The creation of the Cabazon dinosaurs began in the 1960s by Knott’s Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist Claude K. Bell (1897–1988) to attract customers to his Wheel Inn Restaurant, which opened in 1958 and closed in 2013.
“The dinosaurs aren’t dead and they never will be,” Bell’s daughter, Wendy Murphy of Costa Mesa, said. “He wanted to build a monument that would withstand the sands of time, and he has done that…”
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?
Grab a jackass, a single blanket and a jug of Oh Be Joyful and come with us to meet some of the most colorful characters in one of Death Valley’s most notorious ghost towns. A pivotal scene from the 1969 movie “Easy Rider” was even filmed here. But it sure wasn’t the last.