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

Composite by John Earl

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 taken its toll. Ironically, the only reminder of the old days is the California Route 66 Museum.

Composite by John Earl

Route 66: Barstow, California, West of First Avenue. An iconic building. Today it’s a church. Before that it was a little bit of everything, including a USO during WWII and Korean conflict, a class room, photo studio, Disabled Veterans Hall and even a skating rink and bowling alley. It began as a garage for those noisy gas powered Ford Model-T contraptions. The iPhone of its time.

Composite by John Earl

Main Street and Second Avenue, in Barstow, California–75 years apart.

Composite by John Earl

It was a ghost town before ghost towns were cool. Ibex Spring, 55 years ago surrounded by now. It got started as a gold and silver mine on the edge of Death Valley in 1881. Twenty-some years later, after the turn of the century, it lay dormant as the desert took it back. Then, in 1959, it was profitable as a talc mining operation, but only for a New York minute. Now it’s the most genuine of the Death Valley ghost towns, in our humble opinion.

Composite by John Earl

Here, Jaylyn strolls through the town of Calico, California, with one boot in the present and the other, just 100 years ago. Calico sprang out of the hot California desert in 1881. Walter Knott purchased the ruins of the town in 1952 and began restoring it. He eventually deeded it to San Bernardino County and they renamed it Calico Ghost Town Regional Park. The town is California Landmark #782, which became an Official Silver Rush Ghost Town in 2005.

Composite by John Earl

While at the Earp Cottage, in Vidal, California, we had the feeling the the old lawman still watches over the place. Earp did frequent those hills to the NW of this tiny town where he and his wife Josie toiled at their ‘Lucky Day’ Mine.

Composite by John Earl

The Needles Theatre located at W. Broadway Street and F Street in Needles, California, was built in 1929. A Masonic Temple occupied the second floor. In the early 1900s, the theater was badly damaged by a fire and never reopened.

Composite by John Earl

In another time and place. The Overland, leaving Daggett Station at midnight in Daggett, California.

Composite by John Earl

Death Valley Scotty stayed in Room #1 at the Old Stone Hotel, in Daggett. He claimed to have a fabulously rich gold mine at a secret location north of town. Only decades later was it discovered that Scotty’s wealth came from an eccentric Chicago millionaire.  The Old Stone Hotel, built in 1883, was once an “office” for Death Valley Scotty. The hotel and pool hall were evidently his favorite haunts.  Some say he’s still there.

Composite by John Earl

Before it was Tyler’s Burgers and even before Greyhound buses called it home, this classic building in Palm Springs, California, was the local gas station. Fill ‘er up, M’am?

Composite by John Earl

Bonus! The movie Tarantula featuring the small desert town of Desert Rock, Arizona, and a giant tarantula was actually filmed in Apple Valley, California. Some scenes were shot at the historic Apple Valley Inn. It was the fourth biggest film at the box office in December 1955. This pivotal scene at Deadman’s Point was where an uncredited handsome young jet pilot saved the day. His name? Clint Eastwood.

Recommended Resources

Jaylyn

Seek the Heat at The Desert Way with us! https://www.youtube.com/c/thedesertwaywithjaylynandjohn/ facebook.com/thedesertway twitter.com/desert_way instagram:the_desert_way

leave a comment

Create Account



Log In Your Account