A Trip Through Time: The Mojave Desert Then and Now Part IV

Victorville and Route 66: 7th Street meets D Street, and the year 2018 meets the roaring ’50s. The Hotel Stewart was originally the Turner Hotel more than a hundred years ago, and was serving full-course dinners for 35 cents back in 1936. Decades make a difference, and along with fires and demolitions crews, time has
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Calico’s reputation as a ghost town is well deserved as there are numerous reports of actual ghosts being sighted. Lucy Bell King Lane, a longtime resident who ran Lucy Lane’s General Store has often been seen in her store.

Margaret Olivier, the last schoolteacher, has been seen teaching in her classroom. Tourists who have talked with Margaret thought she was part of the staff dressed in period costumes, only to find out she has been dead since 1932. There is even the ghost story of Dorsey, the shepherd dog that carried the US Mail between various mines.

Was that really the howling wind that woke us up at 3 a.m. at our Calico campsite, or was it Lucy Lane?

Just what keeps the memory of this old town alive more than a century after it was born in the midst of the mining boom of the 19th Century?

Walk down Butte Avenue and, in the middle of the block, you will surely find the answer at the Rand Desert Museum.

Founded in 1943 and given over to Kern County in 1948, the museum is the heart and soul of the old town.

When Kern County couldn’t bear the expense of maintaining the museum, it was given back to Randsburg proper.

To this day it is run by the residents of the Rand Mining District.

Even more that a hundred years later, there remains life in these hallowed hills.

This year, the 16th Annual Old West Day took place right on the main drag thru town, Butte Avenue.

I like big buttes, I cannot lie…

Admit it. If you’ve traveled on the I-40 or Route 66, you’ve stopped for ice cream or gasoline. Maybe a corn dog.

The tiny ghost town of Ludlow, California is just off these long stretches of roads. You can’t miss it and if you do, you have miles to go before you can turn around.

We think Ludlow is the perfect little desert spot in the middle of nowhere. Ludlow is home to quite a few abandoned ramshackle houses and countless rusted cannibalized vintage cars. Ludlow even has its own pioneer cemetery. Like many ghost towns, what Ludlow has the most of is a wealth of history.

You could say Ludlow has it all…

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