June 2013. The MDHCA is pleased to announce two new books for sale:
Lieutenant Mark Hersey: The Final Days of Fort Mojave, 1887-1890
Calico Memories of Lucy Bell Lane.
Lieutenant Mark Hersey was assigned to the Ninth Infantry at Fort Mojave, Arizona. Author and historian Jere Baker draws upon Lt. Hersey’s extensive letters from 1887 until mid-1890 and official army records to chronicle Fort Mojave’s final years as a frontier army post. The publication is 106 pages long and is softbound. We are selling this book for $12.95.
Calico Memories is the story of Lucy Bell Lane’s memories of the silver mining town of Calico, California from the mid-1880s through the early 1960s. This 2013 publication is a revision to the 1993 book and has been updated with new pictures, end notes and index. It is edited by Phyllis Kolbly, Patricia Schoffstall, and Alan Baltazar. The publication is 173 pages long and is softbound. We are selling it for $20.00.
Photographer Burton Frasher (1888-1955) combined a passion for automobile travel and photography into a postcard business that proved popular with motoring tourists. Frasher documented the remote Route 66 roadside businesses that sustained, and natural wonders that awed, anxious travelers across the Mojave Desert in the 1930s and 1940s. This selection of photographic postcards focus on the desert wayside stops and scenic vistas that motorists rushed through on the last leg of their journey west. (Curated by Chris Ervin)
JOSHUA TREES BLOOM ACROSS THE MOJAVE
March-April 2013. Lanfair Valley Joshua trees in full bloom. (Photo by Chris Ervin)
This spring has witnessed a profuse and wide spread blooming of Joshua trees and Mojave yuccas across the Southwest. Here is a sampling from the numerous reports in the media:
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Despite this winter and spring being relatively dry, the Joshua Trees found in the Mojave Desert and on the eastern slopes of the Tehachapi Mountains are blooming now, in the understated, non-colorful way that Joshuas flower. Like so many aspects of this distinctive plant, the Joshua Tree flowering is unusual and seems to defy the long odds against ever successfully producing new Joshua seedlings.
If you are looking for wildflowers this spring you’re in trouble. On the other hand this is one of the best years for Joshua trees in bloom. This past week, scattered across the Mojave Desert, Joshua trees everywhere were blooming in profusion. From Joshua Tree National Park to Red Rock Canyon State Park in the western Mojave Desert and from Walker Pass just east of Lake Isabella to Utah and Arizona, Joshua trees were in bloom. On Cima Dome, in the Mojave National Preserve, it is the best Joshua tree bloom in 25 years.
The Mojave Desert’s iconic Joshua trees are blooming like crazy and, although theories abound, there is little consensus about why it’s happening. From Joshua Tree National Park and into Nevada and Arizona, millions of the trees bear foot-long conical bundles of tightly packed, greenish-white flowers at the ends of their spiky branches. What’s remarkable this year, experts say, is that just about every tree has bloomed or is flowering now, with fragrant bundles at the tips of just about every branch. Biologists and others said they can’t recall a year when the Joshua trees had more abundant flowers.
Millions of the trees have been bursting into bundles of greenish-white flowers in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Just about every tree has bloomed this spring when usually far fewer do and they produce fewer flowers, biologists said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon," Cameron Barrows, a research ecologist with the University of California, Riverside.
Desert ecologist Jim Cornett has been studying Joshua trees since 1988, and he has never seen them bloom the way they are this year. The trees have been blossoming profusely throughout their range from Joshua Tree National Park to Tonopah, Nev., and Wickenburg, Ariz., sprouting abundant cream-colored flowers from the tips of their branches.
Joshua trees on Cima Dome - Press-Enterprise video
RILEY'S TRUCK DONATED TO CULTURAL CENTER
18 December 2012. J. Riley Bembry's 1934 Chevy flatbed truck is an important East Mojave Desert mining artifact. (Photo by Hugh Brown.)
Bridget (Sandoz) Wilcox of Yucca Valley donated the truck she inherited from John Riley Bembry when he died in 1984. Riley used the 1934 1 1/2-ton Chevrolet flatbed pickup to travel between his many mining claims in the Ivanpah Mountains and his nearby home known as Riley's Camp.
MDHCA director Dave Taylor inspected the truck stored in Hinkley, reported it was in excellent condition, and made arrangements for transporting it to Goffs. Dave and his friend Mike Pike loaded the truck on a double-axle trailer and arrived in Goffs this same day. Riley's truck has been appropriately placed between the Stotts and American Boy stamp mills here on the grounds of the Goffs Cultural Center for all to admire.
You can read the entire article on Riley and the truck retrieval in the East Mojave Heritage section of the latest Mojave Road Report number 292.
CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY AT GOFFS
13 October 2012. Hugh Brown takes over as MDHCA Executive Director. (Photo by Tim Augustine.)
One of the highlights of the 33rd Mojave Road Rendezvous was the change in leadership when Hugh E. Brown (right) relieved Dennis G. Casebier (center) as Executive Director. Speeches were made by Director John Fickewirth, San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, and Mojave National Preserve Superintendent Stephanie Dubois.
Outgoing remarks of encouragement were then made by Dennis Casebier followed by some from Hugh Brown about the MDHCA's future. Honorary plaques were presented by Mr. Brown on behalf of the MDHCA to both Jo Ann Casebier (left) and to Dennis in recognition and appreciation of their strong efforts and guidance over many years to ensure the MDHCA exists in perpetuity.