MDHCA Publishes Two Books

Thursday, February 14, 2019 by Larry Vredenburgh

Mojave Road 1863 Front Cover18Since September 2018, the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association has published two new books; The Mojave Road in 1863 edited by Jeff Lapides and Postcards from Mecca edited by Ann Japenga and Warner V. Graves III.

The book by Jeff Lapides, The Mojave Road in 1863: The Pioneering Photographs of Rudolph d’Heureuse, highlights photographs taken by d’Heureuse in 1863-1864 during his travels along the Mojave Road—from Drum Barracks at the Port of Los Angeles to the mines of Eldorado Canyon on the Colorado River. These are the first photographs of the Mojave Road and of the Mojave Desert. Also included are never-before-published maps drafted by d’Heureuse.

Contemporary newspaper accounts complement the images and maps. This large format, full color book was delivered by the printer in September 2018. Jeff has given several public presentations outlining d’Heureuse’s life since the book was published. You can find it in our online bookstore at: Mojave Road in 1863

Mecca cover2Ann Japenga and Warner V. Graves III, also bring us a wonderful collection of photos. Postcards From Mecca: The California Desert Photographs of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves, 1916-1936.

Susie Keef Smith, who was the postmaster in Mecca, California, with her cousin Lula Mae Graves, set out during the 1920s and 30s, to photograph the last of the prospectors, burro packers and stage stops in the desert east of Mecca. Susie sold their photos as postcards from the Mecca post office. Besides the photos, there are chapters authored by Robert B. Smith, Ronald V. May, Steve Lech, Russell L. Kaldenberg, Buford A. Crites, Warner V. Graves III, and Ann Japenga. The photos are on display at the La Quinta Museum, 77885 Avenida Montezuma, La Quinta, until May 11, 2019. The book has been highlighted in these online articles:

These Adventurous Women Photographed the California Desert in the 1920s

Postcards From Mecca: How to Save a Desert Artist

Into the Chuckwallas: Rediscovered Desert Photographs of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves

Call of the Wild

Postcards from Mecca website

Postcards from Mecca arrived from the printer in January. You can find it in our online bookstore.

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