Doble, California: The Boom Town That Refused to Live

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…

There was a time when cowboys ruled the day, or at least the airwaves, and the good guy always won.

From Tom Mix in the early 1900s, to Clint Eastwood and Kurt Russell today, most of us have wanted to be a cowboy or cowgirl at one time or another.

Many of us grew up knowing that among the cowboys of the cinema, Roy Rogers was king, and Dale Evans was his queen.

Fast forward. After going through a few years of relative dormancy, in 2015, the Roy Roger’s Double R Bar Ranch came into the sights of Jim Heffel.

Now an accomplished horseman and part-time stunt rider, Jim and his wife Deena bought the farm in a friendly manner of speaking…

For us and countless others, Jevetta Steele’s haunting lyrics from the song, “Calling You,” from the 1987 indie cult classic “Bagdad Cafe” will forever evoke the particularities of a small desert town on Route 66 contrasted with the vastness of the Mojave Desert.

However, Bagdad Cafe was not actually shot in Bagdad. Not Bagdad, California, and not Baghdad, Iraq.

The award-winning German film, directed by Percy Adlon, was filmed in Newberry Springs at the former Sidewinder Cafe, which decided to let the name “Bagdad Cafe” live on, drawing throngs of international tourists.

Desert road de Vegas vers nulle part
Certains placent mieux qu’où vous avez été
Une machine à café qui a besoin de certaines fixation
Dans un petit café “juste dans le virage…

It was hellishly hot, it was sweltering, it was blazing. Well, you get the idea. It was just summer in the Mojave Desert. The real heat in the real desert.

The sizzle flavored all the things a good western exemplifies. Man against nature. Man against man. Women against men. Horses against…

Wait, I think I spotted a running theme.

Intrigue, drama and laughter.

Yes, plenty of laughter…

The movie is currently in post-production. In the meantime, we’ll give Heat in the West more buzz than an angry tarantula hawk…

There’s an air in Big Bear that sets it uniquely apart from the bustling cities an hour away. Maybe it’s the vivid visual imagery at every turn, the crisp weather, nice people, diverse neighborhoods, or amenities. But I think it’s much more.

This is the stuff of our childhoods that sparked a thousand day dreams of the Wild West and beyond. Where the good guys fought the bad guys and always won. The world needs more of that…

Create Account



Log In Your Account