Pioneer Cemeteries and Unsung Heroes

The desert is dotted with rustic cemeteries where early settlers lay in eternal rest. Some of them were town leaders, innovators, lawmen, colorful characters, or infamous criminals. Most of them were just the salt of the earth types who went about their quiet lives while building a foundation for generations to come.


The Wild West was tamed with their blood, sweat and tears. We owe them our debt of gratitude. The least we can do is honor them by allowing them to rest in peace and by carrying their legacies forward. Read the names on their tombstones and find out about their lives. Many grave markers had no names inscribed on them yet we must not forget them.


Our original article about this topic was published in February 2016.  While we cannot imagine the depraved mindset of someone intentionally defacing or stealing from these serene places of rest, it unfortunately happens. 


Due to concerns about vandalism, we have intentionally withheld exact locations of these pioneer cemeteries.  While none of them are secret, many are difficult to find.  Please contact us if you need more specifics.  We appreciate your understanding.


While the “spirits” in our photo are not actually buried at the Daggett Pioneer Cemetery, they represent the many walks of life who settled the Mojave Desert.
Daggett Pioneer Cemetery, California
Daggett Pioneer Cemetery, California
Bagdad Cemetery, California.

Bagdad Cemetery, California.


Many thanks to unsung hero Roland who maintains the Bagdad Cemetery!


Rand District Cemetery, Randsburg, CA.
Ludlow Cemetery, California.


Many thanks to unsung heroes Doug and Cyndi for keeping Ludlow Cemetery pristine!


Thank you to unsung hero Ret. Police Officer Mark Franey for maintaining Otis Cemetery and other pioneer cemeteries.


Otis Cemetery, California


Many thanks to unsung hero Honorable Mayor Joe Manners for giving tours and maintaining the haunted Oro Grande Cemetery!


Oro Grande Cemetery, California.
Oro Grande Cemetery, California
Amboy Cemetery, California
Amboy Cemetery, California
Twentynine Palms, California
Willie Boy’s Grave, Johnson Valley, California
Ballarat Cemetery (Seldom Seen Slim’s Grave. STILL not lonesome) Death Valley, California
Ballarat Cemetery, Death Valley, California
Shoshone Cemetery, California
Shoshone Cemetery, California
Hermosa Cemetery, Colton, California
Lone Pine Mass Grave For 1872 Earthquake Victims, California
Sedona Cemetery, Arizona
Seligman Cemetery, Arizona
Seligman Cemetery, Arizona
Wilbur’s Grave, CA.
Doble Cemetery, California
Doble Cemetery, Big Bear City, California
Although this is not a cemetery, it is a poignant reminder how fragile life is. There are over 40 white crosses on the 31 miles of Irwin Road between the 15 freeway and Fort Irwin. Road improvements in the past few years has helped reduce fatalities but sadly hasn’t eliminated them. Long stretches of desert roads can be hypnotic, especially at night. Please drive carefully.

Remember, while exploring remote parts of the desert, the true test of character is doing the right thing, even if nobody else is watching. 


We thank you for being mindful and respectful of the departed.  Their lives touched many and in retrospect added to the complex tapestry of history known as the Mojave Desert.


Our predecessors do not want anyone to mourn for them. They serve as a reminder to live your life to its fullest, seize the proverbial bull by the horns, and to make your own imprint upon history.


Modern society and social media has convinced too many people their lives are insignificant if they do not acquire fame.  Humility and work ethics are often discouraged in exchange for viral stardom, no matter how fleeting. 


Most early pioneers did not have time for idle entertainment. Their time was spent surviving despite seemingly insurmountable odds.


The truth is, you don’t need to have notoriety or be famous to make a difference. Oftentimes, it starts with small, deliberate but positive actions. Be the change in the world you want to see.


Be an unsung hero.

4 thoughts on “Pioneer Cemeteries and Unsung Heroes

  1. There is a not-so secret small cemetary across the road from The “Glamis Beach Store” where I have gone to pay my respects.

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