded, as well as our parched tongues
would permit us.
"This is it," Hilton explained jubilantly, as he enthusiastically picked up a piece
of the rock and licked it. Thus caressed,
the rock proved to have some dark-red
markings in it, about the color of a rotten
Hilton explained that it would polish
up beautifully, but this couldn't do away
with our disappointment. We had wanted
big blood-red rocks and there weren't any.
Bloodstone was a washout, so far as we
were concerned. Somehow, nature seemed
to have left most of the red corpuscles out
of it.
Just to top things off, I managed to
spill the water out of the canteen. It was
about 14 miles to the nearest water, the
first two of it a hike back to the truck. By
the time we got there our tongues were too
thick for conversation, so we just headed
down the arroyo as fast as we could go.
Each moment our mouths became dryer,
and our throats more like sandpaper.
It was a well for which we were heading. When we got there, we tumbled out
of the truck and dashed to the bucket.
This was a rusty tin can on a wire, which
let down into a fluid about the color and
consistency of a weak, chocolate malted
milk. It was called water.
With us we had our 6-year-old daughter, who had always drunk boiled water
from a sterilized cup. But now she got
the first drink from the well, algae and
The water, etc., was warm, but it was
at least liquid enough to go down. And it
tasted better than the finest boiled, filtered, and chemically-treated artesian water, with a city health pedigree attached.
But if the bloodstone was a washout so
far as we were concerned, Hilton has more
than made up for it since.
With him, we have obtained giant gyp8
PlaaSop/tell •
Text by Dick Adams
Drawing by Frank Adams
sum crystals, some weighing as much as
80 pounds, from Lake Mead, pea-green
copper straight from the innards of a mine
in Mineral Park, Arizona, blue-agate geodes, lodestones, and many others that
now have "moved to the city."
The editor of the Desert Magazine, too,
has led us to the lair of those famous
pinto-stones that look like layers of caramel candy, gorgeous weathered white
marble and to the region where California's own diamonds are found.
We long ago ceased to hive any moral
scruples. We figure, now, that if the Creator made a beautiful rock and it somehow
got on a mine dump and there is nobody
around—well, what do you expect? It
isn't really stealing. It's just giving a lonely
orphan rock a loving home up on our la
in the city.
Friends like Jack Warner of the desert
far above Mojave, who lives amid rainbow-hued stones gathered from everywhere, are kind enough now to provide
plenty of new fields in which to search.
Of course, it would be nice to live right
out in the desert where you could hunt
rocks all the time. But the next best is to
make foraging expeditions from th - big
After all, the desert isn't so awfull big.
Maybe we can move it all in, befo e
get through.
Flash of Lightning and his wife
High Heaped Clouds approve
the government's relocation
plan. When thousands of Japanese evacuees began to arrive in
the new town of Poston, established on a portion of their homeland in the Colorado River Indian reservation, most of the Mojcrve Indians and many of their
white friends—viewed the move
with misgivings. But now Flash
of Lightning regards this solution of an emergency problem
with tolerance and with the belief that this temporary imposition will bring to the Mojave Indians the aid they have heretofore sought in vain.
Older generation of Mojave Indians seldom allow themselves to be photographed
because of traditional tribal taboo.
Alajavai and iheit
Next Pecrt Weiyhboti
HAT do you think of having
the Little Brown Brothers on
your reservation?" I asked an
old Mojave Indian who was loafing in
the noonday sun. I had gone to the Colorado River agency to learn firsthand how
Indians regarded the Japanese now located at Poston.
"I don't like. Government take our Indian boys across the ocean to kill Japs.
Government bring Japs to our reservation
and say we must not kill them!" That was
the am total of his opinion and gifts of
can and cigarettes failed to coax additiol I remarks from him. Already I had
F E BRUARY, 1943
learned that there would be no actual contact between the Indians and Japanese.
When it was decided that 20,000 Japanese should be placed on the Colorado reservation my first reaction was consternation. What would it do to the Indians.
The Mojave's love of his homeland
once proved a powerful obstacle to white
men coveting that country. The journey of
pioneers and explorers often ended
abruptly and with finality once they
reached the wastes of the Colorado river
where the Mojaves have lived since the
discovery of the Southwest. This tribe was
once the largest and most warlike of all
the Yuma Indians and they fought with
deathlike tenacity to save their homes
from all corners. Barren and arid and desolate as that country looks, they have managed to survive famine and war and civilization. About 800 are left in the once
powerful Mojave nation. They have small
fields in the Colorado river bottom and
raise a little grain, beans, corn and pumpkins, and here and there have a small cotton field. They work for the big cotton
growers and pick cotton swiftly and without waste.
After digging an existence from the
desert for centuries they saw their land
made fertile by the completion of Parker
dam in 1939. That stored water would
bring life to 100,000 acres, much more
land than the Mojaves could ever work.
There was a thought of going ahead with
the development and making the excess
acreage available to poverty-stricken Indians of other tribes, but the Navajo and
Hopi and some New Mexican tribes went
down and looked it over and chose to remain in their own homelands. The government, however, seeking a safe place
for Japanese during the war could find
nothing wrong with this location.
I left the old man smoking my cigarettes
and drove across the desert to a miserable
shack belonging to a very old Mojave.
His name was He-re-in-ye. Flash of Lightning That Comes With the Clouds. His
wife had a slightly less imposing title,
High Heaped Clouds. Even the very
names of this desert tribe seem to implore
life giving moisture from the skies. With
them was the younger wife of their son
and she seemed glad to have a visitor. She
was a Sherman graduate and really
beamed when I gave her an armful of
magazines. Life must be drear for the
younger members of the tribe.
Flash of Lightning was quite willing to
talk about the alien visitors in his land
and with the help of Marriane, the
daughter-in-law, we understood each other
very well.
"As I grew old I saw my land become
more and more worthless and dry, while
the water ran down to the ocean by our
parched fields. I saw the young men leaving the planting and going to work at
Needles for the railroad and on ranches
where white men had water ditches. It
was a great time when the government
built a dam and stopped the water from
leaving us. Oh, if I were a young man now
what beans and corn and cotton I cou'd
grow. I am too old to dig in the fertile
fields now." He paused and mentally reviewed the years he had toiled for such
little gain.
Are you displeased that the Japanese
are here to live?"
"No. Already I have lived long enough
to know that there is good in everything.
Also I have learned that what the government plans to do for the Indians can wast.
No money, no money, they say. When the
dam was built, little land was cleared for
planting. Few ditches to carry the water
were dug. The water went on to others because we had no way of using it, and we
were forgotten once more while we used
the small fields the best we could.
"But war came and the enemy must be
put somewhere! No white man would give
up land. But there was Indian land waiting. No water? Plenty of water in the dam.
Spread it over the land. Take big machines
—tear out the sage and cactus and yucca
and make ditches for irrigation. That
takes money and `no money' we were told.
Oh, but money when war is here. It is all
right. Water will run through the ditches
into the land, cleared fields will still be
there when the Japs have gone back to
th-2ir fishing and flower growing. Maybe
Mojaves have watered fields then."
The old wife nodded her head as she
listened and the son's wife added her
"At least we can't be worse off than we
were before the Taps came. We don't see
them or have to live near them. When the
war is over our young people will have
those cleared fields to begin living, on and
they can raise cotton then instead of picking it for white people. We could do nothing by objecting to the Japs. What has an
Indian's protests ever mattered. We will
make the best of it!"
The sun was almost down and I asked
permission to camp near their home. They
were very gracious about it and after my
supper was over I walked across to sit
beside their fragrant sagebrush fire built
in front of the house. Even in that desert
country there was a chill when the sun
went down and there is always something
about an outdoor fire that draws me.
The house was crudely made of railroad
tits, roofed with brush, the south side entirely open. There were no beds except
quilts and cotton blankets which were
spread on the dirt floor at night and rolled
into a tight bundle and set in a corner
during the day. The chairs were packing
boxes from a trading post and the three
Indians sat on them holding their enamel
plates on their laps while they ate the
stew of meat and beans sopped up with
fritd bread. I had watched the girl cook
the bread over the outside fire. I added a
can of tomatoes to their fare and sealed
our friendship.
"Do you make any baskets or pottery?"
I asked.
"No baskets now. Once we made big
willow baskets to hold mesquite beans
and dried corn and beans but we don't
make them now. And since we can buy
pans and jars at a trading post we do not
make pottery. Our clay was not good for
it. About all we used our pottery for wa:
to cook in.
Marriane, a name doubtless bestowed
on her at school, went into the shack and
brought out her beadwork. The Mojaves
make hatbands, bags and woven necklaces
of bright colored beads sewed on tanned
leather and that is their only craft as far as
I could learn. That accomplishment must
have been taught them at the boarding
"Well, if you don't make baskets or
pottery, what do you do?"
"Sometimes we make dresses for the
Mourning day," High Heaped Clouds
took charge of the conversation at that
point and her eyes sparkled with memories of that ceremony. She gave me this
version of it.
Once a year we have a gathering and
A Mojave Indian teaches children in an outdoor Sunday school class using pictures, which
are more easily understood. Tribal members are guaranteed right to worship as they please.
U. S. Indian Service photo.
Ilmourn for the ones that died since last
year. That is when we honor Mas-Zain-Ho,
King of Departed Spirits. Then we women
have a good visit together.
"Once it meant that we went into the
Cry House and just really mourned, but
now we have dances and feasting and we
play cards and the horses race. My man
collected money from all his white friends
last year and when we built the Mourning
House it was very nice. It was hung with
bright cloth and bunting and colored
paper and had a Navajo rug in one place."
"What is it all about?" I wanted to
"Mojave people cremate their dead. If
they don't the spirit comes back in the
shape of an owl and hoots all night on
the house top. We build a big shelter to
dance in and a small one to cook food in
on Mourning day.
"In the middle of the morning relatives
of Mojaves who have died since the last
feast line up in a row and wail for a time.
Then the feast is served, and everybody
stops wailing to eat. Then in the afternoon
is the card playing and horse racing. All
the time the mourning women are honored
guests. Their mourning dresses are very
long and full with long sleeves. They are
black and for a foot or two from the bottom are decorated with narrow bands of
bright ribbons and lace.
When evening comes six or eight
strong young men are chosen to dance. If
one stumbles in the dance it means lots of
sickness and trouble for our tribe. They
carry red and white willow wands and
they dance toward the east several steps.
Then they rest and touch the earth with
the wand. They turn, place the wands over
their shoulders and trot back to the starting place, and this goes on until the sun
begins to show in the eastern sky. Then
they stop and the two houses are torn
down and piled in a heap. The black
dresses are taken off the mourning women
and put on the pile and something that belonged to each mourned dead is added
Then it is lighted by the dancers. They
must stay beside the fire until the ashes
are grey and cold because the spirits of the
mourned are there to watch and they
would he offended if they found the fire
The other Mojave deity is Mat-o-we-lia.
Maker of All Things. He created the Colorado river and then placed land around it
to hold it in place. Then he separated
darkness from daylight and taught the
Mojave people how to raise their food in
the river bottoms. Many times he has saved
them from floods and famines.
"Mat-o-we-lia made the Colorado river
for us, the japs may use it for a time, but
it will always belong to the Three Mountain People." Grandfather Flash of Lightning, That Comes With Clouds put a
Period to the conversation with that statement
Clothes vary from modern styles found in stores today to the long flowing cotton
dresses which white women wore during frontier days. U. S. Indian service photo.
Once most warlike of the Yuma Indians, the 800 members of the Mojave nation
are today predominantly agricultural. U. S. Indian service photo.
George Bradt roped down a
precipitous cliff wall to the secret
eyrie of a pair of Golden Eagles.
Suspended 140 feet above the
cactus-studded desert floor, he
observed and measured the occupant—an appealing little fellow who looked far more like a
child's fuzzy toy than the offspring of majestic eagles.
gepld en
£a9 1e j
With the
erce desert sun gleaming on his magnificent golden head he was every
inch the king of birds.
ARLY last April my wife and I
were exploring a deep and rocky
canyon in the hope of finding a
favorable spot wherein to look for Pocket
mice. We needed a photograph of one of
those tiny desert creatures to complete a
series on nocturnal rodents.
Worki ng along the canyon's northern
wall we happened upon a large and mysterious pile of dead sticks and dried sotol
leaves. As it was quite unlikely that an
animal, even one as large as the industrious pack rat, could have collected such an
impressive amount of desert debris we began looking about for some other explanation for its presence. After carefully examining the canyon floor with no results we
searched the cliffs above with our field
glasses. After much scanning of rocky
walls and pinnacles we finally were able
to make out a large dark mass of coarse
sticks on a narrow ledge a good 100 feet
above us.
So much did our strange find look like
a giant nest that we decided to forget
Pocket mice in favor of a little reconnoitering. Hurrying up the long canyon and
back over a rough ridge we managed to
gain a point directly above the ledge. On
looking over the cliff-edge we were delighted to see that we had indeed found a
nest, and a far from empty one at that. On
a bed of desert spoons lay two great eggs.
We had discovered the secret eyrie of a
pair of Golden Eagles!
Since we had failed to bring climbing
ropes we were forced to admire nest and
eggs from our lofty perch 40 feet above
them. Through our glasses we could sec
them clearly. They looked about as large
as good sized turkey eggs and were beautifully marked with bold chestnut and purple blotches. The adult eagles would incubate these precious, life-filled eggs for a
whole month before the young would be
strong enough to break their prison walls
and put an end to their long and solitary
Not wishing to keep the parent birds
too long from their nest we took a final
look at the eggs and started back to the
car. But instead of returning the way we
had come we kept to the high cliffs in order to pick out a route that would enable
us to approach the nest unobserved. We
wanted to be sure of catching at least a
glimpse of the shy adult eagles on our next
Three long weeks passed before we
were able to revisit the exciting nest-site.
When we did head for the hills again we
took plenty of one inch cotton rope, Out
cameras, and a friend and fellow photographer, Sgt. Grattan English, who was
to give us much valuable aid in climbing
and picture taking.
By following the previously marked
route along the cliffs we managed to reach
our observation post apparently unobserved by either of the adult birds. But be
looking at the nest and its occupants
we cautiously examined the heights above
to determine whether one eagle at least
was not standing guard. It was lucky in
deed that we were so careful. Perched on
a jutting crag across the shadowy canyon
was the male eagle. With the fierce desert
sun gleaming on his magnificent golden
head it was easy to understand why the
eagle is called the King of Birds.
Hoping that the gilded sentinel would
ot see us and give the alarm we quietly
peered over the edge of the cliff. On the
nest, completely unaware of the three pairs
of fascinated eyes focused upon her, sat
he mother eagle. She was gazing intently
out over the rolling desert that lay like a
dust-green sea far below her. From time to
time she would poke her head beneath her
breast and, almost as if talking to herself,
make a soft clucking sound. Immediately,
however, she would be answered by a
high, thin chirping that came from some
quite invisible source.
We were at a loss to explain this strange
conversation until one of us inadvertently
loosed a small pebble. It struck the edge
of the nest and startled the brooding bird.
She looked up, saw us, and quickly flew
from the nest to join her mate on the far
side of the canyon, from which point they
watched us with their marvelous, farseeing eyes. But we were far too engrossed
in what the mother bird had left in the
nest to worry about what the parents might
be thinking. On the rough lining of the
nest lay a tiny white body. It was a baby
eagle. Even from our distant perch we
could see its little outspread wings, black
beak and blacker eyes.
Impatient to view the eaglet at closer
quarters I began uncoiling the rope. But
before this job was half completed Grattan
stopped to ask me if I were not afraid that
the adults might attack anyone trying to
reach the nest. It took some minutes to assure him that eagles, while powerful and
fearless, have a healthy respect for man
and unless wounded or captured have seldom if ever been known to attack a human
being. I also took time at this point to explain to both Grattan and my wife that
eagles do not carry off babies, nor, in fact,
are able to lift into the air anything weighing over eight or nine pounds. This done
I finished straightening out the rope, constructed the climber's "Spanish bowline,"
and made it fast about my legs and waist.
Grattan found a large and well embedded
rock and tied the rope to it. Then, while he
paid out the rope, I began working myself
slowly backward over the cliff.
The first few feet were the hardest. I
could not help looking downward at the
cactus-studded desert 140 feet below me.
But the stout rope in my hand and the excitement of the descent soon made me forget the dangers of my job. After a breathtaking quarter of an hour of feeling out
shallow hand and toe holds, and trying
not to loose stray rocks upon the eaglet's
head and mine, I reached the nest. I then
signalled Grattan for some slack and knelt
to examine the baby eagle.
The appealing little fellow looked far
mort like a child's fuzzy toy than the off Sprig of the majestic eagle. Except for a
few black, blood-filled quills in wings and
tail ,t was completely covered with thick
whi e down. Its large, but very weak, yel-
FE3RU A RY, 1943
low feet were tucked beneath its fat, rabbit-filled crop. The entire time I remained
in the nest it kept its beady black eyes
fixed upon me. But it seemed not at all
afraid or concerned about my presence in
its almost inaccessible home. There was
no sign of the other egg. Perhaps it had
proved infertile. Or perhaps the eaglet had
hatched but subsequently died and been
removed by the parents.
The nest, that the little eagle would
call home for some eight weeks to come,
was a tremendous affair. It measured three
feet by four, and was more than three feet
thick. Several men could easily have stood
upon it. An eagle's nest assumes such
startling proportions because the young
need plenty of wing-room and because a
pair of eagles, mated for life, use the same
nest-site year after year. Instead of building a new home each spring, as do most
birds, they merely add new sticks and lining to the old one.
Before stepping onto the nest for the
first time I hesitated for some moments
fearing that beneath my weight it might
give way and send the baby eagle to its
death on the rocks below, and me to the
end of the rope. But after testing it carefully I found that there was no danger of
its collapsing. I could even stand on its
outer edge, which protruded a good two
feet beyond its supporting ledge, so
strongly interwoven were the sticks which
formed it.
When I finished examining and taking
close-ups of the eaglet, Grattan, with a
long-focus lens on the camera, "shot" the
nest, its eagle-inmate, and strange soldiervisitor. Before leaving I picked up the little bird to see how heavy it might be.
While it could hardly have been more
With a long-focus lens Sgt. English "shot" George Bradt as he was examining the
eaglet and its home.
than 15 or 16 days old it weighed over
two pounds. From beak to end of short
tail it measured about 13 inches; its wingspread was approximately two and one
half feet. Quite a bird!
After Grattan had taken the picture I
signal'ed that I was coming up. It was
good to get on solid ground again. Rope
and sturdy nest notwithstanding, the
climbing and dizzy heights had left me a
bit shaky. But the indescribable thrill of
observing first-hand the home life of the
Golden Eagle was well worth all the effort and dangers involved. We packed up
our gear, waved farewell for the present
to the baby bird, and headed for home.
During the following eight weeks, each
Sunday afternoon, we climbed the rocky
and snake-infested slopes to photograph
and study the progress of our little friend.
By the time it was a bit more than four
weeks old it had acquired numerous black
feathers on wings, body and tail. Within
two more weeks it had learned to stand
surely on its great, sharp-taloned feet, and
had grown strong enough to tear its own
food which consisted almost entirely of
jack rabbits and ground squirrels.
Early June saw it fully fledged from tip
of black, white banded tail to golden h-ad
dress. It spent the long summer days on
the nest-edge flapping its tremendous
wings in preparation for the day on which
it would leave its mountain eyrie. Finally,
one sunny morning, it spread those
seven-foot wings and glided from the nest.
For a few days the parent birds would
watch to see that the new and inexperienced hunter found enough to eat. But
soon it would become expert at capturing
the destructive rodents that form the
greater part of the eagle's diet and would
be left to make its way alone. And the
desert would be richer by one Golden
Each month the Desert Magazine
offers cash awards of $5.00 and
$3.00 for first and second place winners in an amateur photographic
contest. The staff also reserves the
right to buy any non-winning pictures.
Pictures submitted in the contest are limited to desert subjects,
We cannot follow the desert trails as frequently as in former days—but that is no
reason why we should let our desert
knowledge become rusty. And so Desert Magazine's quiz goes on month after
month, partly to recall pleasant memories of former trips, and partly to keep alive
your contact with this land of peace and courage. Here are 20 questions covering
a wide range of desert subjects. The average person will not answer half of them
correctly. The desert rat may get 15—and none but a super-student of the arid region and its geography and history and lore will exceed that number. The answers
are on page 32.
1—The greasewood or creosote bush that grows on the desert is a perennial
2—The bite of a chuckawalla lizard sometimes proves fatal.
True False
3—The blossom of the desert smoke tree is white. True
4—The Hopi Indian reservation in northern Arizona is entirely surrounded by
the Navajo reservation. True False
5—Visitors at the Petrified Forest national monument are permitted to pick up
and take away specimens not exceeding four ounces in weight.
False 6—The state flower of New Mexico is Yucca. True
7—Cochise was an Apache Indian chieftain. True False
8—The Great White Throne is in Zion national park. True
9—The Mojave river of California is a tributary of the Colorado.
10—Juan Bautista de Anza was accompanied on at least one of his treks by Father
Garces. True
False 11—Calcite is harder than rose quartz. True
False.... ....
12 Esteban, who accompanied Marcos de Niza on his quest for the Seven Cities
of Cibola, was killed by Yuma Indians. True False
13—Pyramid lake in Nevada derives its name from a pyramid-shaped rock near
its shores. True
False 14—Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, never saw Utah.
15—Records now available indicate that the prehistoric sloth which lived in the
Southwest, frequently invaded Indian camps in quest of food.
16—The Kaibab squirrel is found in the Kofa mountains of Arizona.
17—The atlatl was a tool used by Papago Indians to harvest fruit from the Saguaro
True False
18—Staurolite crystals, sometimes called Fairy Crosses, are found in New Mexico.
19—The book "I Married a Ranger" was written by Ruth Underhill.
20 Carlsbad caverns were once inhabited by prehistoric Indians.
False True —
but there is no restriction as to the
residence of the photographer. Subjects may include Indian pictures,
plant and animal life of the desert,
rock formations—in fact everything
that belongs essentially to the desert
Following are the rules governing the photographic contest:
1—Pictures submitted in the February contest must be received at the Desert Magazine office by February 20.
2—Not more than four prints may be
submitted by one person in one month.
3—Winners will be required to furnish either good glossy enlargements or
the original negatives if requested.
4—Prints must be in black and white,
31/4x51/2 or larger, and must be on glossy
Pictures will be returned only when
stamped envelopes or photo-mailers are
For non-prize-winning pictures accepted for publication $1.00 will be paid
for each print.
Winners of the February contest
will be announced and the pictures
published in the April number of
the magazine. Address all entries
Contest Editor, Desert Magazine, El Centro, California.
When Dunn shouted back to Major John Wesley
Powell that the tributary ahead was no trout stream
but "a dirty devil," members of that Colorado river
expedition in 1869 probably did not realize how well
HEN Major John Wesley Powell
reached the lower end of Cataract
canyon on his first expedition
down the Colorado river in 1869, he found
himsAf short of supplies.
Much of the flour carried in his small
boats had been ruined by water and his
bacon had spoiled. His men were weary
and hungry. After passing through the
dan;.erous cataracts and into the quiet waters of upper Glen canyon they hoped to
find sorm clear mountain stream entering
the Colorado where they could fish for
F E 3 RUARY, 1943
it was named. Although it la:er was officially designated the Fremont river, the first epithet clung to it.
Both its appearance and its actions during the following generations matched its name, as many a
Mormon settler who battled with it can testify. This
is the story of a river and its vagaries—and the
people who tried to make their homes along its
shifting course.
trout to replenish their supplies and supplement their monotonous menu.
As they emerged from Narrow canyon
they were delighted to obs:rve an opening in the canyon wall indicating a tributary stream. As the leading boat approached the opening a man in one of the
rear boats shouted:
"It is a trout stream?"
Dunn, in the lead, took one look at the
water rolling out of the tributary, which
was even heavier with silt than that in the
Colorado, and shouted back:
"No! It's a dirty devil!"
That's how the Dirty Devil river of
Utah got its picturesque name. In later
years Powell officially designated the
stream as Fremont river, but the old name
stuck in spite of him. How well it deserves
that name today is the subject of this story.
The Dirty Devil river, in southeastern
Utah, has its source in Fish lake. After
dropping down from high Fish lake plateau it passes through a canyon to ttrz' little town of Fremont, then through an open
Giles was later founded between the two
older settlements. Good homes were
built, orchards planted, and the banks of
the Dirty Devil began to take on an air of
prosperity. Each rancher owned large
herds of cattle which grew fat on the wild
grasses of the surrounding desert.
Dead orchards mark the site of once comfortable homes along the Dirty Devil.
valley to Grover, where it enters another
deep canyon.
At Fruita, five miles below, it dives into
another canyon for 13 miles, having
gouged a channel through Capitol Reef.
Just a short distance above the old settlement of Cainesville, it enters a flat alluvial
valley from one to two miles wide, which
continues for about 25 miles to Hanksville.
Below the latter settlement it continues
through another long, deep canyon to the
Colorado. Its total length is about 200
At the time of Powell's first expedition
in 1869 there were no white settlements
anywhere along the Dirty Devil. Hanksville, the oldest settlement, was founded
in 1880 by Ebenezer Hanks as a hideout
for Mormons who wished to practice polygamy unmolested by the law. He could not
have selected a safer spot. Located in the
heart of the roughest kind of broken desert country, no United States officer ever
interfered with the Mormons.
In those days the Dirty Devil above
Hanksville meandered peacefully through
its long, narrow valley, its banks bordered with a thick growth of willows. Its
channel was not more than a dozen steps
wide and it could be waded almost anywhere. It required but little effort to run
irrigation ditches with a plow and construct diversion dams of rocks and willows and put water on hundreds of acres
of flat land. The red alluvial soil proved
rich and it was easy to plow and cultivate.
Within a short time more settlers began
moving down along the Dirty Devil. A
settlement called Cainesville was started
at the upper end of what the pioneers
called Blue valley, and another called
The Dirty Devil above Hanksville. In pioneer times it was a small, meandering
stream and this valley was dotted with fertile farms.
Pioneer Mormons were industrious
farmers. As the valley filled with settlers
they began clearing away the dense growth
of willow brush along the river to make
room for more crops of corn and h'ay. In
places the stream's meanderings interfered
with their ideal of wide, square fields, so
they plowed new channels to straighten its
course. At the next flood season the river
obligingly followed those new channels.
But as time went on it seemed almost too
eager to follow a direct course. The
straightening process had increased its fall,
willows no longer protected its banks, and
soon it began eating its way downward
through the fine silt it had been so long
depositing in the valley.
Then one hot summer day a cloudburst
struck far up in the mountains. Within a
short time a high wall of water burst from
the canyon above Cainesville and Poured
down through Blue valley. Few meanders were left to check its flow and but
few willows to protect its caving banks.
When the flood subsided it was found that
the river had lowered its channel nearly
three feet through the entire length of the
This meant that old irrigation ditches
would no longer carry water to the fields.
New ditches had to be dug, sometimes for
miles, to tap the stream at a higher level.
The channel also had been greatly widened, necessitating larger and more durable diversion dams. But the people went
to work energetically and in time repaired
the damage. It had been a very unusual
flood, they said, and might never happen
But it did happen again and again, and
for a reason not then understood. Horses
and cattle of the first settlers were being
gradually replaced by sheep, which for a
time were more profitable. As sheep destroyed desert vegetation floods became
increasingly more disastrous. New ditches
had to be dug to tap the precious water,
now several feet below its old channel.
The channel, too, had widened, cutting
away hundreds of acres of rich soil.
At Hanksville, where the stream passed
through a sort of rock dyke, a dirt rid
brush diversion dam had been built It
served its purpose well enough until the
crst big flood, when it was washed away.
»nother larger dam was built. This in
tarn melted before the increasing floods.
A third was constructed, and a fourth, of
rock, logs and sand. They all went downstream, one after the other, leaving ditches
high and dry in summer when water was
most needed.
People were spending more time on
their dams and ditches than on their farms.
The work was unending, yet it had to be
done if the settlers were to survive. There
was no such thing in those days, in Hanksville at least, as ditch digging machinery.
Every foot of irrigating canal and every
dam was built by horse and man power.
They did not even have powder to blast
rock, and several tunnels through solid
rock between Cainesville and Hanksville
were dug by men with rock hammers and
crowbars, lying on their bellies.
No irrigating company ever was formed
for the settlements along the Dirty Devil.
The work was all cooperative. Whenever
a ditch needed mending or a dam had to
be built the Mormon bishop called on men
to do the work and they did it without remuneration other than the eventual benefit
to their own land. As the river channel
widened the road had to be changed, until
at last it was carved out of the bluffs high
above any possible flood. This was also
done by cooperative labor before the county was able to appropriate money for such
As sheep gradually destroyed natural
vegetation the river cut its channel deeper
and wider with each succeeding flood season. Many rich farms were washed downstream into the Colorado. Others had to
be abandoned because it was impossible to
put water on them. A large part of the
town of Hanksville was washed away. But
the people of that village believed they
could control the floods if they had a dam
that would hold. So they went to work
building a permanent dam at the narrows
above town. Rock was cut and hauled
from nearby hills and laid up by hand
40 feet high and over 100 feet wide between two rock abutments. This required
an immense amount of labor for so small a
community, but it was finally finished and
Hanksville felt safe for the first time in
many years.
In August of the following summer another big flood came roaring down the
Dirty Devil. Every citizen of Hanksville
rushed out to see if their dam, built with
SO much effort, would hold. When the
peak nf the torrent passed they were overjoyed to see their rock wall still intact—
but the river channel behind it was level
full cq silt!
This diversion dam, built by cooperative labor, is a monument to the Mormon
settlers of Hanksville, Utah, on the Dirty Devil river.
early settlers along the Dirty Devil. But
most of the fertile acres below it have gone
down the Colorado and those still remaining are scarcely worth watering. In earlier
days Hanksville was a lively town of prosperous farmers and cattlemen. Now it is
almost abandoned. In its heydey Charley
Gibbons' store did an annual business of
S200,000. When I passed through last
September, the town's one remaining store
expected to close within a month.
Where once the river meandered quietly between willow-lined banks, it now has
cut a channel sometimes 40 feet deep almost the full length and width of its long
valley. What land remains has long ago
reverted to sagebrush and greasewood.
Here and there dead orchards mark the
site of some pioneer home, while old
ditches, long dry, are lined with dead
Where once stood the flourishing village of Giles nothing is left but an empty
church, standing gaunt and alone in a sea
of sagebrush. At Cainesville a few ranches
survive, but even these are being slowly
washed away.
Returning from a recent trip to the
Henry mountains, Dr. Inglesby and I were
about to cross the river above Cainesville
when we heard a roar and saw a four-foot
wall of water advancing toward us. It was
too late to cross so we stood on the bank
and watched the flood come down.
Higher and higher it rose until it filled
the wide, deep channel. Not until noon
the next day did it recede enough for us to
cross safely. We knew that many more
acres of red soil had been washed down
to Boulder dam. And we knew, too, why
old-timers along the river still persist in
calling it the Dirty Devil.
This pioneer home, carefully constructed of native rock, stands abandoned in the
sagebrush along the Dirty Devil.
Hanksville dam still stands, a
monu.nent to the tireless energy of those
Frank Walker, renowned Navajo interpreter and historian standing by one of the pits in
which were buried some 40 Mexicans killed in the 1860 massacre of the Chuska mountains.
Aiaii aete ill the
Illustrated by Charles Keetsie Shirley
)j OINTING to a shadow-streaked
chasm that jagged upward from
the sunny plains of T6hatchi and
faded into the mist settling on the pineclad heights of the Chuska mountains,
Frank Walker, my Navajo friend told,
At the very source of this Tèclilkil tsékoo,
the Whisky Water canyon, there is a small
laguna. On a hill nearby lie the bones of
many Mexicans!''
For a long time I had been hearing hazy
tales of this epic massacre. But I could
never pin a Navajo down to specific details. When I questioned too closely, they
always fell silent. I grasped this opportunity. Could Frank guide me to the battlefield?
No!" he answered. "I've wanted to go
up there for years. But I never got around
to it. There's an old man near T6hatchi
Old timers in the Indian country say there is only one man
who knows the true story of the
massacre which took place in
the Chuska mountains cf New
Mexico in 1860. He is Naltsos
Nalyai, son of the Navajo chief
who led his warriors against
the slave - raiding Mexicans.
Here is recorded the story of that
dramatic encounter on the
snow-covered pine heights of
Chuska as Naltsos Nalyai told
it to Richard Van Valkenburgh.
called Naltsos Nalyai, the Paper Carrier.
The 'old timers say that he's the only man
who knows the real story of what happened.
The first snow had fallen. We knew
that our man had shifted from his summer
camp in the mountains to some sheltered
nook in the lowlands. As the trader is always the directory of local Navajo move.
ments, we headed for the T6hatchi trading post.
Pushing through the Navajo lounging
on the stoop we entered the "bull-pen.'
The Navajo turned from their trading to
shake hands with Frank. For Ashkilin
nih, the Freckled Boy, was one of the most
respected elders of the tribe. He spott:d an
old man warming himself by the stove.
The cast of his face was familiar—I tried
to place him.
For a few moments Frank talked with
him. Then he called me over. After we
shook hands my interpreter said quietly,
"This is Naltsos Nalyai! He has the true
story from the mouth of the chief who led
the Navajo warriors. For he is the son of
Dabanan Badanih, whom the Mexicans
called Manuelito!"
With this casual introduction Frank
made me acquainted with a man whom
I had sought to meet for years. With his
sister, the old wife of the headman, Dayachiibikis, they were the sole survivors
of the 37 original members of Manuerto's
family group. The famiPar look was that
of the son's striking resemblance to the old
Ben Wittick portraits I had seen of the
war chief.
The pewter-colored line of the snowfog was creeping down the black scarps of
the Chuskas when we left T6hatchi,
Where-They-Dipped-For-Water. Located
24 miles north of Gallup, New Mexico, on
U. S. Highway 666, this Indian service
village is a tiny dot inside the apex made
by the juncture of Tedilkil tsékoo and
T6hatchi creek.
After passing through the hamlet we
swung northwestward over the Chuska
Pass trail. Clinging to the rocky walls of
T6dilkil tsékoo we moved steadily upward
over a series of tight hair-pin turns. When
we passed from the barrens into the juniper zone, Naltsos Nalyai called for a halt.
He guided us to a promontory which
projected from the smoothly fluted lava
cliffs that skirt the dome of Deza Point.
Waving his arm in an arc eastward he
said, "Look!"
Below us spread one of the grandest
scenic vistas in Navajoland. In one endless swell the sun-brightened plains of the
Great Bend of the Chaco rose to the dusty
lavender line that was the Continental Divide. The Chaco river was a great white
arc bent to the north. One hundred miles
eastward the 11,389-foot peaks of San
Mateo were old turquoise sheathed in
white shell.
They come howling across the mountain.
Then they tear up the 'Tree People' and
throw them around like this."
We came to a break in the forest. Below us a tiny lake gleamed like polished obsidian in its frame of white snow. Naltsos
Nalyai told, "This is T6dilkil be'ekiid, the
Whisky lake. The water makes fine Oabai. Each 'corn-ripening-time' the old people came up here. They made corn-beer
We soon passed from the brightness of and had a big time."
the lower world into the smothering
Across the flat an ancient "forked-sticknether of the snow-fog. Patches of slushy hogan" stood gaunt in the snow. While I
snow grew more frequent. After skidding sawed a section from one of the main
up a series of steep grades we reached the beams, Naltsos Nalyai and Frank argued
8,200-foot summit, Chuska Pass. Niltsos as to its age. According to local tradition,
Nalyai called the gap Tsébiniyoll, Windy- Naltsos Nalyai calculated that it had been
erected "three-old-men's-lives-ago." He
On a spruce covered point to the south was not far from correct. Tree-ring counts
rose the truncated cone of Ch'ooshg aii. the showed that my beam had been cut near
White-Colored-Spruce - Tree - Mountain. 1760 A. D.
One of the major sacred peaks of the NaAfter bucking another half mile of
vajo, it figures prominently in the rite- slush we dropped into the thin valley that
myths of the Night Chant. In the stories grooves out the mountain top between
accompanying the Blessing Way ceremon- Washington Pass and Whisky lake.
ies it is described as the head of the great Naltsos Nalyai called for a halt by the
human figure that forms the Yo'didzil, or banks of a frozen brook. Peering through
the fog that was now a cold steam curling
Our trail swerved north from the main up through the pines, he said, "La! This
road. In second gear we picked our way is the place!"
through a labyrinth of ponderosa pine that
The rotten ice crackled as we crossed a
lay uprooted and awry in every direction. frozen meadow. Under the low rim of a
Naltsos Nalyai commented, "Bad busi- pine-covered knoll lay a large log. While
ness! Each fall the 'Wind People' do this. we sat there and smoked Naltsos Nalyai
Ki I
......... .. .... ........ ............................. ....... TRAIL
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5 MI.
yaws ROUTE 771E/5
24 MI.
perpetuated his father's saga of the massacre in the mountains:
"Djinii. Manuelito, my old father told
me this.
"It was in the `time-when-the-/ookareeds-flowered.' Bad news reached the Navajo camps. Many Mexicans with guns
were making a war trail to the west. Enemy Navajo from S an doval's band at Cebolleta were guiding them.
"Nat5.aliith, the war-singer, started to
make 'medicine.' Our warriors started to
patch their thick buckskin shirts. While
they sharpened their lances they told how
they would stick the Mexican coyotes. It
was always like that—the old time Navajo
were always hungry to get blood-revenge.
They always remembered the massacre of
many of their kinsmen in that cave in the
Canon del Muerto.
"Our scouts kept watch on the Mexicans. They came towards our mountains
over the Great Navajo trail. That ran from
Cubero through the lava beds and up the
valley of La Agua Azul. Today the railroad goes over part of the trail. Near Fort
Wingate they turned north and passed
through La Mesa de los Coyotes.
"When they camped at a spring in the
foothills near Naschitti, the Place-of-theBadger, we knew what they were after.
They were going to raid our summer
camps near ndilkil be'ekiid. Our old
grandfathers hurried their women and
children off the mountain. With the sheep
they would hide in the deep canyons of
the Tsegii' to the west.
"Guided by Enemy Navajo they found the horse
trail that led to the top of
the mountain. That night
their campfires ringed the
shores of Be'ekiid binezhi,
the Long Lake. The Mexicans called it La Laguna
Grande. In the black sha-
dows just beyond the glow of their campfires, my father's warriors fletched their
war bows.
"They broke camp before daylight. Like wolves they wanted to
surprise the Navajo. Hidden in
the dense forest our warriors
skirted their flanks and rear.
When the red sun of Johanabai
came up from behind the blue
ridge of the mountains they rode
into our trap. It is where this valley is pinched in by two oakcovered spurs.
"My father motioned to Nataaliith. The hathli gave the signal! It was the gobble of Tazhi,
the Wild Turkey. From three directions the singing war arrows
of the Dine' poured into the Mexicans. With lances lowered our
hashké whooped as they crashed
through the thickets and charged
the enemy.
"The Mexicans beat their
plunging horses. Down the valley they stampeded. Like jadi,
the Antelope, they were being herded
into a hunting corral with no outlet. But
like Mdii, their coyote brothers, they ran
to find a hole to
sneak into. Just before reaching T6dilkil be'ekiid — right
on this flat before us,
they swerved off the
trail and got on this
rocky hill.
"Working fast
they made a fort of
logs and stones. Covered by trees and
rocks our warriors
crept close to them.
Then they teased them, 'Naxaih yâa, Oh,
ho! Old Mexicans! You'll all be dead.
Pretty soon the girls over at Cubero will
be crying.'
"Their horses screamed when our arrows knocked them down. Then the Navajo went after the Mexicans. Seven warriors were killed that afternoon. Their
relatives howled for revenge. Just as the
blood-speckled sun dropped into the
Western Sea my father started the trick
that finished them.
"With Hashké Nezhi, the Long Warrior, he sneaked behind a smooth log that
lay on the slope. They yelled and made
a lot of noise. All the Mexicans ran to see
what was going on below them. Slowly the
rt .
. , ..„
: - '.:
- ' - - : .4-: ..--;-
N it
Navajo rolled the log toward them. While
they were banging away at the log something else was happening!
"Like Nastui tso, the mountain lion, my
father's warriors crept in from the side.
Only the summer song of the gentle
'Breeze People' playing on the mountain
top ruffled the deep silence of the forest.
Out of this stillness came the stacatto gobble of Tazhi!
Whooping and running zig-zag my
father and Hashké Nezhi charged. Musket
balls whistled all around them. Like a
stroke of 'male-lightning' the hidden warriors struck from the sides. With lances
and knives flashing they swarmed over the
cornered Mexicans.
"Most of them were killed back of the
breastworks. A few broke away and ran
through the forest like rabbits. Warriors
on horseback rode them down. It was over
quickly. Before the blue smoke of the gunpowder had drifted up through the pines,
the ground was covered with dead Mexicans!
"Something moved under the pile of
dead Mexicans. My father pulled a wounded man out by the legs. Someone recognized him as an Enemy Navajo called José.
They killed that traitor right there. Before the war party rode off the mountain
they laid their dead kinsmen in deep
crevices and covered them with rocks.
"Later the tribe held a 'Swaying Dance.'
That was to purify the warriors who had
scalped Mexicans. The medicine men came
up here. They had to have enemy bones to
wrap in the ceremonial bundles. Since
then our hathli always come un here to get
bones for the Anaci'djihih, or Enemy Way,
which you Bilakana call the 'Squaw
With this Naltsos Nalyai got up from
the log and motioned us to follow him. As
we climbed the slope toward the knoll he
told, "La! It was right here that Hashké
Nezhi and my father rolled that log toward
the Mexicans. He brought me up here just
two years before he died. In Bilakana
count that was in 1892.
We climbed to the top of the knoll. Before us the crumbled breastworks of
lichen-covered stones and rotted logs littered and sluffed off the malpais rim. Under the trees on the ground lay the scattered skeletons of many horses. Mixed
with them were a few smaller bons.
Looking closer I saw that they were human
I looked at Naltsos Nalyai. He glanced
at a rock-lined depression. He stood stock
still. I moved nearer. The whitened tip of
a human pelvis poked out of the black
humus. I kicked back the blanket of pine
Naltsos Nalyai, the last son of Manuelito the war chief.
needles. In a semi-circle below me I saw
the top-fill of a charnel pit. At my feet
were the remains of some two score Mexicans killed in the massacre of the mountains!
Navajo story of unusual historical significance I searched through the archives for
the New Mexican version of the massacre
After some digging I found in the July 18,
1860, number of the Santa Fe Gazette:
The black wind of the winter night
whispered a moaning dirge as we drove
out of the sinister mountain valley. I was
a bit queasy—but felt no pity for the Mexicans whose bones now make Squaw
Dance medicine for the Navajo. Starting
with the massacre of some 100 women
and children in Cañon del Muerto in 1805
their bloody slave hunts could bring nothing but reprisal from the Navajo.
. . Manuel E. Pino and Manuel
Chaves led a force of about 400 into
the Navajo country this spring. An-
• • •
Following my custom when I hear a
other party of about 50 suffered
heavy losses this month in a fight
with the Navajo near Laguna
Again Navajo unwritten history proved
remarkably accurate. Sometimes I won.
der—would not the bloody history of our
Indian Wars have been more accurately
and sympathetically portrayed had the In
dian slant been preserved?
The Souths have abandoned until spring their
search for a new home—in deference to a snowy
winter which already has hemmed them in the little
Utah valley where they have found a temporary
refuge. It was while exploring the strange volcanic
country surrounding the Little House, that they were
inspired to take up again one of the primitive arts
they had learned in their Yaquitepec home. The
willow trees they found up a sandy wash were
promptly raided for their long pliant shoots, and
packed home by Rider. Now the South family will
have another enjoyable activity to wedge between
story-telling and arithmetic lessons.
Peiett Xetuye
T IS a good while now since the Pilgrim, with his covered wagon and burros, vanished down the lone desert
trails. And we are still here in the Little House under the
Utah stars. Here we shall remain a while. For at the last minute
we decided to put off our onward trek until the milder w:ather
of Spring. Not that we have forgotten the Pilgrim's message,
nor his tales of buried Indian cities. But the high mountain
passes are chill now with snow. The search must wait awhile.
And the delay, though we chafe against it at times with an
impatience to be on the trail once more, has brought no dull
moments. There has been so much to do—and, in this new section of the great desert wonderland, so much to see. Plans or no
p'!ans Time will not stand still. Already it has swept us past another Christmas and into the wide highway of a new year.
It was a happy Christmas. And even though in a war torn
world the word "happy" may seem out of place, the deeper
significance of Christmas is such that the festival should be a
happy one. Even in the midst of sorrow and battle and sudden
death. For what is Christmas but a token, a sacred reminder,
a testimony to Immortality—to a Life and Hope that rise triumphant over death? It matters not where you celebrate Christmas—in a mansion, on a battlefield, or under the lee of a creosote bush on a lone desert. Its inner sacred meaning is the same.
But Rider, Rudyard and Victoria still view Christmas from
the very personal angle of Santa Claus. Dogg:dly, all through
these past few months, they have refused to be impressed by
our numerous gloomy warnings that the old Saint would have
a difficult time getting through this year. What with the bombs
and the airplane-crowded skies and the gas rationing and the
shortage of sugar, we warned them, he might be prevented from
making his annual round entirely.
"Sandy Klaws," announced Rudyard with lofty authority,
''--is majick! It would take more than the worstest war to stop
him. I just know he's gonna come. An' I'm gonna hang up my
stocking just like always."
An' I donna hang up my 'tocking, dust like a'ways, tew!"
shrilled Victoria, faithfully echoing, as is her custom, the words
of her hero. "Sanda Caws is maddick!"
Rider refused even to be drawn into the discussion. When
Rider knows that a thing is so, then it is so. Why waste time
arguing the matter. These tiresome oldsters, with their wavering faith! In due course, matter of factly, he hung up his stocking with the rest.
And the calm faith of all three of them was justified. Of
course! For on Christmas morning there hung the three stockings, stuffed full. Shamefacedly we had to admit, amidst triumphant laughter at our expense, that we didn't know a thing
&lit Santa Claus. He really was magic, we acknowledged.
Rudyard and Victoria trying to catch frogs in the reservoi r
—a favorite retreat of the South children.
Christmas always makes one a little misty eyed with its renewal of the ties of friendship and remembrance. So many
friends, new friends and old. Friends whcse cheery greetings
came in person, and friends whose hearty letters and cards came
winging in from every quarter of the compass, across many a
weary league of desert and of mountains. And how shall we
answer, we who so sadly lack the magic of old Santa Clatts
whereby he annihilates distance and who would, if he could,
leap nimbly down the chimneys and grasp the hands of every
one of his well-wishers. That is what we would like to do. But
we cannot. We are tied to the feeble substitute of mere words.
Dear friends, our thanks. To you, each and every one of you,
both near and far, our sincerest thanks and our heartiest New
Year's wishes. Your cheery cards and letters all will be acknowledged in time. Alas how slow we are sometimes. Some
of you must have lost all faith in us as correspondents. But it
is not from indifference that our letter writing lags. Often
sheer time lack blocks the task. These last months upon desert
trails have been busy ones.
Snow whips often, these days, against the mountain peaks.
And the winds that come galloping down across the foothills
into this sheltered desert valley sometimes have a real bite in
them. But the little tin stove which this year must take the
place of the Yaquitepec fireplace does its duty nobly. We miss
the dry mescal butts, which on Ghost mountain made the fires
roar with their tossing fountains of flame. But there is other
fuel in plenty and our "fuel gathering expeditions" of Yaquitepec merely have been transplanted to Utah. Dead mesquite
and cottonwood and rabbit bush. It all goes to swell the pile in
the back yard which each morning is crusted everywhere with
thick crystals of frost—a lacy tangle of sparkling white sticks
and branches through which the little white-crowned sparrows
hop chillily, hunting for their breakfast.
Winter and warmth make a happy combination. The little
stove rears red and there is usually a big iron pot bubbling upon
it. A combination to induce story-telling. And it often does.
The other morning, busy about our various tasks, we were suddenly aware that—down by the stove—Rudyard was regaling
Victoria with a lecture on—of all things—the city of New York .
. . an' it's the biggust city in the world. An' down on the
corner of Fourth street there's a tree-menjus building, six feet
high. An . .."
A loud, sarcastic sniff, from the region of the table where
Rider was plowing through his daily dose of arithmetic—with
one ear cocked for outside diversion—at this point disconcerted
the lecturer, causing him to hastily amend his statement:
"I mean th' t'menjus building is a'most one hundred an'
twenty feet high," he declared loudly. "An' the peepul . . ."
The sniffing from the listening arithmetician here lifted to a
wild horse laugh, against which no amount of self-importance
could stand. Flustered, Rudyard leaped to his feet: "C'mon,"
he ordered gruffly, grabbing the enthralled Victoria by the
hand and starting for the door. "C'mon outside. I got some bizness derangements to 'tend to."
And on the outside step, in the sunshine, where the lee of
the wall sheltered them from the wind, the thrilling travelogue
was run to a peaceful conclusion, with Victoria, breathless and
goggle-eyed, hanging on every word. We couldn't hear much,
even with the window stealthily opened. But we did get fragments of amazing statements. As, for instance, that: "In Noo
York all the ground is full of submawine twains, jus' packed
full of peepul. An' all day they go—Bizzzzz! Right between
your feet." And "All the emptiness is used up, so there isn't
any more room to build houses. But the peepul don't mind.
They live all lots of hundreds together in little compartments,
very happy and demented."
Yesterday, because the afternoon was so sunny and pleasant,
we sidetracked a score of pressing tasks and all went up to the
old reservoir. The reservoir is part of the domain of the Little
House too. Some distance away and under the toe of a ridge it
is a favorite spot with Rider, Rudyard and Victoria. Its weedy
bottom, partly silted in, is now a thicket of water-grass and
reeds. Cottonwood trees stand sentinel along the embankment
and cast fantastic reflections in the shallow, marshy water that
is the haunt of frogs and all manner of diminutive swamp
creatures. Birds flit to and fro over the reeds and cottontail rabbits hop through the low, brushy thickets that have grown up
along the neglected fences. From the summit of the embankment you can look away off across the valley and the desert
ridges to where far fantastic cliffs of blue and white and pink
and lavender hang phantom-like against the sky rim. Mysterious mountains—they draw and hold the imagination. For behind them lies some of the wildest, most alluring lands on all
the earth—the vast sweep of the Painted desert and the Indian
The fever of "exploration" drew Rider and Rudyard away
from the reservoir after a while. And Victoria clamored so hard
to go with them that we all tramped back among the stony
ridges, investigating the gullies and peeking hopefully into
every small cave. Black lava and red sandstone here take the
place of the Ghost mountain granite boulders. And as wind
and rain can carve sandstone much more easily than granite the
supply of tiny caves was quite satisfying. But not so their contents. The ancient people lived all over this country. They were
here in numbers in the dim period subsequent to the "fire age."
And there is ground for belief that they were here even before
the volcanic eruptions. But the mills of Time, which slowly
grind all earthly things to dust, had not spared many traces. A
couple of fragments of very old pottery—undecorated—were
all that even the sharp eyes of Rider and Rudyard were able
to discover for their "museums."
We obviously had wandered into a poor relic district. But
farther back, in the canyons and on the rocky mesas overlooking the Virgin river, we had been told there were petroglyphs
and old village sites and a wealth of shattered pots.
Up a little sandy wash that was patterned with the crisscross trails of the small furry folk of the desert, we presently
came upon several willow trees, lifting above a bordering
thicket of rabbit bush. Somehow the sight of a willow tree always evokes thoughts of basket making. And our glimpse of
these proved no exception. They were promptly raided for a
supply of long pliant shoots, which Rider volunteered to pack
home. There has been little enough time for basket making
lately. But it is a craft which, like pottery and weaving, gets into
one's blood. Once practiced its lure persists, and fingers are always itching to be at it again.
It is a healthy sign, and also a significant one, that interest in
the primitive arts is growing. There are far too few people who
realize the "escape" that handiwork of this sort provides. To
nerves raw-edged and shattered by machine "civilization" there
is nothing more soothing than the moulding of a clay pot or the
weaving of a basket or a blanket. The nerves relax. As fingers
fashion the moist clay or weave the threads or pliant straws,
Time and Life seem to slip back into their rightful place. One
seems to live again in an honest simple primitive world of
homely virtues and peace. It is an inexpensive means of temporary "escape" too, as well as a fascinating one. Some sort of
clay is almost everywhere, for the digging. And almost everywhere one can obtain some sort of natural material from which
to weave baskets or rugs. Try it sometime. You may be surprised at the enjoYment you get from it. And it is not outside the
bounds of possibility that skill thus gained may, some time or
other, be extremely valuable to you.
We wearied of exploring and tramping at last and sat down
to rest upon a high sandstone ledge. From our vantage point
we could look far out across the sere, foreground slopes and
deep down into the valley of the Virgin river. In the sunlight
the river was a thread of flashing silver, winding amidst the
patterned green of Mormon farms.
It is evening now. And as I sit here on the embankment of
the old reservoir, the typewriter balanced on my knees, my
back against a gnarled old cottonwood, all the world seems very
still and hushed. The sun has gone down behind the red sandstone ridges and a thin haze of storm, perhaps a warning of
heavy weather to come, films the southern sky. Twilight is
reaching into the canyons along the Virgin river, glooming
them with phantom draperies of blue. Across the sparse brown
grass of the slope below rue there is a patch of color moving. It
is Rider in his little red and blue blanket going to bring in the
grazing goats for the night. The faint, musical tinkle of their
bells comes drowsily across the silence. Silence and Peace and
the Mountains.
Yes, the mountains. For, away on the horizon, hardening to a
rose-tinted indigo in the lifting shadow of night, stand the
great buttressed mountains that are the gateway the Great Spirit
reared to guard the land of the Navajo—a simple, nomadic
people, very close to the earth. And somehow, this evening, as
I watch the eerie shadows deepen amidst the far distant crags
and battlements, I am thinking of the words of an old Navajo, spoken many, many years ago:
"This is our land. It was our fathers'. We were here before
the white man came. We will be here long after he has vanished
The words of an old, old man of the desert. And spoken in
bitterness. Just how much truth do they hold?
Sometimes I wonder.
There lies the Past,
For every eye to see.
The ancients could not last—
Neither shall we.
A climb to height,
And we relax, benign,
As if our special might
Must stay divine.
And in that hour,
While we forget to pray,
Our cherished super-power
Starts to decay.
—Tanya South
Desert Magazine's landmark contest
for December ended in a tie with Leo
Weaver of Flagstaff, Arizona, and Richard Bennett of Phoenix, Arizona, each awarded $5. Both
of these writers presented the most complete story of the
Hopi First Mesa and the village of Walpi. Judges took
into first consideration the number of historical facts presented, description of the area, and present day status.
The stories written by Mr. Weaver and Mr. Bennett are
combined in the following article.
HE unusual aerial photograph in December issue of
Desert shows the ancient Hopi village of Walpi, as
it perches on the east end of First Mesa, one of the three
famous Hopi mesas in the Hopi Indian reservation of northern Arizona.
It may be reached about 140 miles northeast of Flagstaff by
graded roads, passing through hills and valleys of colored clays
and sands, with the landscape dotted intermittently with bands
of Indian sheep and goats guarded by shaggy-haired boys and
shyl,ttle girls. It is about 80 miles north of Winslow from U. S.
Highway 66, or about 80 miles east of U. S. 89 on the Tuba City
In this area are eight Hopi villages on three mesas. On the
air photo.
first, or ca,tern mesa, stand Walpi, Sichomovi and Hano. On
the second or middle mesa are Mishongnovi, Shipaulovi and
Shungopovi, and on the third or western mesa are Oraibi and
Hotevilla. The second and third mesas lie seven and 20 miles
respectively west of Walpi.
On the thin neck of land nearest the center of this picture
and entirely separate and distinct from the rest of the mesa,
perches Walpi. Then as the eye travels along the ridge toward
upper left, a plain trail is noticed. Countless moccasins through
the ages have worn this trail a foot deep in the rock. Immediately one enters another village within 50 feet. This is Sichomovi ; then comes Hano on the far end.
In the left-hand portion of the picture is seen a small portion
of Wepo Wash. On the right is the vast expanse of Polacca
Wash, with the old foot trail from Walpi running down to it.
The houses and peach orchards seen at the right foot of the
mesa are those of Polacca. Younger Hopis who have been away
to school and returned have built their homes there.
The straight white line running toward the upper right is
the road to Keam's Canyon where the government agency in
charge of all Hopiland is located. Then to the immediate left
one notes the huge headlands jutting out into the valley. A dim
line leading into this narrowing canyon indicates the trail to
Chinle and Canyon de Chelly far to the east.
Just beyond the village of Walpi is seen a white scar which
bears downward and to the left. This is the trail northward to
the pine forests of the Navajo and here it is that one sees great
grooves in the solid rock worn there by logs dragged from
those distant forests. Not drawn by team and wagon but by
thongs placed over the brows of hordes of these diminutive
Hopis—small but exceedingly powerful. In the roof-tops of
the mesa homes of today are those same beams dragged from so
far away.
Dropping from both sides of the narrow mesa, many dim
trails are noted. These wind their precipitous way down to the
tiny fields of corn in the lower plain and each morning the
sturdy Hopis run down to till their crops and then run home
again in the evening—and we mean run. A Hopi seldom actually walks. A very old woman with a heavy load of wood on
her bac_k will cover many miles during a day in a swift dog-trot.
It is on these mesas that the world-famed Hopi snake dances
are held. At Walpi, where they are held in odd-numbered
years, the nine-day ceremony reaches its most:dramatic proportions. It occurs usually in late August and is conducted by the
Antelope and Snake fraternities. Most of the Hopi ceremonies
are supplications for rain and good crops. The snake dance combines a prayer for bountiful rainfall and resultant good crops,
with a prayer of thanks for what the gods have brought during
the past season. It is almost invariably followed immediately
by heavy rains.
Walpi is situated on its high promontory about 500 feet
above the valley. The mesa is not over 300 feet in width and less
than a mile in length. Through the vicissitudes of centuries the
Hopis have clung to this high mesa home, strategically advantageous in beating off marauding enemies.
From the valley the village appears as a huge fortress--the
windows of the buildings not being noticeable due to their
built-in construction. The architecture is prehistoric and early
Spanish, built of stone poorly dressed and laid compared with
the best prehistoric. The outer structure surrounds a court which
is terraced back.
Walpi was old when the Spanish Conquistadores discovered
it in 1540. A detachment of Coronado's expedition, led by Don
Pedro de Tovar caused consternation among the Indians when
they reached the foot of the mesas on horseback. As it was
their first sight of a horse they promptly decided that horse and
rider were one and that they were man-eating animals. A short
battle ensued after which the Indians were convinced with gifts
that they would not be molested and a general fiesta was held
at the mesa. Hopi guides then directed Don Lopez de Cardenas
and some of the Spaniards to the "Firebrand River"—the Colorado.
By the tree ring method of time calculation it has been established that Oraibi was constructed prior to 1000 A. D.. and
Walpi, being "newer," was constructed somewhat later. These
two villages are generally cons;cle-ed to be the oldest continuously occupied sites in the United States.
Back in 1875 Panamint City on the fringe of Death Valley
boasted 5,000 miners, gamblers, prospectors and fortune seekers. But when a "heavy ore" showed up in veins of silver in
quantities sufficient to prevent profitable silver mining, the
camp quickly died. Now because that "heavy ore" is tungsten,
Panamint City may stage a comeback. Three men, Ralph and
Philip Lisle and Charles Foote have leased the old Panamint
City mine from Al Meyers of Pear Blossom, California. Two
lots of ores hauled to the Mineral Reduction company at Laws,
California, showed 20.02 percent tungsten and 26.45 percent
tungsten respectively.
Food Will Win the War and Write the Peace
America not only must supply necessary food
for her millions of fighting men at home and on
far flung global battle fronts but also has
pledged herself to feed the starving populations of the world.
• Cooperating in the government's victory program is the Imperial Irrigation District which
supplies water and power to Imperial Valley,
one of the nation's most prolific bread-baskets,
where essential footstuffs are grown the year
Despite the handicaps of critical shortages in
manpower and vital materials, the district is
efficiently maintaining 1700 miles of distribu:
tion canals, 1300 miles of drains, 24,000 canal
structures and the diversion of 2,000,000 acre
feet of water into the irrigation system, with
75,000 deliveries made to individual gates each
• Imperial Valley farmers and their district have
taken the offensive and their efforts and sacrifices are contributing to the final victory that is
inevitable for the United States and her allies.
Imperial Irrigation District
Use Your Own Power—Make it Pay for the All American Canal
Miner's Hell on Four Wheels ...
Mesa Grande, California
Dear Friend:
I noticed in your December issue in the
article on "Miner's Hell" the statement
that you and your companions practically
tobogganed down that very steep hill into
Fish Creek or Split Canyon wash. To
quote your own words, "But I will defy
anything on four wheels to make the return trip" up this steep hill.
Under ordinary conditions that is a safe
proposition to make. The hill I would say
is half pitch, like a roof or a 50 percent
grade, and I will grant it is all a good navigator can do to keep a car from upending
and rolling end over end, down the hill.
But I challenge the statement that nothing
on four wheels could go up this hill because my team, drawing a loaded buckboard, with myself driving on foot alongside the team, went up that hill and so out
to Carrizo creek in March of 1911. My
son Harvey was with me and he snapped
the enclosed photograph as we neared
the crest.
As you can see in the photograph, the
horses were digging their toes in and
straining every nerve to keep going for to
pause would cause the buckboard to drag
them downhill. Once started it was impossible to slacken up for a second but the
team was true blue and full of nerve and
courage and so climIxd to the top dragging a load. Before risking the team I had
prospected the hill to see if the feat was
possible and concluded if I could keep the
team moving I would have an even chance
of making it.
In exploring the canyon my son found
a narrow fissure extending to the top in
the perpendicular wall, just wide enough
for him to hitch himself to the top of the
cliff. By resting his back against one wall
and his feet on the opposite side, he could
hitch himself along until the top was
reached. I followed Harvey up and we
proceeded to build a monument of loose
rocks. In this monument we placed our
names and date, then stuck an ocotillo in
the center. We descended the same cleft.
This vertical split in the formation is the
only way to reach the top. Up there we
found no trace of any former visitor.
Just before entering the portal to Split
Canyon we searched the dry, barren and
rocky terrain to the north and found the
SO called Elephant trees, which an old
prospector had told us about. I sent leaves,
berries, bark and a full description of the
fat, dropsical looking trees, with photograpbs to Berkeley and they were classified s Bursura microphylla. So far as I
Ed Daz is alizing his te.ini up steep
Fish Creek incline.
know, we were the first ones to identify
this rare species in California.
They Read DM Down Under
U. S. S. Tangier
In the Pacific
Dear Mr. Henderson:
Have just finished reading November
issue of the D.M., which has already
passed into other hands. From those it will
go to others, who are glad to get a bit of
the Southwest again. Sorry I can't save
them, but out here it would be a poor
show to keep any reading material out of
circulation. I even took a crack at your
Rockhounds Quiz, though as a geologist
I'd make a swell printer, or something.
Guess the thought about the desert
making you appreciate things hits the
spot. Funny how good a couple of scrubby
cottonwoods can look. I've yet to find as
much to deslre in a tangled mass of trees,
creepers and vines as in a few well placed
palms at some oasis. Gives you the feeling
of more elbow room.
By the way have you printed anything
on the Odessa loop mines near Calico?
Would like to hear a bit about their history as I've dipped into some of the workings there a bit.
Here's another vote for Marshal South's
articles. He and his family are much like
some close friends of mine at home.
I'm enclosing Christmas gifts orders to
two fellows who were buddies of mine in
the R.A.F. before I transferred to the navy,
and I guess they deserve a good look at
the desert after listening to my sales talks
for four months.
Dear F.D.—There was a short article about Odessa canyon and its
mining history in October, 1938, issue of D.M.—L.H.
• • •
Desert Will Remind Them . . .
Desert Goes to Alaska
Murray, Utah
Dear Sir:
I have been buying the Desert Magazine on the newsstand and enjoying each
copy as I do an interesting, refreshing trip
to the desert. Now that I am about to enter the armed service of the United States,
there is one thing I want to be certain of
receiving, regardless of where I may be—
the monthly issue of Desert Magazine. I
believe that in the present confused state
of the world, we are likely to lose sight
of the true values of life, which are so
deeply hidden behind the camouflaging of
artificiality. I like to be reminded of the
fact that - there's peace on the desert" and
that the desert will be there silently waiting when the present confusion ceases.
Up to the present time, I have been attending the University of Utah in Salt
Lake City where I have been majoring in
botany. I certainly have enjoyed your articles of a botanical nature along with all
of the other swell ones.
Santa Barbara, California
Dear Miss Harris:
This year we decided to give ourselves
a Christmas present of the magazine that
we know will give us year-long reading
enjoyment. Since we first started buying
the Desert several years ago we haven't
missed an issue, but sometimes we have
difficulty in finding it on newsstands in
various towns when our work keeps us
moving around.
I have just returned from the Yukon
Territory where I spent several months
working on the P.R.A. highway project.
The Desert Magazine followed me there
and was read avidly by almost all the fellows in camp. It seemed odd to be reading
of wide open spaces, sand and chaparral
while living in a land of dense spruce forests and bush covered slopes. That land
holds a promise and lure for rockhounds
of an adventurous and hardy class, and
there probably will be many a field trip in
the future when it can be opened to the
Invitation to Artists . . .
Bodfish, California
Dear Mr. Henderson:
It is hard to find words to express how
much enjoyment my husband and I get
out of your magazine. In the difficult
months ahead Desert is going to be a lifesaver to many of us.
Although we live here in the mountains
we have made frequent exploring trips
into the desert, and thanks to friends who
first introduced me to D.M. I am fast becoming an ardent rock hound.
Recently a friend and I spent four glorious days exploring Red Rock canyon and
vicinity. We spent one whole afternoon
looking for opals, and I finally found one
beautiiul specimen full of red and green
fire. We also had the thrill of partly excavating an Indian cave, digging up sections of beautiful basket work in an excellent state of preservation. We noted that
some of it was woven together with twine,
apparently made of yucca fiber.
The trip provided me with numerous
sketches. Though deeply in love with the
mountains here the desert fascinates me
even more, for its vast distances and coloring.
I have been much interested in the articles appearing in Desert about other artists and their work and have missed not
seeing any lately. The artist Harry C.
Smith of Glendale has been staying with
us and we have been painting together.
Few artists can catch the mystery of shimmering haze and elusive cloud effects in
the desert as Harry does.
If I thought James Swinnerton or any
of the other artists written up in Desert
would enjoy painting some of the mountain and desert scenery in this vicinity I
would be more than happy to have them
as our guest on the ranch.
• • •
Correcting the Quiz • • •
Denver, Colorado
Dear Miss Harris:
Regarding question No. 14 in True or
False quiz in October issue: Quiz answer
is given as "true" that Gen. Kearny was
first American governor of New Mexico.
My information is that Gen. Kearny "on
arriving at Santa Fe declared the territory
of New Mexico a part of the United
States," and that he left Santa Fe on September 25, 1846 for California after appointing Charles Bent first governor of
New Mexico.
Dear G.C.D.—Right you are. Quiz
editor slipped on this one. Charles
Bent was first American civil governor of New Mexico.—L.H.
Dentist's Desert Goes Home . . .
Whittier, California
Dear Mr. Henderson:
I have been a subscriber to your magazine for a full year and I can truthfully say
that no publication has ever given me so
many hours of genuine pleasure and complete relaxation. It is the only publication
that I read in its entirety, even the Gems
and Minerals section—and I wouldn't
know what a prize mineral was if it was
dropped into my lap.
My original intention was to subscribe
to your magazine to diversify my office selection of periodicals but I have long since
taken them home immediately to read
and then put them away in the binder for
safe keeping. My wife and I are sincere
desert enthusiasts and annually spend two
to three weeks on the Colorado and Mojave deserts or in Arizona and New Mexivo, but with tire and gasoline rationing
we take refuge and comfort from your
• • •
Oldtimers to Greenhorns . . .
Praise for Charley Brown . . .
Claremont, California
Dear Sir:
I wish to tell you how much I enjoyed
the story by William Caruthers, "Better
See Charley." It was a very original,
unique style, and I have never seen so
much put into so few words. One almost
gets a picture of Charley's entire career.
And incidentally our state would probably
be better off if there were more sterling
characters like Charley in public offices.
Thank you for an outstanding story. It
ought to be passed along to the Reader's
• • •
Randsburg Meteorites . . .
Randsburg, California
Dear Sir:
I surely got a great kick out of your trip
in the Miner's Hell (December issue), for
I have been all over that mountain range.
Please inform the writer H. H. Nininger ("How to Identify Meteorites" in December issue) that he can see a 25-pound
meteorite at the drug store at Randsburg,
California. And I have several more out
on the ground. My mining claim is 10
miles north of Randsburg on Highway
Overton, Nevada
Dear Editor:
We are rather kindred spirits of the
• • •
Souths and follow their adventures with
Desert and Morale . . .
great interest. We differ from them
Nampa, Idaho
though in that we don't scorn the material
completely. For those rare souls like the
As we mail you our check for a renewal
Souths who can ignore the material comto
your wonderful magazine, we take this
pletely—yet put up with drudgery and
ugliness without letting it impinge—my method of thanking you and your staff for
salutations and deepest respect. But I be- the inspiration and comfort it has been to
lieve the average person cannot overcome us in the trying year just past.
Somewhere in the scriptures it says,
environment to that extent.
"Lift up your eyes to the hills, from
You should get a magic carpet sometime whence cometh thy strength." For those
and follow copies of your magazine. They of us who have sons in far away places in
go to the most unexpected places and danger, the need for strength in the days
most fascinating people. We have found ahead is great. Magazines like the Desert
it and its admirers in 10 western states, can do a lot to keep up the morale on the
Canada and Mexico. The readers of it have Home Front, and speed the day of wina bond of brotherhood almost as powerful ning the war—and winning the peace,
as the ancient lodges.
which is to us even more important.
When the magazine is mentioned you MR. and MRS. RICHARD E. HANSON
• • •
will see some phlegmatic seamy face glow
with sudden animation—or a lonely wom- Rockhound in Hawaii . . .
an on the desert wastes speak of the "comHdqtrs. Gen. Hosp., Hawaii
pany" it is to her.
Dear Friend Desert:
This morning I've been lying here wonOldtimers like it because it carries the
"Miners' Grapevine" news of places, peo- dering about old friends of the Rockies,
ple and things that they know and talk the desert, lost mines, lost canyons, trips
of the past—when only silence and space
about when they meet their buddies.
mine. Yes, just daydreaming and
Young people and greenhorns like it
wondering if by spring I'll be able to
because it opens up the romance of the
once more seek out treasures that wait and
desert—that oldtimers know but won't
glitter in the sun.
talk about. It teaches them to be more obHave accumulated some small stuff but
from a mineral standpoint these islands
Mormons like it and comment on its are rather barren. Got on to some swell
cleanness. School teachers, cowmen, min- Burma rubies, two earrings of Russian
ers, professors, students—all are admirers amethyst and also from down Burma way
of Desert Magazine.
some beautiful Chinese jade.
. aot 1/4e
Navajo Seek Land . . .
Generators Turn . . .
PARKER—Three 30,000-kilowatt generators at Parker dam have undergone test
runs and are in commercial operation, according to Harold L. Ickes, secretary of
the Interior. Power is being sent to California and other points for war industry, mining operations and military use. By May
a fourth unit of the same size will put the
plant in full operation capacity of 1 20,000
kilowatts or 600,000,000 kilowatt-hours
of electric energy annually.
WINDOW ROCK—Negotiations are
underway to acquire the use of 15,000
acres of land on the Colorado river reservation near Parker for members of the Navajo tribe. The land is needed to accommodate livestock of the expanding population. Mojave tribesmen now live on the
Colorado river reservation, which is irrigable and capable of supporting a large
number of Navajo, according to James M.
Stewart, superintendent of the Navajo
Work Continued . . .
Travel on Horses . . .
KINGMAN Until definite orders are
given the Utah Construction company will
continue work on Davis dam on the Colorado river a short distance west of here,
according to company officials. Late in
November Washington officials are said
to have told newspaper representatives
that work on the dam had been stopped,
but representatives of the construction
company said they had received no confirmation of this order by late December.
TOMBSTONE—Mr. and Mrs. Robert
Plummer of Norfolk, Pennsylvania, intend
to enjoy Arizona's sunshine, gasoline rationing or no gasoline rationing. Ordered
by his doctor to go to a warm, dry climate,
Mr. Plummer and his wife have set out on
horseback to make the 3,190-mile trip to
Tombstone. They expect to arrive sometime in February.
Marriages Show Drop . . .
of Arizona and New Mexico still may be
able to make jewelry from silver for a
short time. A New York firm has offered
to supply Indian traders with 100,000
ounces of silver and the United Indian
Traders association has placed an order
for that amount. About 250,000 ounces
are used annually.
YUMA—Marriages here show a twothird drop because of gasoline rationing.
To be married in Arizona, Southern Californians in most cases must use an eight
week's gasoline supply or 32 gallons. In
pre-war days S. Mont Smith, clerk of the
Yuma county superior court issued 20,000
marriage licenses a year.
Woodmen Convention . . .
NOGALES The Head Camp of the
Woodmen of the World comprising Arizona and New Mexico has selected this
border city for its early spring convention.
Many notables, including several national
officials from Omaha, Nebraska, will be
present. A definite date has not been announced.
Forest Visitors Increase . . .
PETRIFIED FOREST—During November the number of visitors to this national monument showed an increase, according to the travel report of the U. S.
national park service. A total of 1,740 cars
and 5,046 persons visited the forest.
Eastern Silver for Navajo . . .
WINDOW ROCK—Navajo Indians
• •
H. J. Messinger, former superintendent
of the Navajo agency at Tuba City, recently died at El Centro, California. He was 83
years old and had served the government
at Window Rock 20 years ago. He was
also a member of the Arizona territorial
• •
Arizona sportsmen may hunt raccoon
from November 1 to March 1, state fish
and game commission officials have announced, pointing out that few hunters are
availing themselves of the opportunity.
Yuma's original marrying justice, Earl
C. Freeman, has traded his gavel for a
wrench. Today he is a mechanic—building
bombers at the huge Consolidated plant
in San Diego.
• • •
Leo H. Leaden, 51, operator of an Indian trading post at Ash Fork, died December 26 in Tucson.
rE )13UARY, 1943
W. W. Wilson is acting custodian of
Navajo national monument, Arizona,
filling Jimmie Brewer's place during his
service with the armed forces. Katherine
and Bill Wilson won countless friends at
their Rainbow Lodge, where visitors
started the hike to Rainbow bridge.
Prospector's Body Found . . .
EL CENTRO—Search for scrap metal
at various mining claims in the desert near
Yuma led to the discovery of the body of
Forrest Hevrin, 47, veteran prospector,
who disappeared July 23, 1942. At the
time of his disappearance an intensive
search for him was made by ground and
air parties, but it was not until his brother
Frank Hevrin found an empty canteen
and a 50-pound sack of ore samples that
he was located.
Courage, a remarkable oil painting
the Covered Wagon Train crossing the desert in '68. Over a year in painting.
On display (free) at Knott's Berry Place
where the Boysenberry was introduced to
the world and famous for fried chicken dinners with luscious Boysenberry pie.
20x60 feet,
You'll want (1) A 4-color picture of this
huge painting suitable for framing. (2)
36-page handsomely illustrated souvenir,
pictures and original drawings, of Ghost
Town Village and story of this roadside
stand which grew to a $600,000 annual
business. (3) Two years subscription (12
numbers) to our illustrated bi-monthly magazine of the West. True tales of the days
of gold, achievements of westerners today
and courageous thoughts for days to come.
Mention this paper and enclose one dollar
for all three and get authentic western facts.
Guayule Project Approved . . .
YUMA—The war production board
has approved continued work on the Gila
project in Arizona only to the extent necessary to develop guayule. For several
months construction has been in progress
Which will make possible 30,000 acres of
irripted land for guayule rubber in 194344. More than 100,000 acres could be
mad, available within a few years.
1.4k twood
—Modern Defense Homes—
See Them Today
The answer to the war workers' housing problem
So. Calif. Westcraft Distributor
5614 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, California
Who Owns Railroad Spur? . . .
Feeder Cattle . . .
Desert Air Plant . . .
BLYTHE—Palo Verde valley lands are
now pasturing 7,200 head of cattle for Los
Angeles markets, Santa Fe officials have
announced. To date more than 200 cars
have been shipped into the valley from
Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. This
total compares favorably with last year's
high of 213 cars on the same date.
THERMAL—Prospects that a large
aircraft factory may be erected at the
Thermal airport has been announced by
government officials. The contemplated
factory will be similar to one now operated by Douglas aircraft at Daggett, where
planes are converted and remodeled. A
concrete marker on the factory site has
been set up. It is inscribed: "Property of
the U. S. army and Douglas Aircraft company.
Lettuce Produces Latex . . .
EL CENTRO—Automobile tires, as
well as salads and bridge club sandwiches
may be made of lettuce. L. G. Goar, superintendent of the Meloland field station of the University of California college
of agriculture, has disclosed that tests of
three varieties of lettuce showed high con- tents of latex. One wild variety grown,
yielded 29 percent of latex from its stalks
as compared with a yield of 25 percent
from guayule.
City Starts Suit . . .
NEEDLES—This city has started proceedings against the Metropolitan Water
district for damages resulting from Colorado river floodwaters, which have inundated several hundred acres of city property. Floods in the area, according to engineers, have resulted from heavy silt deposits in the river channel at Needles,
thereby forcing water over banks.
NILAND—Shortage of light railroao
steel led government officials to investigate an abandoned siding half buried in
sand near Frink a short distance north ol
here. Henry B. Hickey, Jr., WPB official
investigated, only to find that the Southern
Pacific with which the spur connects
doesn't own it and that Imperial county
thinks that it does, the side-track having
served a county gravel pit many years ago'.
But at this point Mr. Hickey bumped into
a 20-year lease on the track held by the
Orange County Gravel company which
expires next year. That didn't help much
for county records show that when the
gravel pit proved too costly, the company
said they were through with the plant and
wanted nothing more to do with it.
Indians Serving . . .
The Desert Trading Post
INDIO—More than 50 Coachella val
ley Indians are now serving in the U. S.
army or navy. Latest to go to the army is
Stephen McGee, Cabezon Indian and son
of Julian Augustine, little chief of the
Cabezon Indians, who lives near Coachella.
Classified advertising in this section costs five cents a word. 81.00 minimum per issue—
Actually about 11/2 cents per thousand readers.
Death Valley Hotel Closed . . .
Minerals, fossils, crystals, Indian relics, cypress
knees, weapons, curios, etc. Send stamp for
list. C. R. Harding, West Fork, Ark.
Desert Tea (Ephedra). Used as a tonic by the
Indians. Considered by the Mormons to be
possessed of unusual medicinal qualities in
the relief of colds, headaches and rheumatic
ailments. (See Desert Mag. Aug. 1940. P.
27.) Makes good coffee substitute. Big bundle in original form gathered fresh from desert with full directions for use, only $1.00
cash or P. 0. order. M. Brown, 1224-A 19th
St., Santa Monica, Calif.
FOR SALE-12 beautiful perfect prehistoric Indian arrowheads $1; 10 tiny perfect translucent chalcedony bird arrowheads, $1; 10 perfect arrowheads from 10 different states, $1;
perfect stone tomahawk, $1; 4 perfect spearheads, $1; 5 stone net sinkers, $1; 10 perfect
stemmed fish scalers, $1; 7 stone line sinkers,
$1; 4 perfect agate bird arrows, $1; 5 perfect
flint drills, $1; 7 perfect flint awls, $1; 10
beautiful round head stunning arrowheads,
$1 • 4 fine perfect saw edged arrowheads, $1;
4 fine
' perfect flying bird arrowheads, $1; 4
fine perfect drill-pointed arrowheads. Si;
4 fine perfect queer shaped arrowheads, $ t ;
4 rare perfect double notched above a barbed
stem base arrowheads, $1; 5 perfect double
notched above a stemmed base arrowheads,
$1; 12 small perfect knife blades of flint, $1;
rare shaped ceremonial flint, $1; 3 flint
chisels, $1; 7 quartz crystals from graves, $1;
10 arrowheads of ten different materials including petrified wood, $1. All of the above
23 offers for $20. Locations given on all.
100 good grade assorted arrowheads, $3.00
prepaid. 100 all perfect translucent chalcedony arrowheads in pinkish, red, creamy
white, etc., at $10.00. 100 very fine mixed
arrowheads all perfect showy colors and including many rare shapes and types such as
drill pointed, double notched, saw edged,
queer shapes, etc., location and name of types
given, $25,00 prepaid. List of thousands of
other items free. Caddo Trading Post, Glenwood, Arkansas.
Assortment of 8 polished slabs all different or
8 cabochons all different $1.90. String of rare
opalized Indian grave beads 48 inches long
with data $1.95. Absolute satisfaction guaranteed. P. Smith, Sr., 2003 59th St., Sacramento, Calif.
FOR SALE—Famous and profitable oasis and
acres in the desert on Highway 80. If you like
independence, dignity, serenity, security, and
freedom from the crowded world's worries,
plus a home and business in the desert, here
it is. Built and operated by present owner,
who has made enough to retire. Very unique,
artistic, spacious and comfortable. Easy for
two people to operate. Profit is 50%. Now
paying better than ever and will continue so
throughout war period. This outstanding
property has never before been offered for
sale. A real chance for a couple to acquire
something solid and to enjoy desert life
while amassing a little fortune. Price,
$10.000; $5.000 down. Write Box 1377,
Yuma, Arizona, for full details.
KARAKULS producers of Persian Lamb fur
are easy to raise and adapted to the desert
which is their native home. For further in-
formation write Addis Kelley, 4637 E. 52
Place, Maywood, California.
Karakul Sheep from our Breeding Ranch are
especially bred to thrive on the natural feed
of the Desert. For information write James
Yoakam, Leading Breeder, 1128 No. Hill
Ave., Pasadena, California.
For Imperial Valley Farms —
"The Farm Land Man"
Since 1914
STOVEPIPE WELLS—One of the oldest establishments in Death Valley, Stove
pipe Wells, has closed for the duration.
The hotel located at the west entrance to
the national monument was built by a
man who constructed the toll road originally connecting Lone Pine with Death
New Town Planned . . .
TRONA—The general land office of
the U. S. interior department has approved
townsite survey and plat of a new town to
be named Argus and located near Trona
Public sale of properties will be announced
shortly. This will be supervised by Ellis
Purlee, register of the district land office,
• • •
White Way Goes Dcnic . . .
LAS VEGAS—The glowing white way
of downtown Las Vegas known across the
nation as the "last frontier" now goes dark
at 2 a. m. each night and will continue to
do so until the war ends conforming to a
request made by General John L. DeWitt.
All gambling houses will close at the same
hour in an effort to alleviate a man-hour
loss problem at the magnesium plant near
here described as the "blackest on the Pacific coast."
Brucite Township . . .
GABBS VALLEY—Nye county off
cials are planning to establish Gabbs Val"
ley as a new town to be named Brucite. A
justice of the peace office may be opened
to eliminate the necessity of Tonopah officers making lengthy trips to the commit)"
ity to conduct court.
feek More Land Grants . . .
PIOCHE—Surveyor General Wayne
McLeod has announced that he will propose that the next session of Nevada's
legislature ask for additional land grants.
Nevada's grant is far below that received
by public land states, the last being approved by congress June 16, 1880. Had
Nevada received a grant proportionate to
the other western states she would have
received an excess of 6,000,000 acres instead of the 2,734,158 acres she now has,
he declared.
Catfish Planted . . .
AUSTIN—If the meat shortage lasts
for two years, residents along Reese river
will have an ample supply of catfish.
Through the fish and game commission
more than 25,000 fingerlings have been
planted in the stream.
Nevada Editor Dies
. . .
VIRGINIA CITY — Vincent Nevin,
editor of the Virginia City News and a
native of the Comstock, died December 5.
Nevin was well-known throughout Nevada and in mining circles. At various
times he was employed on the Goldfield
and Tonopah newspapers.
Ship Named Key Pittman . . .
CARSON CITY—Honoring Nevada's
late U. S. senator, a 10,000-ton merchant
ship, the Key Pittman, slid down ways at a
west coast shipyard during December.
Three Nevada boys Elwood Benner, 12, of
Gerlach; Bob Elquist, 13, of Beowawe,
and J. Whipple, 16, of Overton were on
hand for the event as sponsors. Key Pittman was one of Nevada's most noted congressmen.
Trout for Nevada . . .
LAS VEGAS—Fingerling trout to be
planted in icy clear waters of the Colorado
below Boulder dam have been brought
here from the hatchery at Springville,
Utah. Rainbow trout to be planted number 32,000.
• •
Livestock throughout Nevada generally is below average condition because of
a long dry spell. Range conditions also
have been affected by lack of precipitation at the right time.
• • •
Dr. William Henry Hood, 81, practic-
ing physician in Nevada since 1886, died
Novembe r 29 in Reno. The doctor first settled at Battle Mountain, where he practiced from 1886 to 1904, when he moved
to Reno.
• •
Nevada looks forward to an increase of
15 percent in the
beekeeping industry during the next few years, the biennial report
of the state apiary commission reveals.
any new beekeepers are expected to begin operations on a commercial basis because of wartime demands for honey and
Help for Cold Motor . . .
GALLUP—A Navajo Indian searching
for an idea to make it easier to start his car
on frosty mornings listened to a tip given
by a neighboring New Mexico rancher.
He advised the Indian to place a big
rooster in a burlap bag and put the chicken
under the car hood at night. The rancher
said the heat from the bird warmed the engine, making it easy to start. The Indian
substituted a small goat for the rooster.
The engine stayed warm, but the spark
plug wires and part of the fan were missing next morning. The goat must have
been hungry.
Chee Dodge Elected . . .
GALLUP—Henry Chee Dodge, 80,
Navajo Indian leader, has been chosen
again for the post of Navajo tribal council chairman. He heads 50,000 Navajo,
the largest Indian tribe in the country,
after defeating Sam Ahkeah of Shiprock
in a run-off election. Immediately after
election Dodge declared that he would not
accept a penny of the $200-a-month salary. It will be turned over to the tribe to
be used in staging barbecues and in providing other entertainment for Indians attending council meetings. Dodge is probably one of the wealthiest Navajo.
Private Dares Curse. . .
GRANTS—From Fort MacArthur,
California, Comes the story of how Private
Rosary Folba did what nine other army
barbers would not do—he defied an old
Indian death curse and snipped the three
and one-half foot tresses of newly inducted Claw Neskai, 22-year-old Navajo. Neskai asserted upon arrival at the fort,
"When I was a little boy, my grandmother
made me promise never to cut my hair.
She placed a curse of death on whoever
should cut my hair. I'm not afraid myself,
but the man who cuts my hair will die."
Nine barbers declined the job. Private
Folba said, "Aw baloney," and unwound
the bun atop Neskai's head.
Old Warrant Revealed . . .
SANTA FE—Representatives of the
New Mexico historical society are examining a 57-year-old state warrant for $50
dating back to Apache Indian raids of
May and June, 1885. The warrant was forwarded to Governor Miles by Mort Wein
of Dos Caliezos, Arizona, and was approved for payment for services during the
Indian uprising. It is the property of Mrs.
R. B. Mitchell. Payment was not made in
early days because existing appropriations
were insufficient to meet it. Now Governor Miles said it would take a special act
of the legislature to pay the bill and that
it is more interesting to collectors.
• •
Personnel of the Navajo central agency
no longer will roam the 16,000,000-acre
Navajo reservation by airplane. The
planes have been grounded for the duration.
Beet Leader Optimistic . . .
LOGAN—Douglas E. Scalley, president of the United States Beet Sugar company is optimistic concerning prospects
for the industry next year and for future
years. Returning from Washington, he
pointed out that demainds in future
months will show continued increase.
Electric Plant Ready . . .
BEAVER—This city's new hydroelectric plant in Beaver canyon is nearing
completion despite difficulty experienced
in obtaining lumber and other materials
needed in the war effort. A 10,000-foot
penstock has been tested and declared
"okay." Transformers also are being installed and it was expected that the plant
would be in operation by January.
Single $6.00 up
Double $10 2 5 up
Gateway to Joshua Tree National Monument
Reservations — write 29 Palms Inn at
Twentynine Palms. Calif., or call any Travel
Bureau or Automobile Club.
Hoofs and Horns
To Keep Abreast of the RODEO
Its news about Rodeos and Roundups
is the most authoritative of any published in America. Rodeo Association
bulletin and Cowboy's Turtle Association news are published monthly.
Those who enjoy poetry of the Old
West will revel in the abundance of
truly typical poetry that appears in
each issue of Hoofs and Horns. You'll
like Hoofs and Horns!
Each issue is generously illustrated
with pictures of the people and places
that are important to the current and
past history of the Range country.
Don't miss a single copy!
Subscription Rates
1 YEAR $1.50
3 YEARS $3.25
2 YEARS $2.50
5 YEARS $4.00
P. 0. Box 790
Tucson, Arizona
Who can identify this picture?
Sez Hard
Rock Shorty
Valley 04i9
"I just been readin' a dude outfittin' catalogue," began Hard Rock
Shorty, "an' it was really somethin'
to look at! What the well dressed
dude'll be wearin' next year'd surprise you. He'll have ever' thin' but
shoes an' a canteen!"
This month's Landmark photograph
pictures the ruins of a building which has
figured in several chapters of American
What are some of the events which
have taken place here? For how long was
it occupied and by whom? In what kind
of an area is the landmark located? What
is its status today?
So that Desert Magazine can present
all possible facts concerning these ruins
Quen'Ions aie on page 14.
2—False. The chuckawalla is not yenemous.
',—False. The smoke tree blossom is
deep purple.
5—False. No specimens may be taken
from Petrified Forest national
9—False. The Mojave has no outlet except a series of desert playas.
11—False. Calcite is 3 and quartz is 7.
12—False. Esteban was killed by the
13—True. 14—True.
15—False. The prehistoric sloth was a
native home of the Kai16—False. 1
bb sqt;, tel is the Kaibab plateau.
17—False. TI e atlatl was a weapon for
killing g tine.
1 8—True .
19—Falst 1 Married a Ranger" was
written by Mrs. White Mountain
20—False. When Carlsbad caverns were
discovered a vertical shaft led down
to the entrance and no evidence has
been found of prehistoric habitation.
a prize of $5.00 will be awarded the person who submits the most complete, accurate and interesting manuscript of not
more than 500 words.
Manuscript should contain historical
information, description, location and accessibility and as much other pertinent
material as is available.
Entries should be addressed to Landmarks Contest, Desert Magazine, El Centro, California. To be eligible they must
reach this office by February 20, 1943.
The winning story will be published in the
April issue.
• • •
There is still time to enter Desert Magazine's Mirage photo contest. Contest is
limited to photographs of mirages taken
on the Southwest desert, and those submitting accepted photos will be awarded
$3.00 each. Following are contest rules:
1—Contest open to amateur and professional photographers; no restriction
as to residence.
2 Prints should be at least 5x7 inches.
glossy black and white, unmounted, with
strong contrast. Do not submit copyrighted photos.
3—No limit as to number of photos
submitted. Prints must reach Desert Magazine office by February 15, 1943.
4—Winners will be announced within
10 days of contest date. Non-winning
photos will be returned only if postage accompanies entry.
Address entries to: Mirage Contest,
Desert Magazine, El Centro, California.
Hard Rock studied a while upon
the foolish things people bought out
of catalogues.
"Yes sir—air conditioned pants—
refrigerated hat—a pack sack that
weighs less the more you put in it—
a balloon mattress—a parachute for
hoppin' off of cliffs with—a combination watch compass, an' pocket
radio—even fancy dried food that's
guaranteed to soak up ever' bit o'
water you got in you if you eat it.
About as practical as a set o' water
wings in a sand storm! Reminds me
o' the dude I met over in the Panamints one time.
"He had a big pack sack with
ever'thin' in it but a baby grand piano, an' he was just as proud as a pet
pig about it all. He spent a hour an'
a half showin' me how it all worked.
His can opener turned around into a
parin' knife. His sleepin' bag could
be made into a tent. His kettles was
all nested together fine except that
he'd spilled the syrup an' they was
stuck so tight he couldn't get 'ern
loose. I looked the outfit all over
careful an' then I said, 'Well, fur as
I can see you got ever'thin' but a
deck o' cards.'
" 'Cards?' he says. 'Cards? What'd
I want cards for?'
" 'Just in case you get lost,' I tells
him. 'If you get lost, all you got to
do is take the cards out an' sit down
by a rock or a stump an' start playin'
solitaire. Inside o' five minutes
somebody'll be lookin' over your
shoulder tellin' you how to play an'
you can ask 'em how to get ba,k
Walter W. Bradley, California state mineralogist, and his associates in the California division of mines, have made a very notable contribution both to the national war effort and to
the mineralogical development of the Colorado
desert in their latest report on the mineral resources of Imperial county, California, and the
Cargo Muchacho mountains in the same county.
This report lists some eight or ten valuable
metals being worked commercially, and 17 nonmetals. Among the metals are listed copper,
gold, iron, lead, silver, manganese and nickel;
among the non-metals, clay, dumortierite, kyanite, feldspar, turquoise gypsum, lime and marble, pumice, pyrophyllite, salt, sericite, silica,
strontium, sulphur and carbon dioxide gas.
Most persons regard Imperial county as a desert locality devoted strictly to agricultural products. The county's agriculture has become so
famous throughout the nation that few think
of it as an important mining center, but a county which has produced as much as $687,995
worth of gold, besides many other minerals, in
a single year is at least noteworthy.
Another industry which is rapidly reaching
first rate proportions is that of carbon dioxide
and dry ice. From its beginning in 1933, the industry has reached national importance. Dry
ice, almost unknown 10 years ago to the average person, is now an article of daily use.
• •
Southwest mineralogists, Los Angeles, have
decided to postpone any change in schedule as
long as possible. No field trips are scheduled
for the near future. A -few members recently
hunted moonstones at Redondo Beach.
Standing committee chairmen rendered semiannual reports at December meeting. Some important objectives accomplished were: revision
of the constitution and bylaws; incorporation;
formation of a study group; appointment of a
chairman for each month to arrange for speakers, and take charge of refreshments and raffling of specimens, to augment funds; listing of
locations visited on field trips; and filing specimens in display cabinet; and a successful annual exhibit.
• • •
A few specimens of andalusite, variety chiastolite, have been picked up on the surface of
the desert, in Imperial county, California. The
hardness is above seven and specific gravity
3.2. Very few are of gem quality as the interior figure is seldom distinct.
Among the many gifts American soldiers in
Australia are sending home to their wives,
sweethearts and mothers are black opals, which
they purchase in stores by the hundreds. Wartime Australia considers the mounting of precious stones as a non-essential industry, so
Yanks buy them unmounted and send them
home to be put into rings, pendants and
brooches. Most stones cost only a few dollars.
Boomerangs used by Australian natives also
are selling rapidly. Instructions accompany
each boomerang, as the manufacturers do not
approve of throwers getting "conked on the
bean." They sell as cheaply as $1.25. In addition soldiers are buying collections of aboriginal weapons which have collected dust on the
shelves of big stores for years.
• • •
A resume of the earth's history as revealed in
stone was presented by Charles E. Wilson,
paleontologist, at the December 3 meeting of
the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Phoenix.
The lecture was illustrated by choice characteristic specimens which were effectively displayed by the speaker. On December 17 F. Lee
Kirby, supervisor of the Tonto national forest
gave an illustrated lecture on his work explaining many things which rockhounds see in forest areas but do not understand.
• • •
Labradorite is a variety of feldspar. This
stone was first found in Laborador. It has been
found in many localities, and is admired because
of its remarkable sheen and beautiful peacock
. 3.00
Iron sulphides in gold ore mined by Lava
Cap gold mining corporation, in Nevada City,
have become a benefit instead of a nuisance bePALEONTOLOGY—Berry
cause the sulphides are used as a flux in smeltHISTORICAL GEOLOGY—Moore
ing lead, an essential mineral. Lava Cap was
not closed down with other gold mines, but was
given priority rating.
QUARTZ FAMILY MINERALS—Dake-Fleener-Wilson Rising from third place in California pro400
duction, Lava Cap now claims to be the fore5.50
most gold producer in America. Three hundred
JEWELRY, GEM CUTTING AND METALCRAFT—Baxter men are employed, and the company expects
soon to add another hundred. Among other byTRADE SECRETS—A valuable reference book for the home,
products, about 40 tons of arsenic are recovered
4 00
office, laboratory and the workshop
from the concentrates.
MINERALS—English • • •
One of the strangest phenomena of the Territory of Hawaii, has been known since the
earli, st days and explained in a great variety of
way:. This is a lava formation known to the natives as "Pele's hair."
Thin threads or fibers, some of them even
tubular, rise from the surface of the boiling
lava in Kilauea volcano, and seem to hang in
the ‘m iosphere or blow about with the wind.
The and even arries great masses of the "hair"
out the crater and scatters it down wind over
the ,des of the mountain. The rising fibers
cool rapidly as they start their journey, into a
type J obsidian.
FERU•RY, 1943
— 1943 JUBILEE CATALOG It contains 100 pages of information you will find of value to you. In order to distribute
this catalog to those persons most interested in receiving it, we are asking you to send us
OR send $1 for 2 large sized polished Agates and include postage for 2 lbs. and a copy of
this catalog will be sent to you free. The Agates are worth $2.00 anywhere else.
Closed All Day Sunday
Monday through Saturday-1:00 P. M. until 5:30 P. M.
Ninita Parkway is one block east of the intersection of So. Hill Ave. and San Pasqual Sts.
Our phone number is SYcamore 6-6423.
Lead reserves estimated by the Arizona state
planning board to be 148,000,000 pounds underlie that state's terrain, according to a survey conducted by the group. By districts the
estimates show Tombstone, 8,000.000; Patagonia, 10,000,000; Aravaipa, 20000,000; Dripping Springs, 20,000,000; Cerbat range, 60,000,000; Walapai, 10,000,000, and miscellaneous, 20,000,000.
GEN 4/14RT
Adv. rate. 5e a word—Minimum $1.00
Good specimens bauxite, cinnabar, fluorite, ark
crystals, lead, etc. Bauxite and crystals wholesale. List for stamp. Harding Rock Shop,
West Fork, Ark.
Pacific mineral society, Los Angeles, enjoyed
a Christmas party December 11 with gift
wrapped rock specimens for Santa to distribute.
President Dean De Voe spoke on the growth
and aims of Pacific mineral society, past and future trips, and what the group hopes to accomplish. Tom Harrison was in charge of the
month's specimen display.
Big specimens, Virgin valley opal $3 each. Stibnite inclusions in quartz $2. Uruguayi^n amethyst, Brazilian crystal, 2x3 in., $3 lb. Send
for big local specimens, postpaid 25 cents.
You can return specimens, if not satisfied.
The Desert Rats Nest. 2667 East Colorado
St., East Pasadena, Calif.
ANTIQUE JEWELRY — Lockets, brooches,
chains, rings, etc. 12 assorted, $3.00. B. Lowe,
Box 311, St. Louis, Mo.
$2.50 brings you prepaid, six rare and beautiful crystallized Arizona minerals. Vanadinite Dioptase, Wulfenite, Willemite, Chrysocolla, Azurite. Specimens 1 1/2 x2 or larger.
Wiener Mineral Co., Box 509, Tucson, Arizona.
• •
R. H. Harris, chief inspector Morrow aircraft corporation, gave an interesting talk to
Orange Belt mineralogical society December 3.
on increasing use of wood substitutes for
strategic minerals. He showed samples of fabricated wood to illustrate methods of forming
and shaping, and also kinds of glue used, and
different ways of testing for strength.
• •
Roy Wagoner donated several howlite slabs
and polished geodes to Long Beach society to
be raffled.
• •
Recent increase from 824 to $30 in the price
of tungsten has caused tungsten mine and claim
owners to hasten development of properties
from California and Nevada south to Lower
California and northern Mexico. Skilled miners can be hired in Mexico for three or four
pesos per day. (Five pesos equal one dollar.)
Mine operators in the Southwest state that
there is an urgent need in this country for
about 5,000 Mexican miners.
• •
Comstock lode, Virginia City, Nevada, was
exempted from the order which stopped gold
mining, because of the need for silver, and the
ages of the Comstock mine workers. Comstock
lode has been producing gold and silver for
over 80 years.
• •
FRIENDS—Our new building is completed and
we are ready for business. Cabinet specimens;
cutting materials; cut stones; silver jewelry.
Lapidary work and silver work to order,
everything guaranteed satisfactory or money
refunded. Two miles west of Bayfield on
U. S. 160. Come and see us or write. The
Colorado Gem Company, Bayfield, Colo.
Mineralogical society of southern Nevada
has divided into three groups, one group meeting in Boulder City, one in the townsite of
Basic Magnesium, Inc., and one in Las Vegas,
all units operating under the parent body of
the society. Activities for the duration will consist of get togethers to discuss gem cutting and
rocks in general.
diamond cut Zircons (total 2 1/2 carat) $2.75.
Twelve Genuine Opals $1.50. Twelve Genuine Cameos $2.50. B. Lowe, Box 311, St.
Louis, Mo.
December Mineral Notes and News, official
publication of California Federation of mineralogical societies, has an article on sard and
carnelian by Isabel Packwood Westcott of Hanford, California.
INDIAN RELICS, Beadwork, Coins, Min-
M. W. Wall, of 10 High street, Boston, Massachusetts, is very anxious to trade far eastern
minerals, including New Jersey minerals, for
specimens from the far West. He is especially
interested in samples of Myerhofferite.
erals. Books, Old Buttons, Old Glass, Old
West Photos, Weapons. Catalog 5c. Vernon
Lenaley, Osborne, Kansas.
100 JEWELRY STONES removed from rings,
etc., assorted $2.00. B. Lowe, Box 311, St.
Louis, Mo.
Wish to purchase cutting material, crystals, and
minerals in wholesale lots. Send details and
prices in 25, 50 and 100 lb. lots. West Coast
Mineral Co., Box 331, La Habra, Calif.
AGATES, Jaspers, Opalized and Agatized
woods, Thunder eggs, polka dot and other
specimens. Three pound assortment $1.50
postpaid. Glass floats, price list on request.
Jay Ransom, 1753 Mentone Ave., Pasadena,
• •
• •
• • •
A recent request has been made by agencies of
the federal government for perfect, clear crystals of quartz, above one half inch in diameter,
for use in short wave radio sets for the military
• •
John L. Walters of Harbor Springs, Michigan has contributed some interesting fossil
rocks to Desert Magazine's rock collection. The
specimens are from the glacial drift of Emmet
county, Michigan. They include Acervularia
davidsoni (Petoskey stone), Favosites alpenensis (Honeycomb coral), Halysites catenularia
(Chain coral), Zaphrentis tetracoral (Horn
coral), Stromatopora, Heliotes and Streptelasma.
The Hawaiian islands have been gradually
built up by volcanic action from a point about
16 000 feet below the level of the ocean, to the
highest summit of Mauna Kea, 13,823 fee;
above. By adding these two figures together.
Mauna Kea today stands 29,823 feet above the
original crack in the ocean floor, about 800
feet greater than Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. Mauna Loa is the largest ac
rive volcano in the world.
• •
Frank Merriel, Colorado river authority, wa,
principal speaker at December 7 meeting of
Grand Junction, Colorado, mineralogical so
ciety. He talked on the proposed Dewey darn
in eastern Utah, and its connection with mag
nesium deposits in eastern Utah and western
Colorado, classed among the richest ever discovered.
• •
Jack de Ment, Portland, Oregon, has originated a process for testing gas masks by fluor.
escence. Powdered antbracene, or some other
fluorescent chemical, is allowed to filter into
the chamber under mild pressure. It is thus pos
sible to detect leaks and determine where they
occur, whether in the fabric, mechanisms or
seams. Fluorescent liquids or vapor may he
used, depending on the type of mask.
The tri-state area of Missouri, Kansas
and Oklahoma has produced some of the
finest golden calcite crystals in the world.
A few' of these fine crystals have been
found in California and other western
states, but not a large total. Most of these
are dog tooth spar in sizes from very small
to very large, single crystals and groups of
all sizes. Many are doubly terminated. The
rich golden color make them an addition to
any collection. For those who are more interested in fluorescence, many crystals produce a brilliant scarlet color under the black
• • •
Antimony, named a strategic mineral by the
federal government has shown an advance in
_Ake, but has not reached the high point of tne
last war. Prices for this metal fluctuate, and
are unusually high during war. They normally
run from eight to 16 cents, but at the time ni
the first world war went to 46 cents per pound
China and Japan were chief producers, but now
Mexico supplies a good deal. The largest proportion used by the United States is imported
Antimony is of solfataric origin, volatile, No.
in the sale of fusibility, and is closely associaied with arsenic, cinnabar, sulphur and bismuth.
It is used principally for type metal, babbit
metal, metallic ornaments and toys, and batten
• •
Moss agates and petrified wood are found in
the southwest corner of Salt Lake valley, south
of Butterfield canyon, as well as red and yellow
jasper. And while there, do not fail to climb to
the top of Step mountain, this valley's only
volcanic plug.
• •
A mineral that is composed of sulphur and
iron is a sulphide of iron. This belongs to the
class of sulphides which includes the simple
combinations of the element sulphur with the
various metals.
Frank and Grace Morse, "rambling rock nuts'
Bayfield, Colorado, have completed their
museum. Frank did all the work himself except
plumbing and wiring. A well equipped shop
will be added by spring, with three 4-foot mud
saws, two 3-foot ones and several 2-foot ones.
Of a Rockhound
• • •
W. Scott Lewis' December bulletin contains,
tn addition to the usual news about mineral
bargains, a life history of Percy the caterpillar,
who ate voraciously and finally metamorphosed
mto a beautiful monarch butterfly.
• •
East Bay mineral society enjoyed a pot luck
dinner, December 3. They exchanged gift
wrapped specimens. A gasless field trip, led
by the Lewises' with kodachrome slides, took
the group to Death Valley and Nevada.
0 • •
E. W. Davis presented Searles Lake gem and
mineral society a five by eight foot American
flag. A. P. and C. C. donated a pole to be placed
at the Trona club house. The state guard and
American Legion participated in the flag raising
ceremony. Twelve Searles Lake members are
serving in the armed forces.
• •
David B. Scott, western sales manager for
A. P. and C. C., past president of Southern California mineral society of Pasadena, reviewed
the history of mineral collecting in the West,
at November meeting of Searles Lake gem and
mineral society. There are now about 70 societies in the five western states.
• ••
East Bay bulletin states that a good dopping
wax, one from which the stone can be removed
only by holding it in boiling water, can be made
by melting in a glue pot or double boiler about
equal parts of dry pitch, dry flake orange shellac and resin. If the stone tends to slip from
heat or buff or sander, add shellac to mixture;
if it tends to pop off, add resin. Dopping: roll
small piece of wax on cold metal plate to give
tapered effect. Heat stones in pan which has a
film of wax over bottom.
• •
Searles Lake bulletin for December wears a
cover picturing a lone rockhound cooking his
supper over a campfire. He undoubtedly reached
the site on foot, as no auto or burro is in sight.
• •
Long Beach mineralogical society installed
new officers at their Christmas party December
• Desert rockhouns has to contend with
lots uv conditions that never trubbles
folkses in uther places. Most specifically therz bugs 'n dust storms 'n houses
without adequate heat for the few cold
days. When the mercury says 80 or 90
in the afternoon 'n 23 at nite, therz quite
a bit uv bodily adjustin' to be accomplished.
But bugs is probably the wurst nuisance. Most people thinks that the cucaracha is justa song 'n dance, but desert
dwellers knows what sly, sneakin', scurryin' bugs they really is—not even meltioned elsewhere in p'lite society—cockroaches. They comz in assorted sizes,
from almost transparent quarter inchers
to granddaddys capable uv luggin' off a
whole crust uv bread. The big ones is
nastily squashy to step on too.
In summer bugs is so ubiquitous that
they obscures street lites. They gets in
the butter; they gets in your hair. bed 'n
coffee. Centipedes is especially fond uv
beds besides those varieties uv bugs that
uses flour 'n cornmeal for their natural
Desert rockhouns deserves th' blessin's
they get cause after all theres much uncomfort to be endured.
The word "orpiment" is derived from two
Greek words—Aura Pigment—meaning gold
paint. It is said that in ancient Egypt it was
used as a mark of distinction to gild the buttons
and epaulets of the nobility and high ranking
soldiers. Being of arsenical composition, it is
seldom used now for paint making, but yellow
ochre is used instead.
year. Current board is Lowell Gordon, E. S.
Bond, V. P. Cutler, Milo Potter and Roy
• •
Santa Monica gemological society has a new
meeting place, a room in the Windemere hotel,
1431 Ocean avenue, Santa Monica.
• •
Now that the heavy Christmas mail is off
Uncle Sam's hands, rockhounds can again feel
free to exchange specimens or purchase new
rocks from dealers, and have reasonably prompt
• •
Prt David D. Dougan, S.G.D. 614, B.T.C.
No. 5, AFTTC, Kearns, Utah, a former
rockbound from California, would like to get acquainled with Utah collectors.
• •
Montana society of natural and earth
sheduled their annual rock show and sciences
convention f. r January 14 and 15 at Bozeman, Montana. A special young people's
section was to
teatun: the exhibits. All prize-winning specimens were
to be determined by public ballot.
FEe‘RUARY, 1943
We are planning a colony here for
Artists, Craftsmen, Collectors, Rockhounds, Gem cutters, Silver smiths, or
just any good folks who want to live
where living conditions are at their best.
Write for Particulars
Finely crystallized and rare minerals from
the Rocky Mountain west and world localities, the results of 20 years of collecting.
Write for quotations.
201 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, Colorado
Molave 2)e4.e4l Qem
and Miote4a.1 Shop . . .
On Hiahway 91, 11 Mi. East of Barstow
One Mile West of Yermo, California
E. W. SHAW, P. 0. Box 363, Yermo, Calif.
and gem &tap
• • •
Oxygen, the largest constituent of the materials of the earth, combined with one or more
of the metals, forms an oxide. United with silicon, oxygen forms with the metallic elements,
the minerals belonging ro the large and important group called the silicates.
On U. S. Highway 99, Ten
Dirdes South of Indio
11. The Long Beach club chooses officers in a
manner different from most other groups. They
elect a board of directors, who meet with the
retiring board to elect officers for the ensuing
• .
The Rock Hounds are a kind of desert rat
That go to bed with a stick in their back.
They look all day for different rocks
And crawl in at night with holes in their socks.
They look for geodes, shells and iceland spar.
They meet at lunch and it's "What have you
Look what I found, all pointed and clear
It must be Tourmaline, isn't it dear ?"
They look for fluorite and chalcedony roses .
They walk and they climb till they've corns on
their toeses.
There's amethyst, jasper and calcite galore,
They seek and they hunt but always want more.
There's agate from California and Arizona too
There's copper and turquoise both of them blue,
There are sand spikes and fossils and mica so
There is opalized wood, sardonyx and tin.
I hiked with 'em once and was sore for a week,
I ached all over, from my head to my feet.
But I'll don my shirt and my old blue pants
And go Rock Hounding again . . . When I get
a chance,
Ofillfl ififiGfIZIllf
A Source of Accurate and Always
Timely and Interesting Information on the Absorbing Subjects of . . .
Subscriptions are $2.00 Yearly;
Single Copies 20c
428 Metropolitan Bldg.
RX—the complete
lapidary shop in
one small machine
No more sales
during duration
W. A. FELKER 3521 Emerald St., Torrance, California
and one of the following offers:
1. Just the price lists-3c for postage.
2. 3 pounds of Rough Oregon
Agate Nodules 50c
3. One polished half Send for our "Color Set"-6 colorful minerals including red, white and blue-50c
Please add 10c to help defray postage if
you live more than 250 miles from
Los Angeles.
P. 0. Box 331
La Habra, Calif.
Used by the U. S. Government
designed for thin section quartz crystal lapping, has inclosed shaft,
ball bearing thrust and
removable lap plate.
with Covington Swing Arm
insures maximum blade life
and prevents carriage and
bearing wear. Has 5-inch
slabbing area.
Lapping Compound
Saves every grain of grit.
Send for Literature to any of
our dealers or—
Of gems and minerals includes turquoise,
gypsum, opal, actinolite, marcasite, iron pyrite, fluorite, bauxite calerite, galena, onyx,
howlite, agate, lepidolite, silver ore, quartz
and benitoite.
Set contains streak testing block, bottle
of mounting glue, small hand lens, 25
printed mounting cards, and instruction
manual for gathering and classifying your
gem collection $1.50
Includes specimens of copper ore, jasper,
blue calcite, tourmaline, onyx, silver ore,
iron pyrite, muscovite, opal, vesuvianite,
marcasite, actinolite, flint, turquoise and
gold ore and small hand lens $1.00
Desert Crafts Shop
El Centro, California
This page of Desert Magazine
is for those who have, or aspire
to have, their own gem cutting
and polishing equipment. Lelande Quick, who conducts this department, is former president of the Los Angeles Lapidary society. He will be glad to answer questions in connections with your lapidary work. Queries should be addressed to Desert Magazine, El
Centro, California.
Have you ever noticed how grooved are the much of the chrysoprase because the demand for
habits of amateur lapidaries? A person's future the emerald is constant while most people are
field of gem interest is rather solidly condi- unfamiliar with chrysoprase and myrickite is
tioned by his first gem cutting experience. That practically unknown to even professional
is to say if the first stone an amateur cuts hap- lapidaries.
pens to be a cabochon he becomes a fixed cabo• • •
chon cutter; if his first attempt is a slab then he
Several people have asked me if I know how
is irrevocably a slab man. The same idea applies
to kinds of material; if a first cabochon is of the Chinese carve their jade and carnelian figjasper it is forever after a favorite with that ures. I know nothing about it beyond the little
man; if it is a slab of wood he can go into I have written and I never have been able to
transports of delight over the dullest looking find anything in the literature. Can any reader
silicified limb cast. I have had cutters show me refer me to anything helpful?
a display of hundreds of good cabochons who
• • •
have never polished a cabinet specimen on one
I get inquiries about minerOnce
side or done a slab and I know prize-winning
"flat" polishers who have never attempted a als which I try to answer by personal correspondence but that is Arthur Eaton's department.
There are relatively few all-around amateur I seem to get by on gem cutting inquiries and I
lapidaries—folks who can make an opal ring. hope you will confine your questions to me to
set, an agate heart or cross, an onyx clock- gems and gem materials. Incidentally I personmount, a pair of jasper bookends or a matched ally answer every letter I receive and I hope to
set of bracelet stones. Too many amateurs get get many more although I find it difficult ai
in a groove and in time their interest lags for times to keep up with the mail that has been
it is not renewed by attempts at new things. coming in. It is a happy experience and I am
The situation can be reversed too. I have in grateful for the many encouraging letters I have
mind two friends who decided eem cutting had.
• • •
would be a fine hobby. They built a joint shop
and gathered together everything that money
That eminent mineralogist E. Mitchell Guncould buy—grinders, polishers, diamond and nell of Denver reminds me that diamonds also
mud saws, faceting heads, every kind of grit have been found in place in Arkansas as well
and polishing agent and a ton of fine mate- as in California.
rials from all the dealers. They then proceeded
• • •
to run the gamut of materials and gem types.
Several want to know how to drill hearts and
In six months they both took prizes for their
J. Howard McCornack will present
varied and excellent display—and they have pendants.
in an early issue of
ground nothing since. They sort of burned the details and a
L. Monlux have devela new device he and
dop-stick at both ends.
oped for this task.
Now we are all stationary, with field trips
• • •
suspended and with large quantities of rock
we are "saving." Why not use some of it by DID YOU KNOW .
changing the pace? Let the cabochon maker
yellow; it may be white,
teach his neighbor flat polisher the joys of • Amber is notoralways
black, blue red although these shades are
turning out a perfect ring-set; let the slab arrare.
tist bring the thrill of a pictured scene in a
• Quartz gems are found in the rocks of every
piece of petrified wood to the meticulous ringage; in igneous, sedimentary and metamorset and pendant cutter. Try some novelties such
phic formations.
as spheres, ash trays, pen stands, bookends,
clocks, etc. I have always thought that the acme • Mohammed wore an agate signet ring.
of satisfaction in lapidary work does not come
• Satin spar may be either a fibrous variety of
to a man until he sees his first finished faceted
gypsum or calcite.
stone ready to take
will effervesce when acids are
applied; hodonite will not.
• • •
• • •
Exactness is not too important in differenAND HINTS . . •
tiating between precious and semi-precious
stones. Almost one hundred times in a hundred
Have a large cigar can three quarters full of
any gem cut by an amateur will be semi- sand into which you stick your dopped stones
precious. Commercially, "precious" stones are for "setting" or to keep them out of the way.
those which are in constant demand and whose Have another with a little oil mixed with the
value is high—the diamond, ruby, sapphire, em- sand into which you can stick your pen-knife,
erald, pearl and black opal. Obviously anyone screw driver and other small tools for easy
with a combination of enough courage, skill grabbing. The oil keeps them from rusting.
and money to cut any of these (except the pearl )
• • •
would not be an amateur. All other stones are
semi-precious although the commercial underDissolve ten level teaspoonfuls of common
standing of the term applies principally to the salt in a tumbler of water and put your amber in
less valuable faceted gems such as the zircons, it. If it floats it really is amber, if it sinks ir
tourmalines, acquamarine and quartz varieties. probably bakelite or some other substitute
Their demand fluctuates with the whims of
• • •
fashion and they do not command great prices.
When you think a diamond saw blade is finRarity alone does not promote a high price.
For instance emeralds are not nearly as rare as ished take a light hammer and tap gently
quality chrysoprase and
,1 sevgood piece of myrickite? Yet a good emerald a great while longer but it can bep repeate
of average size would probably be worth as eral times and thus give a lot of r olonge)
much as all of the myrickite in existence plus to the blade.
and M
Salt Lake City, Utah . . .
The American Potash company may
soon take over interests of the Utah Magnesium company in more than 100,000
acres of land containing deposits of magnesium, potash and oil in the vicinity of
Thompsons, Utah. The potash company,
now operating a refining plant at Carlsbad, New Mexico, will begin immediate
development as a private enterprise without government aid, it is reported. Kaiser
interests also are said to be investigating
the Utah field. Drilling operations are
continuing favorably at the Great Lakes
Carbon corporation well in lower Moab
valley, being cored by the Mack Drilling
• •
Goldfield, Nevada . . .
Mining operations in southern Nevadi
appear encouraging despite governmental
requirements for manpower and transportation, according to a survey recently completed by Goldfield mining men. The
Goodsprings area in particular is moving
to the fore as a producer of vanadium and
zinc. Four mines operating in that region
are the Argentine, Hoodoo, Whale and
Alice properties. Federal plans to purchase
zinc produced near Goodsprings are rapidly taking form, it was also disclosed, although definite arrangements have not
been completed.
Winnemucca, Nevada . . .
Approximately $30,000 has been spent
in improving the Defense Tungsten mine
near here during the past few months, according to Carl Wagoner, one of the operators. A 60 to 75-ton mill was rebuilt
and put in operation early in January.
Twelve men are employed at the property
with one shift working each day. Three
shifts will be worked soon.
• • •
Parker, Arizona .
Arizona and Southern California producers now can be served by a small-lot
manganese and chrome stockpile established here by the Metals Reserve corporation, according to Charles F. Willis,
consultant for the metals organization.
Facilities will be available to those in thc
district between Wickenburg, Arizona,
and the California state line as well as in
Southern California.
• • •
San Francisco, California . .
\Var production board officials
announced that operators of gold mines
shut down by government order are forbidde n to make private
sales of machinery
and ecluipment. Owners must file an itemized list of machinery and equipment with
the bc,ird
indicating items for sale or
Washington D C
• •
Phoenix, Arizona . . .
Peace-time production at the Phoenix
aluminum plant now under construction
for the Aluminum Company of America
is planned, according to officials of that
company. The plant at conclusion of the
war will be on the threshold of a tremendous backlog of work to meet civilian
needs restricted by war and to produce
aluminum for a multitude of new uses
which have been developed. The plant will
be placed in operation early next- summer.
• •
Boulder City, Nevada . . .
It's like carrying coals to Newcastle . . .
But back to this great silver producing
state came 141.7 tons of silver—fabricated
into bus bars at Baltimore. F. O. Case.
general manager of Basic Magnesium's
new 5100.000,000 plant, said it was the
first of a shipment of 800 tons which will
replace copp. r in the plant's construction.
Cordell Hull, secretary of state, early
in December filed a formal request with
Mexico to import 3,000 trained Mexican
miners. The laborers will come to the
United States to relieve a critical labor
shortage, he declared, pointing out that a
minimum of 2,500 new workers are needed immediately for copper and other nonferrous mines of Utah, Arizona, New
Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Nevada and
• •
Phoenix, Arizona . . .
Silver production in this state in 1941
totaled 7,551,000 fine ounces valued at
55,369,600 or seven percent increase over
1940, the U. S. bureau of mines has announced. The increase resulted from a gain
in production from the United Verde,
Trench-Flux, New Carnelia and Magma
Before They're Cone
• •
Morenci, Arizona . . .
A new city of modern homes, named
Stargo, is rapidly growing near here and
is housing workers at Phelps Dodge corporation's huge open-pit copper mine and
reduction works. About 225 family dwelling units are complete and another S200.000 expenditure for 20 new homes and
20 duplexes has been authorized.
• •
Virginia City, Nevada . . .
America's most famous mine the Comstock will remain in operation now that
it has been exempted from the war production board's order closing gold mines.
Closure of this property would doom the
existence of Virginia City hence the Cornstock exemption, according to Representative James G. Scrugham. Ninety-seven
percent of the mine's output is silver and
most of the men employed there are elderly, according to testimony presented to
the federal board.
Battle Mountain, Nevada . . .
Contemplated improvement work at
the Copper Queen mine near here includes
erection of a compressor room, installation
of air lines to the Copper King and Copper
Queen shafts as well as repairs on all
buildings to house workers. Development
work planned includes cross-cutting on
the 200-foot level to the hanging wall on
the Queen Shaft and a 100-foot drift
around a caved portion of the mine to get
underneath the ore body on the 120 foot
level. Prospecting will be done by diamond drilling.
Desert Magazine are now available.
Most of these issues are newsstand returns but are complete copies. First few
orders received will be filled immediatly. We will fill others as rapidly as we
are able to buy missing issues. Make
your reservation now. Prices now in effect are below.
Vol. 1 (Nov.'37-Oct.'38) Vol. 2 Vol. 3 Vol. 4 Vol. 5 Vols , 1-5, Inc. $7.00
November '37 January '39 February '39 March '39 May '39 July '39 December '39 1
HaAta r2AGAzine
636 State Street — El Centro, California
ETWEEN my military duties as Public Relations officer at Hobbs Army Air Field in New Mexico, and the
restrictions on gasoline—soldiers have the same gas rations as civilians—I haven't had much opportunity to prowl
around this part of the desert country.
But recently there was a free weekend, and with several
other men from the field I followed the paved highway up Walnut canyon to Carlsbad caverns and spent five hours in the
world's greatest natural air raid shelter.
Not that we need shelter from enemy bombs out here on
these New Mexico prairies—but Nature chose this spot for
one of her most interesting geological formations, and as far as
I am concerned it was a wise choice.
New Mexico really is entitled to some compensation for the
millions of acres of unproductive limestone terrain which fell
to the lot of this state when the boundary lines were established.
And since a cavern such as Carlsbad could occur only in a limestone formation, it is entirely fitting that it should be in New
* * *
There were over 900 visitors at the caverns the day I was
there. Texas led the breakdown by states, with New Mexico
second and California third.
More than half the visitors were soldiers from the camps in
this area. While the normal guide fee for the trip through the
caves is $1.50, men in uniform are given passes. Thousands of
boys from all over the United States, who are camped at the
numerous army posts in this region, are taking advantage of
the opportunity to visit Carlsbad. Such a trip is one of the many
beneficial by-products of military service.
Park Superintendent Boles, who by reason of his long seniority at this park assignment, is addressed by his friends as
"colonel," told me that 900 people in one day is a small weekend crowd at these caverns. The park rangers here have guided
as many as 4,000 visitors through the labyrinth of stalactites
and stalagmites in a single day.
Most of the caves and caverns in the Southwest disclose evidence of former Indian habitation. But the rangers told me that
no artifacts ever had been discovered in Carlsbad. The explanation is that when first discovered, entrance was possible only
by way of a deep vertical shaft impossible to descend without
ropes and equipment. Millions of bats made their home in
these dark caverns—but no Indian ever found his way down
the shaft. Or, if he did, he left no evidence of the visit.
Probably a majority of those who read Desert Magazine have
visited these caverns. It is a trip no American should miss.
Millions of descriptive words have been written about the
strange formations found here, but neither writer nor artist
could do the place justice.
* * *
At the end of the down trail, the visitor has the option of
returning under his own power, or taking the elevator to the
surface at 25 cents a ride.
But this Carlsbad elevator is one commercial enterprise
which does not solicit patronage. In his address to those assembled in the bottom of the caverns for the impressive Rock
of Ages ceremonial, Col. Boles intimated that the mechanical
lift was there for the convenience of those "too old or fat or
infirm" to make the round trip on foot. After that remark, of
course no self-respecting soldier would dare ride out.
There is a 50-cent fee for luncheon served deep down in
the cavern. And I want to remark in passing that the army has
nothing on the Park service when it comes to feeding a big
crowd with a minimum of time and effort.
If you have not already made this Carlsbad caverns trip, I
would recommend it for a place near the top of that list of excursions you are dreaming about for a future day when tires
and gasoline again are plentiful. Carlsbad is a good place to
humans who get exaggerated ideas of their own importance-which we all do at times.
The most conspicuous thing on the landscape here from a
geological standpoint is limestone. This prairie is merely a
great limestone plain in various stages of decomposition. No
one had ever figured out a useful purpose for these grey rocks
until the soldiers moved in. And now, any day of the week, th
airplane mechanics can be seen spending their off hours beautyfying the areas around their barracks with sidewalks and curbs
built from New Mexico's boundless supply of limestone rocks
A week ago six inches of snow fell during the night. "Unusual weather," the old-timers assured me. It was a rather novel
experience for one who has lived below sea level in the lower
basin of the Colorado river for 20-odd years.
But the snow did not last long. And as I waded around in
the mud that followed, I had visions of this desert prairie a few
months later covered with a gorgeous display of wildflowers
Those flowers, if they come, will be worth all the annoyance
of cold wet feet just now. I am curious to know just what this
part of the Southwest will produce in the way of wildflowers
At this time of the year the only botanical friends I recognize
as I drive around the field are yucca, mesquite and creosote.
But it seems to be part of Nature's plan to produce the rarest
botanical beauty in the most forbidding regions, and I am sure
there will be some colorful surprises at a later day when spring
sunshine begins to pour down on this prairie soil.
The January issue of Desert Magazine arrived in camp just
a few days ago, and I am sure no reader devoured its contents
more eagerly than I did. I assure you it is a great thrill reading
an issue of Desert which—for the first time in more th a n five
years—I had no part in planning and editing. Lucile and Bess
and Evonne and those other loyal associates who remained at
home to keep the presses running during my absence are doing
a grand job. How proud I am to have them as my pals in
publishing business.
—a monthly review of the best literature
of the desert Southwest, past and present.
Girls of Fred Harvey "eating houses"
along the Santa Fe railroad from Kansas
west to Los Angeles have contributed definitely to Southwestern society. And for
years here has remained a story complete in
every detail except for its transition to type
ignored by writers until Samuel Hopkins
Adams produced THE HARVEY GIRLS.
Back in the 1890's Fred Harvey scoured
the East for girls who could meet his rigid
requirements. He found them, and then
lost many of these girls when they married
railroaders or townsmen at various points
in the Southwest. Some of these girls became the founders of social, political and
financial dynasties that today are strongly
influential in most towns along the Santa
In the days of 1890 girls found living
rugged and hard, although they were wellcared for by the Harvey company. As the
twentieth century turned these conditions
improved and even more girls joined the
Harvey system.
The author in THE HARVEY GIRLS,
published late in 1942, has written a refreshing and highly entertaining novel.
He has spiced his story with "authentic
bits of Harveyana" direct from dormitories
along the line. It is excellent reading,
making a welcome interlude in any reader's life.
Mr. Adams is a veteran novelist, reporter and collector of Americana and in this
book he is at his best, writing in a sparkling, easily read style. The Harvey line because of its growth in close association
with the Southwest is an American social
institution. In 1876 it consisted of a single
lunchroom at Topeka, Kansas. Today it includes such elaborate hotels as La Fonda
at Santa Fe, La Posada at Winslow, El Tovar at Grand Canyon, and El Garces at
Needles. 327 pp., $2.50. Random House.
• • •
Grandmother Flannery in 1937 still
Clung tenaciously to her home on the Divide overlooking Virginia City. Since her
arrival in Nevada's famous silver camp in
1862 , she had seen millions of dollars go
out to San Francisco, millions go out to
pay costs of the Civil war, and millions
expended on flamboyant living during the
extravagant silver seventies.
Her grandson, Flannery Lewis in SUNS
GO DOWN, published in 1937, has written a human story, half portrait, half
memoir of this remarkable woman. Opening Paragraphs of this 226-page biography
quick f y reveal that the author has captured
more than the ordinary chronological history of a famous mining town. The pulse
of Virginia City surges strong as Grandmother relives the 70's and 80's when
lawlessness held sway, when some men
made millions boring into depths of Mt.
Davidson and others made millions speculating on stock markets under the brow of
that same peak when fire swept through
most of the town to be followed quickly
by an equally disastrous tornado.
Mr. Lewis artistically reproduces his
grandmother's memories in a charming
mellow style. But sharing interest with
this re-creation of the past is Mr. Lewis'
portrait of Grandmother herself. He
paints her prejudices with affectionate
humor as she disparages the automobile,
the tourist and modern plumbing. Grandmother is lovable and alive as she is pictured by Lewis. Her reactions to history in
the making are delightful, amusing and
exceedingly wise. After her first introduction to Mark Twain, she thereafter referred to him as that printer Clemens."
Lewis deserves the attention of students
of western history for this fascinating book
of an era that is not likely to return. 82.00.
Macmillan Co., New York.
• • •
In a fast moving, exciting story of the
desert's early-day silverlands, Neill C.
Wilson has presented absorbing drama of
old Panamint in SILVER STAMPEDE.
First published in 1937, it remains high
among good selling non-fiction books.
The author, who also wrote TREASURE EXPRESS, a story about epic days of
Wells Fargo, has given particular attention
in SILVER STAMPEDE to basic social
aspects of the town and has flavored his
manuscript with hitherto unpublished information contributed by those who were
familiar with Panamint during its short
violent life. Factual material came from
many sources—among these Mrs. Georgina Sullivan Jones, wife of Senator J. P.
Jones, who figured so prominently in
Panamint's existence and who made his
first millions at Virginia City ; W. A.
Chalfant, the Sage of Inyo, and his newspaper the Independent whose brittlebrown files recorded the events of Panamint.
The silver city, born when highway robbers first discovered the bonanza when
they fled into heights above Death Valley
to escape capture by posses, found itself
peopled with characters who later rubbed
elbows in Bodie, Tombstone and the Black
Figures prominent in the history of Vir-
ginia City naturally gravitated to this new
outpost where tales of pioneering at its
hardest were woven. One finds himself
intensely interested in characters of Panamint as Mr. Wilson cleverly depicts them
in terse brilliant writing. In the pages of
SILVER STAMPEDE are humor, pathos,
anguish, terror and happiness sufficient
to meet the demands of anyone.
When R. C. Jacob's party rediscovered
Panamint's silver hoard and staked claims,
rumor spread rapidly. On the heels of the
strike the miner, the merchant, the gambler and the gunman all rushed to Panamint, where they mingled to evolve one of
the stormiest frontier towns of the West.
Uncle "Billy Bedamned" Wols.sburger, aged peddler, limped 417 miles over
the desert whacking his little burrro. John
Schober crossed 166 miles with a big
whipsaw on his back. Clem Ogg, who
could cut the seat out of a man's trousers
with the lash of his long bull whip,
hitched 14 freight wagons behind a halfmile parade of bullocks and set out.
Later more famous characters of history
strode down the rocky paths which residents of Panamint called streets. These
were George Hearst, father of W. R.
Hearst, Lucky Baldwin, and Senators J. P.
Jones and "Fifteenth Amendment" Bill
Through the pages of SILVER STAMPEDE one obtains a picture of Panamint
as it fitted into the puzzle of life in the
silver mining district then defined by Virginia City, San Francisco, Los Angeles,
Bakersfield, San Bernardino and Panamint. 318 pp., end maps, photographs,
$ 3.00. Macmillan Co., New York.
—Harry Smith
A chronicle of the early
settlers—the good and the
bad, the weak and the
of the CaliforniaNevada border, recounted
by a pioneer newspaperman with a nose for news
and eyes and ears for
drama and humor. Illustrated. $3.00
Also by Mr. Chalfant:
All the flowers of the desert described
and illustrated. —$3.50
Tells all about the desert, its plants
and animals. Illustrated. $2.00
Stanford University, California
Out in the land of cliffs and canyons
flowers soon will be breaking through the
sand. But winds still are chilling other
corners and logs on the fire are welcome.
For pleasant companions on long evenings, choose several of these selected
books of adventure, history and travel.
Acquire an intimate knowledge of this
mysterious and charming region.
diary notes of the young artist-vagabond who roamed the
desert trails—and finally disappeared in the Utah wilderness. Color plate, woodcuts and watercolor reproductions,
map. 72 pp
information on historical and natural setting. Social, agricultural and industrial development. 19 detailed tours.
Many halftone photos, maps. General tourist information,
chronology, biblio., 530 pp
85 CALIFORNIA, A GUIDE TO THE GOLDEN STATE. A comprehensive coverage of the state. Special sections on
Death Valley, Sequoia, General Grant and Yosemite national parks, Golden Gate exposition. 14 tours, pocket map,
713 pp.
other complete handbook in the American Guide series
of the Federal Writers Project. 18 tours. Special pocket
map. 458 pp
plete coverage as other volumes in this series. 8 tours.
Pocket map, 315 pp
31 UTAH, A GUIDE TO THE STATE. Follows style of this
series. Sections on national monuments and parks. 10
tours, 595 pp
32 SAN XAVIER DEL BAC. Monograph in the American Guide
Series on the southern Arizona mission founded in 1700
by Father Kino. Illustrated with 32 gravure photos. Biblio.,
floor plan, 56 pp
33 DEATH VALLEY, A Guide. Complete and beautifully illustrated publication of the Federal Writers Project. Geology, plant and animal life, history, followed by series of
20 tours with detailed information for travelers. Biblio., index, map, paper bound, $1 00, cloth $1.75
11 THE JOURNEY OF THE FLAME, Fierro Blanco. Fascinating
historical novel of Lower California, incorporating geography, geology, flora and fauna, ethnology and mythology.
End-maps, 295 pp
MOUNTAINS, Harold S. Colton and Frank C. Baxter. An
informative mapped guide to northern Arizona—geography, geology, flora and fauna, archaeology, Indians.
27 logged trips, ctppen., index, 113 pp _________$1.00
8 GRAND CANYON COUNTRY, M. R. Tillotson and Frank J.
Taylor. Accurate handbook of information covering geol$1 00
ogy, wildlife, history and recreation. 108 pp
All books postpaid — Add 3% tax in California
Desert Crafts Shop
636 State Street
El Centro, California
80 ACOMA, Mrs. William T. Sedgwick. Story of the Indian
civilization of New Mexico's Sky City. Substance of all
that has been written on Acoma. Based on diaries, archaeological notes of Bandelier, Fewkes, Parsons and Hodge,
and legends and folk-tales. End-maps, photos, app., bibho., index,
index, 318 pp
Mountain Smith. Chapters on Acoma, Apache Indians,
Havasupais and Hualapais, Hopi Snake Dancers, Navajos,
Rio Grande Pueblos, Salt River Indians, Taos and Zufii
Pueblos. "Chapters headed with useful information for
travelers. Endmaps, index, 146 pages
75 RHYTHM FOR RAIN, John Louw Nelson. Drama and ancient culture of the Hopi Indians, told in the epic story of
the Great Drought. Interpretation of Hopi rain dances by
a man who has a sensitive understanding of the Indian
mind. Paintings by Indian artists, photos, glossary of Hopi
words. 263 pp _
$ 3.25
ton James. Study of Navajo and Pueblo weaving art. Classification and analysis of types, development and background. Appendix includes section on dealers. De Luxe
1937 edition, 71/2z10 1/4. 64 illustrations, 32 color plates. 213
pages. Limited number of copies available, boxed $3.00
our. Tempestuous career of a peerless hunter, trapper,
marksman, horseman, who became more Indian than
white, accompanied the first survey party to make treaties
with the Indians for Santa Fe Trail right-of-ways. Map,
photos, notes, biblio, index. 229 pp
15 GOLDEN MIRAGES, Philip A. Bailey. Tales and legends of
lost mines in the southwest desert. Contains many other
yarns about the old prospectors who used to roam the
desert. Illus., 353 pp
2 THE WEST IS STILL WILD, Harry Carr. Entertainin: 3;t5:-
count of a tour of New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California, by a newspaperman who had an uncanny gift for
dipping into the adventurous past and of portraying an
array of colorful characters. Includes the Indian Country,
Enchanted Mesa, Carlsbad Caverns, Santa Fe and Taos,
Boulder Dam and Death Valley. 257 pp
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