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    Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association

Spring Encampment 2016

SPRING ENCAMPMENT 2016

April 2016. What our volunteers were up to at our annual working weekend.

Rich Dotson attaches new Schoolhouse window trim
Rich Dotson attaches new trim around the large east windows of the Goffs Schoolhouse. Click on image to see more Encampment photos. (Photos by Chris Ervin)

On April 15-17, the MDHCA held its 27th annual Spring Encampment at the Goffs Cultural Center.

The full story on the working weekend is detailed in the latest issue of the Mojave Road Report, #309. Also, an album of Encampment photos is here.

Do you have a great photo to add to the album? Send your image to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll post it.

DGC Video: History of Goffs

DENNIS CASEBIER: HISTORY OF GOFFS

July 2013. From the porch of the restored Goffs Schoolhouse, desert author and historian Dennis Casebier gives a talk on the fascinating heritage of the Eastern Mojave Desert.

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Brief History of the East Mojave and the Goffs Cultural Center

Featuring historical and modern images, this series of six short videos encapsulates the rich history of Goffs at the "top of the hill" where old Route 66 and two railroads intersect.

1. Introduction 6:33

2. The Railroad and Route 66 5:30

3. The Mojave Road and the Goffs Schoolhouse 6:27

4. Schoolhouse closed 1937, WWII Desert Training Center 7:10

5. 1990s: Formation of the MDHCA 6:49

6. MDHCA Mission: "This is what we do" 6:08

Produced by David Edholm for the MDHCA.

Online Exhibits

NEW ONLINE EXHIBIT

May 2013. Desert Waysides: Burton Frasher's California Route 66

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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)

Two New Books

TWO NEW BOOKS

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.

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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 of Lucy Bell Lane

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.

Both books can be purchased from our online book store.

2013 Desert Bloom

JOSHUA TREES BLOOM ACROSS THE MOJAVE

March-April 2013. Lanfair Valley Joshua trees in full bloom. 
(Photo by Chris Ervin)

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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.

-- Tehachapi News, April 2, 2013

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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 Desert Sun, April 6, 2013

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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.

-- Riverside Press-Enterprise, April 8, 2013

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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.

-- Redding Record Searchlight/AP, April 9, 2013

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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.

-- The Salinas Californian, April 21, 2013

Joshua trees on Cima Dome - Press-Enterprise video