Dilemma in the Desert: Showdown in Daggett

Deputy Will Smithson and men like Ed Silver lived in Daggett at a time when the west was supposed to have been tamed, when it had become civilized, you might say.

Unfortunately, the news of civilization seemed to have bypassed Daggett, and to locals and drifters alike, the Wild West was doing just fine the way it was, thank you.

Justice was going to be meted out in the tradition of the west if the angry mob caught up with Silver.

A rope and a tree waited for the former Buffalo Soldier, unless the sheriff could catch him first…

Take a short walk on this quiet mountain trail, surrounded by pines and open spaces, and you see it up ahead. White crosses in a semi-circle, around the gnarled truck of a tree. So, what have you stumbled into here? Well, give us a minute or two and we’ll tell you about the mountain town that refused to live.

Here, just above the highway, are about 25 marked graves in the little cemetery that served the town mining town known as Doble. The names of those interred here, except for one child, are a mystery. crosses were placed here by Boy Scouts during the 1940s.

Before it was Doble, the place was known as “Bairdstown.” It came to life after the brothers Carter filed four gold mining claims in 1873, on the mountainside that now wears their name. The utterance of the word ‘gold’ was usually all it took, and the rush was on, probably before the brothers finished unpacking their picks and shovels…

Originally built in 1947, the diner was your typical 1950s style eatery, catering to motorists making their way through the desert.

It was small— 3 booths and 9 counter stools— but managed to stick around for a while, despite being in one of the hottest places in the United States.

Peggy Sue and her husband Champ reopened the diner in 1987 and attempted to restore and preserve it in its original state. Before moving to the desert in 1981, Champ worked for Knott’s Berry Farm and Peggy Sue worked in the movies.

The diner was the perfect place to display their extensive collection of movie and TV memorabilia.

In January 2001, Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner played a role in television host Huell Howser’s first road trip to the desert that borders the I-15 east of Barstow, California.

And in 2003, Peggy Sue’s was a major film site for the movie, “The Hulk”….

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