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    Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association

Lanfair Barn

Most Endangered Historic Structure (of 2003)

The Lanfair Barn in 1915LANFAIR, CA February 14, 2003: The old Lanfair Barn at OX Ranch headquarters. This venerable and once beautiful structure was built around 1915 by Ernest Lanfair in the community that bears his name. In the early 1930s Claud Halsell acquired the Lanfair property. In the mid-1930s the old Lanfair house burned, but not the barn. Halsell had the barn moved to OX headquarters at Maruba, where it has been to this day.

When the National Park Service acquired the OX Ranch over a year ago, the barn was still sound. It had suffered and had been modified over the years, but it was restorable. It constituted one of the best remaining structures from the homestead period in the East Mojave and it served the cattle industry for 70 years.

Lanfair Barn at OX in 2003A couple of months ago a few sheets of corrugated metal came loose on the roof. This has happened many times over the years. Each time it happened before, the rancher would take note and, realizing more damage would soon follow, would make repair of the roof a priority.

Now the rancher is gone, having been displaced by the Mojave National Preserve. The loose sheets were noticed, but a decision was made not to repair them. This left the way open for the desert wind to express itself. During two strong, but typical, wind storms, much of the roof has been blown off, exposing the structure beneath. What would have been a simple maintenance job in the beginning is now an almost impossible task. The building seems doomed.

LANFAIR, CA January 24, 2004: Following our story on the plight of the Lanfair Barn in the Mojave Road Report, the National Park Service found the funds and resolve to save this icon of a bygone cattle ranching era that had endured in the East Mojave for over a century.

Lanfair Barn 2004

Updated 24 January 2006