Ellen Baley, Age 11

Disaster at the Colorado
Charles W. Baley

During this phase of the journey, the wagon train was doing much of its traveling at night, owing to the great daytime heat of the desert and the long distances between water holes. They would stop for a short rest at regular intervals during the night. At one of these rest stops, eleven-year-old Ellen Baley, a daughter of Gillum and Permelia Baley, fell asleep and failed to awaken when the wagon train moved on. Somehow, she was not missed until the train traveled some distance. The poor girl awoke to find herself alone in the middle of a vast hostile desert. Filled with fright, she began running to catch up with the wagon train, but in her confusion, she took off in the opposite direction. When she was discovered missing, her father and older brother, George, immediately returned to where they had stopped. To their horror, she was not there! Captured by the Indians must have been their conclusion!

Nevertheless, they continued their search by calling out the little girl’s name at the top of their voices as they rode back. Their efforts were soon rewarded when a faint cry came far off in the distance, “Papa, Papa.” Her father immediately answered and kept calling her name until he caught up with her. When reunited with her family and the other members of the wagon train, Ellen had a tale that would be told and retold by family members until the present day.

The California Method

From the revised Journals of Jedediah Smith edited by Walter Feller

About 18 miles from the first mentioned creek, we crossed another 80 yards wide in appearance like the first, and three miles further came to a farm. In this distance, we had passed many herds of cattle belonging to the residents of the Angel village and some thousands of wild horses. The wild horses sometimes become so abundant to eat the grass relatively clean.

My guide informed me that the village’s inhabitants and vicinity collect whenever they consider the country overstocked. They build a large and sturdy pen with a small entrance, and two wings extending from the access to the right and left. Then mounting their swiftest horses, they scour the country and surrounding large bands; they drive them into the enclosure by hundreds.

The brutal California method of training bridle horses

The California Method – Edward Vischer, 1874

They may lasso a few of the most handsome and take them out of the pack. A horse selected in this manner is immediately thrown down and altered, blindfolded, saddled, and haltered (for the Californians always commence with the halter). The horse can then get up, and a man is mounted. When he is firmly in his seat and the halter in his hand, an assistant takes off the blind the several men on horseback with handkerchiefs to frighten and some with whips to whip-raise the yell, and away they go. The poor horse, so severely punished and spooked, does not think of flouncing but dashes off at no slow rate for a trial of his speed. After running until he is exhausted and finds he cannot eliminate his enemies, he gives up.

He is tied for 2 or 3 days, saddled, and ridden occasionally. If he proves docile, he is bound by the neck to a tame horse until he becomes attached to the company, then let loose. But if a horse proves immediately refractory, they do not trouble themselves with him long but release him from his bondage by thrusting a knife to his heart.

Cruel as this fate may seem, it is a mercy compared to the hundreds left in the pack, for they die a most lingering and horrible death within a narrow space without the possibility of escape. Without a morsel to eat, they gradually lose their strength and sink to the ground making vain efforts to regain their feet, when at last, all-powerful hunger has left them, the strength to raise their heads from the dust, their eyes becoming dim with the approach of death, may catch a glimpse of green and widespread pastures and winding streams while they are perishing from want.

They die one by one, and at length, the last and strongest sinks down among his companions to the plain. No man of feeling can imagine such a scene without surprise, indignation, and pity. Indignation and wonder that men are so heartless and unfeeling. Pity for the noblest of animals dying from want amid fertile fields. A disgraceful fact to the Californians not credited to a single narrator but has been since corroborated.

Indian Mouse

Nevada History: XXVII
From James G. Scrugham, Nevada: The Narrative of the Conquest of a Frontier Land (1935), vol. I

The Story of Mouse, the Murderous Pahute

One of the wildest frontier lands left in the United States is embraced in the southern tip of the State of Nevada, between the confluence of the Virgin and Colorado rivers and the site of the construction of the great Boulder dam project.

Bonelli Landing – Lake Mead

Some thirty-five years ago this area was the scene of one of the most remarkable man hunts which ever took place within the confines of the state. The chief actors in this thrilling drama were eight in number, three Pahute Indians, and five white men.

The leading character was an Indian named “Mouse” by his fellow tribesmen, of his habit of hiding out in the brush and his sly and silent movements. Although of a retiring and surly disposition, he was a good worker and possessed a crafty and intelligent mind.

The next character in importance and interest was one “Red Eye,” the most skilled Indian tracker of his tribe. He derived his name from bloodshot flecks which were always visible in the whites of his eyes and was well-liked by the white men on account of his loyalty and industry as a ranch hand.

The third Indian character was a fierce old squaw who proved to be the Nemesis of the story, stirred to heroic action by the theft of a large and much-prized cabbage from her garden.

Daniel Bonelli – Huntington Library

Of the white actors, the most important was Daniel Bonelli, a famous pioneer settler of the early days. He conducted a hay and vegetable ranch near the junction of the Virgin and Colorado rivers and also operated a ferry over the latter stream connecting with the main trail south through Arizona. He employed a large number of white men and Indians to assist in his livestock, farming, and ferrying enterprises, among whom was a strong, fearless cowpuncher named George Sherwood, who later appears prominently in the story.

Other white men who figured notably in the tragedy were two young prospectors named Davis and Stearns, who were searching for placer gold on the bars of the Colorado River. These men were accompanied by an elderly prospector known as Major Greenowalt, whose chief function was to serve as camp tender.

The story begins at Bonelli’s ranch on the Colorado River. The place was then on the main line of travel between Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and the rich mining camps of Pioche and Delamar on the north to points in Arizona, Mexico, and elsewhere in the south. Here passed a continual stream of travelers, many of whom were fugitives from justice-seeking oblivion in distant isolated places.

Bonelli’s Ferry

Others were nomads seeking the warmth of southern climes in winter and the coolness of the highlands of the north in the summer. In addition to revenues derived from his ferry over the Colorado and sale of hay and supplies to passersby, Bonelli also did an extensive trade in meat and produce with the flourishing mining camps at El Dorado Canyon, Chloride, Gold Basin and a score of other places.

In the operation of his ranch, Bonelli employed several Indian hands, including Mouse and Red Eye.

The Bonelli Home in Rioville (Bonelli Landing)

On a spring evening in 1896 when the story begins, the Indian Mouse in some way secured a quantity of whisky, which he drank. Under the alcoholic stimulant, his naturally vicious disposition had no restraint, and Mouse started a promiscuous shooting at the other Indians in the camp. They fled to the main ranch and informed Bonelli that Mouse was on a killing rampage and their lives had only been saved by the bad aim of the drunken aggressor.

Bonelli and some of his ranch hands then went to the Indian camp and disarmed the crazed Mouse, locking him in an adobe outhouse for the night. The next morning the Indian had become sober and appeared entirely docile. However, Bonelli, knowing the disposition of Mouse, gave him his discharge and ferried him over to the Arizona side, after returning to the man his gun and ammunition were taken away the previous evening.

From Bonelli’s Ferry, the Indian went to a mining camp called White Hills and worked a few days cutting Joshua trees for fuel. Becoming tired of the labor, he stole a horse and set out for one of his old haunts at Indian Springs, some eighty miles away at the foot of the Charleston Mountains.

Mouse attempted to cross the Colorado River back to Nevada at a point opposite the old trail up the Las Vegas Wash, evidently intending to obtain food supplies at the Las Vegas ranch while en route to his destination.

Just before he reached the Nevada shore, his horse became so deeply mired in the quicksands that he could not be extricated. Mouse was compelled to leave the struggling animal, and he made his way up the river toward a prospector’s camp which he sighted on the Arizona shore. This camp was occupied at the time by the three men mentioned above, Davis, Stearns, and Major Greenowalt, who were prospecting for placer gold in the river bars. They had a small boat which they used for the purpose and accommodatingly crossed the river to meet the Indian when he signaled to them.

After being fed by the prospectors, who were obviously tenderfeet in the country, the crafty Mouse aroused their interest by relating the story of a fictitious ledge of gold-bearing quartz which he claimed to have discovered in an almost inaccessible canyon, some ten miles back from the camp.

Early the following day, accompanied by Davis and Stearns, the Indian started for the scene of the alleged find, Greenowalt remaining at the river location. Davis and Stearns were never again seen alive.

The next morning the scene of the story shifts back to the Bonelli ranch, some twenty miles further up the river from the prospectors’ camp.

Among the horses on the place were two handsome gray geldings, half-brothers five and six years old, which had been bought by Bonelli from a band of well-bred horses being driven from northern Nevada to the Arizona market. These animals were the best in the place, but one was a much better saddle horse than the other owing to a more tractable disposition.

During the time Mouse worked on the ranch, he was familiar with the horses and their characteristics. On the morning in question, when the ranch hands went into the fields to harness the stock, the best gray horse was found to be missing. This caused no particular excitement until it was found that his bridle was also gone.

Speedily circling the fields in search of tracks, the buckaroos discovered where the lost horse had been led out toward the Virgin River by a man wearing leather boots, who mounted at the bank before plunging into the stream. A hasty inspection of the shorelines revealed no place where the rider could have come out from the river. A general alarm was sounded and all hands set out to find the trail of the thief. After a couple of hours delay, the outcoming tracks were finally located on the opposite side, more than a half mile above where the stolen animal had entered the water. The extraordinary effort made to throw pursuers off the track indicated that the horse stealer was a person of some skill and experience, who had gained a probable ten or twelve-hour start on possible pursuers. However, Bonelli acted promptly. He armed two of his best riders with Winchester rifles and instructed them to stay with the trail until they recovered the horse or killed the thief.

The pursuing posse followed the tracks up the sandy shores of the Rio Virgin until they reached the Bitter Springs Wash, the drainage channel for a great range of territory to the west of the Virgin.

At the head of this wash are springs of bitter waters that will support life although hardly palatable enough for human consumption. Here the crafty Mouse, for he was the thief, left the bottom of the wash where trailing was easy, and took to the dolomitic limestone banks where vegetation and the soft ground was scanty, and no imprints were made. However, the very hardness of the ground defeated the purpose of the Indian thief. The rough limestone caused the horse’s hoofs to bleed, leaving a plain track for the pursuers to follow.

All through the long afternoon and in the moonlit evening, the Bonelli buckaroos followed the trail. About ten o’clock at night while going over a steep declivity covered with loose lime shale, one of the horses missed his footing and started both riders and their steeds to slide into the precipitous gulch below. When the descent was stopped, both horsemen were so exhausted from the efforts of the day that they dismounted and unsaddled their animals, leaving their bridles on.

Both men wrapped themselves in their saddle blankets and took turns at sleeping through the remainder of the night. On the following morning, they were up at the first peep of dawn ready to resume the trail. However, it was found that the horse who had missed his footing was so badly bruised and cut that he could hardly walk and the trailers decided to go back to the Bonelli ranch for reinforcements.

On arriving home early in the afternoon and reporting their adventures, the master of the ranch immediately detailed George Sherwood, his ranch foreman, and Red Eye, the skilled Indian tracker, to follow the thief to the end. From the information available, Sherwood and Red Eye decided that the horse thief was heading for the Las Vegas ranch, seventy-five miles away, as that was the nearest food and water available.

Pushing their horses to the utmost, the trailers arrived at their destination the second evening after leaving the Bonelli ranch. Then it was found that the Indian Mouse had arrived the night before on foot, wearing leather boots, with a story of having killed his crippled horse in the Muddy range at a point near where the first pair of pursuers had lost the bloody trail the day before.

It then became obvious that Mouse was the thief, and that the lost horse was dead, otherwise he would have been brought in for water. As further evidence of the guilt of the Indian, he had silently slipped away in the night soon after he was fed by the ranchmen, and his tracks indicated that he had made directly for the rugged fastnesses of the Charleston Mountains, some thirty miles away.

A successful pursuit was impossible, so after two days rest, Sherwood and Red Eye started on their return to the Bonelli place to inform their employer of the identity of the criminal. Arriving at the foot of the Las Vegas Wash, where Mouse had lost his first stolen horse in the quicksands of the Colorado River a few days before, Sherwood and his companion saw a flock of buzzards circling around and eating the remains of the animal which projected from the quicksand.

As night was approaching, they rode up the river to a point opposite the prospectors’ camp.

Here Major Greenowalt rowed over and informed them that his partners had left five days before with an Indian named Mouse, who was to show them the location of a rich gold ledge. The Major was greatly disturbed by the protracted absence of his companions as they had only carried food and water for a one-day trip.

On hearing the Major’s story, both Sherwood and Red Eye became apprehensive that the surly Mouse, with whom they were well acquainted, had added murder to his crime of horse theft.

The next morning they rode back to the home ranch and reported their information and suspicions to Mr. Bonelli.

The aroused ranch owner immediately organized a posse that went down the river to seek the missing men. Again the indomitable Red Eye took up the trail over rough and hard ground.

After two days of tedious tracking, Red Eye finally led the posse to the foot of a steep declivity where the mutilated bodies of Davis and Stearns were discovered. The boots had been removed from the feet of Stearns, accounting for the boot tracks made by Mouse when he had stolen the gray gelding at the Bonelli ranch.

Reconstructing the tragedy, it appeared that Mouse had taken the lead until he enticed the two prospectors to the lonely place where the bodies were found. There he suddenly turned and vented his blood lust against the white race by shooting both Davis and Stearns.

The bodies of the unfortunate gold seekers were carried down to the river, then transported 100 miles in skiffs to Needles, California, from whence the remains were shipped back to relatives in the East.

With his dastardly acts fully revealed, Mouse became a hunted outcast, to be killed on sight. Even his tribal compatriots were in terror of him and sought his extermination as a crazed killer.

Mouse Tank – Valley of Fire

For two years the murderer remained at large, living on seeds, nuts, and rodents and making an occasional raid on a prospectors camp for flour, bacon, and beans. There was found evidence of where Mouse had killed a wild mustang at a water hole and made jerky of the meat.

Finally, there came an end to this bold and much-feared outlaw. In course of his wanderings, he came to a mountain overlooking a narrow valley where some of his fellow tribesmen had a little truck garden by a water hole. He descended in the night and stole some corn and a cabbage to assuage his hunger.

This act led to his undoing. The cabbage belonged to an astute old squaw, who picked up the trail and followed it enough to identify it as belonging to Mouse from certain peculiarities of gait with which she was familiar.

Returning to the camp the old squaw set up a hue and cry, which brought about the speedy organization of a well-armed posse to endeavor to capture the murderer. Red Eye, the tracker, led the hot pursuit. Day and night continued the chase, first through the flaming red sandstones of the Valley of Fire, then up the Meadow Valley Wash to Cave Springs and back again toward the Muddy River.

Bonelli had relays of men to provide food and water for the pursuers, as he was determined that the miscreant should not again escape.

The track was lost and found, then lost and found again. Mouse was using every art of concealment, but the tireless Red Eye never gave up the trail.

After nearly two weeks of hide and seek, early one morning the posse cornered Mouse at a lonely water hole on a gypsum flat near the Muddy River. Here the outlaw made his last stand.

Cursing and screaming, Mouse exchanged shot for shot with his pursuers. However, his pistols were no match for the high-powered rifles of the posse. The savage murderer finally fell with his body literally riddled with bullets. Thus was avenged the deaths of Davis and Stearns, and the whole countryside felt relief from the sinister shadow of the Indian Mouse.


Bigamist Wins Big


Hieronymus Hartman Serves Two Years for Bigamy-Legatee of the Woman Who Caused His Arrest

SAN BERNARDINO, July 18 1902.-There is a strange story back of the petition for letters of administration on the estate of Mary Hartman, which was filled this morning. Two years ago, Hieronymus Hartman, a Mojave river rancher, married Mrs. Nancy Brown of Victorville. When Mrs. Mary Hartman of this city saw the notice in a local paper, she caused the man’s arrest on a charge of bigamy. claiming that thirty years ago, she was married to the same man at Fort Cady. on the desert. She had come out from the east with an army officer’s family as a servant girl. Hartman was the blacksmith at the fort and wooed and won Mary. Hartman was convicted and sentenced to two years in San Quentin. Recently Mrs. Hartman #1 died and left an estate with a comfortable balance due on some property she sold. Under the law, Hartman is the next of kin and will inherit the money. His time in the penitentiary will be up this month.

The Flag

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

(Read by Judge Rex B. Goodcell at the dedication of Camp Cajon July 4, 1919, and by William M. Bristol at the dedication of Live Oak Park by the Chamber of Commerce of northern San Diego County, July 17, 1920.)

The Flag by Charles L. Frazer

Hats off, ye men! Now lift the flag on high:
Break out its folds and let them proudly fly
As from its staff on this our natal day
There floats the banner none may take away.

Its streaming lines, its starry field of blue
Are caught by winds that long have known
them true:
And rising, falling, with exquisite grace,
They kiss each other in a fond embrace.

Flag of our own, we give thee to the breeze:
Thrice hail on land, thrice hail on bounding
On armored deck, o’er valley, peak and crag.
Wave on, and on, our own beloved flag!

Thrice-hallowed flag, one moment thou shalt be
Half-masted for those Sons of Liberty
Who, over seas or on the swelling flood
Have re-baptized thee with a nation’s blood.

Our hero dead! No matter how they fell.
In camp, at sea> on crimson fields of hell;
They gave their all our pledged faith to keep,
Tis ours to pay them homage as they sleep.

Courtesy Austin Daily Herald

Peace to their ashes; let us write each name
In fadeless glory on the roll of fame:
And unborn freemen shall their valor tell
Soldier, and sailor, fare, O fare thee well!
* * * *

Flag of the free, beloved on land and main.
May treason never thy escutcheon stain;
Defeat—the battle lost—were better far
Than that dishonor dim one single star.

Aye, better that thy stars forever set;
And God, and men» and angles thee forget.
Than that thy name should ever used be
To bind one shackle on humanity.

But thou, O flag, shalt not thine honor yield!
Not by one thread, or star upon thy shield
I Through calm and storm undaunted shalt
thou ride.
And all thy deathless principles abide.

Courtesy Santa Fe New Mexican

O, Thou Who boldest in Thy guilding hand
‘ The veiled future of this mighty land.
Keep Thou our flag, and may it ever be
Triumphant in the cause of liberty!

Then fly, proud flag, from thine exalted
Shine on. ye stars, by God’s eternal grace!
With faith undimmed we dedicate anew
Ourselves to thee—the Red, the White, the

The Dedication of Camp Cajon

The following text has been adapted from a history of San Bernardino County by John Brown Jr. first published in 1922 describing the celebration of the opening of Camp Cajon.

The content has not been changed other than scan errors corrected and minor grammar changes to improve readability by modern standards.

Camp Cajon

On the north and east of San Bernardino Valley are the San Bernardino Mountains and beyond them the vast Mojave Desert. Through this high mountain range is a natural gap—a parting of the heights—a winding, tortuous passage, dividing the mountains and uniting the white sands on the north with the green lands of the south.

Looking south from the desert rim toward San Bernardino

This is Cajon Pass. Cajon—pronounced cah-hone with the second syllable strongly accented—is the Spanish word for “box.” Because a portion of the defile is walled by high cliffs, the early Spaniards christened a portion of it “Paso del Cajon”—Box Pass. Through this pass comes the National Old Trails Highway, now paved from San Bernardino to Summit, a distance of 26 miles. It parallels the long abandoned and almost obliterated Santa Fe Trail over which, in 1849, and in the early ’50s, the Pioneers came to lay the foundations for a Southland empire.

Bennett’s Long Camp – Death Valley National Park

At the point in the Pass where the old trail from Salt Lake joined the one from Santa Fe there stands a tall monument, erected in honor of those hardy adventurers. It was built in 1917 by the survivors of the Forty-Niners and their descendants and was dedicated on December 23 of the same year.

Santa Fe & Salt Lake Trail plaque

A short distance northward from the monument, and just 20 miles from San Bernardino is Camp Cajon, a welcome station for the incoming motor traveler, which an eastern writer has termed “California’s Granite Gate.” It, too, is a monument dedicated to the present and the future as the pioneers’ monument is to the past. Camp Cajon is the conception of William M. Bristol, orange grower, poet, and dreamer of Highland, 25 miles southeastward. Mr. Bristol first dreamed of his dream of Camp Cajon at the dedication of the Pioneers’ Monument.

Welcome to Camp Cajon

Thirty years before, Mrs. J. C. Davis, a Wisconsin woman, had spent a winter in California and returned home, wrote, and published a poem entitled “The Overland Trail,” a graphic pen picture of the old trail as seen from the windows of a modern Pullman car. Mr. Bristol was present at the dedication of the monument for the purpose of reading this poem as a part of the formal program. It is an interesting fact that Mrs. Davis had returned to California and was residing at Devore, at the southern portal of the Pass, Without knowing that she was to contribute in any way to the ceremonies of the day, she was taken into the Bristol family car and was present to hear her poem unexpectedly read nearly a third of a century after it was written.

The Overland Trail
The Flag
Out Where the West Begins
Just California

At the close of the ceremonies, the throng adjourned to the willow grove, where Camp Cajon now stands, and, sitting on the sandy ground, at a picnic dinner, It was then and there that the need for permanent conveniences for such an occasion occurred to Mr. Bristol, and on that day he began the formulation of the plans for making his dream come true. In May 1919, he pitched his tent in the willow grove, then a jungle, intending to take a two months’ vacation from his orange grove, and build a dozen concrete dining tables, each with benches of the same massive and indestructible type. That was the extent of his original dream. But so enthusiastically was his innovation received by the world at large, and especially by Southern California, that his vacation was stretched to two years; and when he finally resigned as director and returned to his home, there were fifty-five tables instead of the dozen, besides numerous other structures not contemplated in the original plans. He was not only an architect but an artisan, much of the actual work of construction being done by himself, personally, the ornamental mosaics of dark and white stone and the hundred or more metal tablets on the tables and buildings being his own handiwork. A wealth of beautiful blue granite boulders near at hand inspired and aided in the building of various structures which promise to stand for all time.

Perhaps the most elaborate structure at the camp is the Elks’ outpost
clubhouse, erected by all the Elks’ lodges of Southern California at a
cost of several thousand dollars and dedicated to loyal Elks of the world. It affords conveniences for serving a meal to half a hundred people, and, standing and facing upon California’s most popular transcontinental highway, it also proclaims that the order stands ready to meet and greet all comers to the Southland. Across its face, in a beautiful mosaic of dark and white stone are the initials, “B. P. O. E.,” and above this in the same artistic stonework, is the Elks’ clock, with its hands pointing to the mystic hour of eleven. Below is a metal tablet carrying the entire text of -Arthur Chapman’s poem, “Out Where the West Begins.” Elsewhere is a double tablet carrying John S. McGroarty’s favorite poem, “Just California.” And on the camp, flag column is four stanzas of Charles L. Frazer’s poem. “The Flag.” Each table and stove, each broiler and barbecue pit carry a tablet with an inscription and the name of the donor.

Perhaps the spirit of Camp Cajon is best and most briefly expressed in two tablets that read. “To the desert-weary traveler,” and “To the stranger within our gates.”

The following is the list of tables, stoves, and so on, with donors and the main part of inscriptions:

  • Twenty miles to San Bernardino, the Gate City, and home of the National Orange Show.
  • Thirty miles to Redlands and famous Smily Heights.
  • Twenty-three miles to Colton, the Hub City, where industry reigns.
  • Twenty-five miles to East Highlands, the Buckle of the Citrus Belt.
  • Twenty-three miles to Highland, gateway to City Creek, and Rim of the World.
  • Thirty-five miles to Mirage Valley, where things grow without irrigation.
  • Twelve miles to Sheepcreek, a watered and fertile valley.
  • Ten miles to Baldy Mesa, where things grow without irrigation.
  • Forty-five miles to Chino, where everything grows.
  • Twenty-three miles north to Adelanto, the transformed desert.
  • Twenty miles to Apple Valley, where apples keep the doctor away.
  • Twenty-three miles to Lucerne Valley, a land of abundant shallow water.
  • Sixty-one miles to Barstow, the metropolis of Mojave Valley.
  • Twenty-four miles to Victorville, the center of Victor Valley.
  • Fourteen miles to Hesperia, gateway to Big Bear Valley.
  • Seventy miles to Santa Ana, the county seat of Orange County.
  • At the south portal of Caion Pass, Devore, the home of the muscat grape.
  • Twenty miles to Del Rosa, beneath the Arrowhead.
  • Twenty miles to Arrowhead Hot Springs, the hottest springs known.
  • Twenty miles to Rialto’s orange grove.
  • Twenty-three miles to Fontana, the largest orange grove in the world.
  • Twenty-five miles to Bloomington, orange, and lemon empire.
  • Thirty-five miles to beautiful Etiwanda, home of the grape and the lemon.
  • Thirty-five miles to Cucamonga with its peaches, grapes, and “welcomes.”
  • Forty miles to Ontario, the model city. offers opportunity.
  • Thirty-five miles oceanward to Upland, and Euclid Avenue.
  • To all nature lovers, by the employees of the State Hospital at Patten.
  • Dedicated to checker players by the family of John Andreson, Sr., a pioneer of 1850. To the “Stranger within our gates,” by the family of David H. Wixom.
  • The “West to the East ever calls,” Hiram Clark and family.
  • Dedicated to the people of Needles by George E. Butler.
  • Dedicated to the people of Cloverdale, Michigan, by Mrs. Chas. H. Schaffer of Marquette, Mich.
  • To commemorate the visit of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dedication tour, April 28, 1920.
  • In honor of Fred T. Perris, who, in 1884, led the iron horse through Cajon Pass.
  • To the Pioneers of San Bernardino Valley, by Native Sons who have gone afield. (Judge B. F. Bledsoe, Paul Shoup, and others).
  • To our Pioneers, by Arrowhead Parlor, Native Sons.
  • To the Trailmakers, by officers and men of Santa Fe.
  • To Highway Builders, by officers and men of Santa Fe. Redlands Rotary Club, with Rotary emblem.
  • Riverside Rotary Club, with Rotary emblem.
  • San Bernardino Rotary Club, with double table, and international Rotary emblem.
  • “The groves were God’s first temples,” by W. M. Parker.
  • “Now good digestion wait on appetite, and health on both,” by A. C. Denman. Jr.
  • “To the desert-weary traveler,” by W. J. Hanford.
  • A bake-oven, dedicated to the baking public, by W. j. Hanford.
  • A family broiler, dedicated to the broiling public, by C. G. Lundholm.
  • A pump, dedicated to the “drinking public,” by W. D. Anderson. A community broiler, “Max Aron bids you broil your steak.”
  • A big range. Orange County.
  • One barbecue pit. dedicated to the “barbecuing public.” by W. J. Curtis, J. W. Curtis, Henry Goodcell, Rex B. Goodcell, Herman Harris, John Andreson, Jr. Joseph E. Rich, W. E. Leonard, E. E. Katz and Mrs. F. I. Towne.
  • Flag column, erected by the Native Sons of Illinois, as a tribute to the State of their adoption.
  • “I love you, California.” Column, its mosaics, and tablets, the handiwork of F. M. Bristol, contributed by him.
  • Flag pole, gift of J. B. Gill, formerly Lieutenant-governor of Illinois.
  • Large tablet carrying four stanzas, Chas. L. Frazer’s poem, “The Flag.”

Elevation 3,002 feet.

Editor for San Bernardino County


A Bum Investment


Max Stroebel, who was to become known as the Father of Orange County, acting as agent for a syndicate bought 50,000 acres of land encompassing much of what makes Hesperia today. Purchasing the land was in anticipation of a railroad which was not to be for nearly 15 years, far too long for the investors. The land was sold at a loss and became the property of a German Temperance Colony.

Hesperia, Ca.

California Southern Railway

Stealing Horses & Ranchero Life

Seventy-five years in California; a history of events and life in California

CHAPTER XV Indian Insurrections and Treachery

OCCASIONALLY the Indians who had been at the Missions, and had become well informed in regard to the surrounding neighborhood and the different ranches in the vicinity, would desert the Missions, retreat to their old haunts and join the uncivilized Indians. At times they would come back with some of the wild Indians to the farms, for the purpose of raiding upon them, and capturing the domesticated horses. They would come quietly in the night, and carry off one or two caponeras of horses, sometimes as many as five or six, and drive them back to the Indian country for their own use.

In the morning a ranchero would discover that he was without horses for the use of the ranch. He would then borrow some horses from his neighbor, and ten or twelve men would collect together and go in pursuit of the raiders. They were nearly always successful in overtaking the thieves and recovering their horses, though oftentimes not without a fierce fight with the Indians, who were armed with bows and arrows, and the Californians with horse carbines. At these combats the Indians frequently lost some of their number, and often as many as eight or ten were killed. The Californians were sometimes wounded and occasionally killed. Once in a while, but very seldom, the Indians were successful in eluding pursuit, and got safely away with the horses, beyond recovery.

In the early part of ’39, nearly all the saddle horses belonging to Captain Ygnacio Martinez, at the rancho Pinole, were thus carried off by the Indians, and his son Don José Martinez, (whose niece I afterward married), with eight or ten of his neighbors, went in pursuit of them, and though they succeeded in recovering the animals, they lost one of their number, Felipe Briones, who was killed by an arrow. The fight on that occasion was exceedingly severe, and the Indians became so incensed, and their numbers increased so much, that the little party deemed it too hazardous to continue the fight, and retreated, taking with them the recovered horses, but were compelled to leave the body of Briones on the field. Two days afterward the party went back and recovered it, but found it terribly mutilated. Some eight or ten of the Indians were killed by the Californians in that fight.

Juan Prado Mesa was the comandante of the San Francisco Presidio, and frequently left his post to go in campaigns against the Indians with part of his command. He was always considered a successful Indian fighter. He was a brave and good man. On one occasion he was wounded with an arrow, which ultimately carried him to his grave. He was blessed with a large family. I became very well acquainted with him, and he frequently furnished me with fine saddle horses and a vaquero to make my business circuit around the bay. He was under the immediate command of General Vallejo, with whom he was intimate, and sometimes he confided to me secret movements of the government. The Californians were early risers. The ranchero would frequently receive a cup of coffee or chocolate in bed, from the hands of a servant, and on getting up immediately order one of the vaqueros to bring him a certain horse which he indicated, every horse in a caponera having a name, which was generally bestowed on account of some peculiarity of the animal. He then mounted and rode off about the rancho, attended by a vaquero, coming back to breakfast between eight and nine o’clock.

This breakfast was a solid meal, consisting of carne asada (meat broiled on a spit), beefsteak with rich gravy or with onions, eggs, beans, tortillas, sometimes bread and coffee, the latter often made of peas. After breakfast, the ranchero would call for his horse again, usually selecting a different one, not because the first was fatigued, but as a matter of fancy or pride, and ride off again around the farm or to visit the neighbors. He was gone till twelve or one o’clock, when he returned for dinner, which was similar to breakfast, after which he again departed, returning about dusk in the evening for supper, this being mainly a repetition of the two former meals. Although there was so little variety in their food from one day to another, everything was cooked so well and so neatly and made so inviting, the matron of the house giving her personal attention to everything, that the meals were always relished.

When the rancheros thus rode about, during the leisure season, which was between the marking time and the matanza or killing time, and from the end of the matanza to the spring time again, the more wealthy of them were generally dressed in a good deal of style, with short breeches extending to the knee, ornamented with gold or silver lace at the bottom, with botas (leggings) below, made of fine soft deerskin, well tanned and finished, richly colored, and stamped with beautiful devices (these articles having been imported from Mexico, where they were manufactured), and tied at the knee with a silk cord, two or three times wound around the leg, with heavy gold or silver tassels hanging below the knee. They wore long vests, with filagree buttons of gold or silver, while those of more ordinary means had them of brass. They wore no long coats, but a kind of jacket of good length, most generally of dark blue cloth, also adorned with filagree buttons. Over that was the long serape or poncho, made in Mexico and imported from there, costing from $20 to $100, according to the quality of the cloth and the richness of the ornamentation. The serape and the poncho were made in the same way as to size and cut of the garments, but the former was of a coarser texture than the latter, and of a variety of colors and patterns, while the poncho was of dark blue or black cloth, of finer quality, generally broadcloth. The serape was always plain, while the poncho was heavily trimmed with gold or silver fringe around the edges, and a little below the collars around the shoulders.

They wore hats imported from Mexico and Peru, generally stiff; the finer quality of softer material — vicuña, a kind of beaver skin obtained in those countries. Their saddles were silver-mounted, embroidered with silver or gold, the bridle heavily mounted with silver, and the reins made of the most select hair of the horse’s mane, and at a distance of every foot or so there was a link of silver connecting the different parts together. The tree of the saddle was similar to that now in use by the Spaniards and covered with the mochila, which was of leather. It extended beyond the saddle to the shoulder of the horse in front and back to the flank, and downwards on either side, halfway between the rider’s knee and foot. This was plainly made, sometimes stamped with ornamental figures on the side and sometimes without stamping. Over this was the coraza, a leather covering of finer texture, a little larger and extending beyond the mochila all around, so as to cover it completely. It was elaborately stamped with handsome ornamental devices.

Behind the saddle, and attached thereto, was the anqueta, of leather, of half-moon shape, covering the top of the hindquarters of the horse, but not reaching to the tail; which was also elaborately stamped with figures and lined with sheep skin, the wool side next to the horse. This was an ornament, and also a convenience in case the rider chose to take a person behind him on the horse.

Frequently some gallant young man would take a lady on the horse with him, putting her in the saddle in front and himself riding on the anqueta behind.

The stirrups were cut out of a solid block of wood, about two and a half inches in thickness. They were very large and heavy. The strap was passed through a little hole near the top. The tapadera was made of two circular pieces of very stout leather, about twelve to fifteen inches in diameter, the outer one a little smaller than the inner one, fastened together with strips of deer skin called gamuza, the saddle strap passing through two holes near the top to attach it to the stirrup; so that when the foot was placed in the stirrup the tapadera was in front, concealed it, and protected the foot of the rider from the brush and brambles in going through the woods.

This was the saddle for everyday use of the rancheros and vaqueros, that of the former being somewhat nicer and better finished. The reins for everyday use were made of deer or calfskin or other soft leather, cut in thin strips and nicely braided and twisted together, and at the end of the reins was attached an extra piece of the same with a ring, which was used as a whip. Their spurs were inlaid with gold and silver, and the straps of the spurs worked with silver and gold thread.

When thus mounted and fully equipped, these men presented a magnificent appearance, especially on the feast days of the Saints, which were celebrated at the Missions. Then they were arrayed in their finest and most costly habiliments, and their horses in their gayest and most expensive trappings. They were usually large, well-developed men, and presented an imposing aspect. The outfit of a ranchero and his horse, thus equipped, I have known to cost several thousand dollars. The gentleman who carried a lady in this way, before him on a horse, was considered as occupying a post of honor, and it was customary when a bride was to be married in a church, which was usual in those days, for a relative to take her before him in this fashion on his horse to the church where the ceremony was to be performed. This service, which involved the greatest responsibility and trust on the part of the gentleman, was discharged by him in the most gallant and polite manner possible.

On the occasion of my marriage, in 1847, the bride was taken in this way to the church by her uncle, Don José Martinez. On these occasions the horse was adorned in the most sumptuous manner, the anqueta and coraza being beautifully worked with ornamental devices in gold and silver thread. The bride rode on her own saddle, sometimes by herself, which was made like the gentleman’s but a little smaller, and without stirrups, in place of which a piece of silk—red, blue, or green—perhaps a yard wide and two or three yards long, joined at the two ends, was gracefully hung over the saddle, puffed like a bunch of flowers at the fastening, and hung down at one side of the horse in a loop, in which the lady lightly rested her foot.

The ladies were domestic and exceedingly industrious, although the wealthier class had plenty of Indian servants. They were skillful with their needles, making garments for their families, which were generally numerous. The women were proficient in sewing. They also did a good deal of nicer needlework of fancy kinds—embroidery, etc.—in which they excelled, all for family use. Their domestic occupations took up most of their time.

Both men and women preserved their hair in all its fullness and color, and it was rare to see a gray-headed person. A man fifty years of age, even, had not a single gray hair in his head or beard, and I don’t remember ever seeing, either among the vaqueros or the rancheros or among the women, a single bald-headed person. I frequently asked them what was the cause of this remarkably good preservation of their hair, and they would shrug their shoulders, and say they supposed it was on account of their quiet way of living and freedom from worry and anxiety.

The native Californians were about the happiest and most contented people I ever saw, as also were the early foreigners who settled among them and intermarried with them, adopted their habits and customs, and became, as it were, a part of themselves. Among the Californians, there was more or
less caste, and the wealthier families were somewhat aristocratic and did not associate freely with the humbler classes; in towns, the wealthy families were decidedly proud and select, the wives and daughters especially. These people were naturally, whether rich or poor, of a proud nature, and though always exceedingly polite, courteous, and friendly, they were possessed of a native dignity, an inborn aristocracy, which was apparent in their bearing, walk, and general demeanor. They were descended from the best families of Spain and never seemed to forget their origin, even if their outward surroundings did not correspond to their inward feeling. Of course, among the wealthier classes, this pride was more manifest than among the poorer.

In my long intercourse with these people, extending over many years, I never knew of an instance of incivility of any kind. They were always ready to reply to a question, and answered in the politest manner, even the humblest of them; and in passing along the road, the poorest vaquero would salute you politely. If you wanted any little favor of him, like delivering a message to another rancho, or anything of that sort, he was ready to oblige and did it with an air of courtesy and grace and freedom of manner that were very pleasing. They showed everywhere and always this spirit of accommodation, both men and women. The latter, though reserved and dignified, always answered politely and sweetly, and generally bestowed upon you a smile, which, coming from a handsome face, was charming in the extreme. This kindness of manner was no affectation, but genuine goodness, and commanded one’s admiration and respect.

I was astonished at the endurance of the California women in holding out, night after night, in dancing, of which they never seemed to weary, but kept on with an appearance of freshness and elasticity that was as charming as surprising. Their actions, movements, and bearing were as full of life and animation after several nights of dancing as at the beginning, while the men, on the other hand, became wearied, showing that their powers of endurance were not equal to those of the ladies. I have frequently heard the latter ridiculing the gentlemen for not holding out unfatigued to the end of a festival of this kind.

The rancheros and their household generally retired early, about eight o’clock, unless a valecito casaro (little home party) was on hand when this lasted till twelve or one. They were fond of these gatherings, and almost every family had some musician of its own, music and dancing were indulged in, and a very pleasant time was enjoyed. I have attended many of them and always was agreeably entertained. These parties were usually impromptu, without formality, and were often held for the entertainment of a guest who might be stopping at the house. The balls or larger parties were of more importance and usually occurred in the towns. On the occasion of the marriage of a son or daughter of a ranchero they took place on the rancho, the marriage being celebrated amid great festivities, lasting several days.

Fandango was a term for a dance or entertainment among the lower classes, where neighbors and others were invited in, and engaged themselves without any great degree of formality. The entertainments of the wealthy and aristocratic class were more exclusive in character; invitations were more carefully given, more formality observed, and of course, more elegance and refinement prevailed. An entertainment of this character was known as a baile.

In November 1838, I was a guest at the wedding party given at the marriage of Don José Martinez to the daughter of Don Ygnacio Peralta, which lasted about a week, dancing being kept up all night with a company of at least one hundred men and women from the adjoining ranchos, about three hours after daylight being given to sleep, after which picnics in the woods were held during the forenoon, and the afternoon was devoted to bullfighting. This program was continued for a week when l myself had become so exhausted for want of regular sleep that I was glad to escape.

The bride and bridegroom were not given any seclusion until the third night.

On this occasion Doña Rafaela Martinez, wife of Dr. Tennent, and sister of the bridegroom, a young woman full of life and vivacity, very attractive and graceful in manner, seized upon me and led me on to the floor with the waltzers. I was ignorant of waltzing up to that moment. She began moving around the room with me in the waltz, and in some unaccountable manner, perhaps owing to her magnetism, I soon found myself going through the figure with ease. After that, I had no difficulty in keeping my place with the other waltzers and was reckoned as one of them. I waltzed with my fascinating partner for a good portion of the night.

During this festivity, Don José Martinez, who was a wonderful horseman, performed some feats which astonished me. For instance, while riding at the greatest speed, he leaned over his saddle to one side, as he swept along, and picked up from the ground a small coin, which had been put there to try his skill, and then went on without slackening his speed.

Some years after that I was visiting him, and while we were out taking a ride over his rancho, we came to an exceedingly steep hill, almost perpendicular; at the top was a bull quietly feeding. He looked up and said, “Do you see that bull?” “Yes,” said I. “Now,” said he, “we will have some fun. I am going up there to drive him down and lasso him on the way.” It seemed impossible owing to the steepness of the declivity. Nevertheless, he did it, rode up to the top, started the bull down at full speed, and actually lassoed the animal on the way, threw him down, and the bull at once commenced rolling down the steep side of the hill, over and over, until he reached the bottom, José following on his horse and slackening up the riata as he went along. He was a graceful rider.

After many years of happiness with his excellent wife, during which they were blessed with six or eight children, Don José Martinez became a widower. A few years after this he married an English lady, a sister of Dr. Samuel J. Tennent, who was then living at Pinole ranch, and who married a sister of Don José Martinez. Dr. Tennent lived on a portion of the ranch inherited by his wife. The marriage of Don José to a lady outside of his own countrywoman was rather an unusual occurrence among the Californians. The marriage proved a happy one, and half a dozen children resulted therefrom. This lady is now living in San Francisco (1889).

Don José Martinez had the largest kind of heart, and if anyone called at his house who was in need of a horse, he was never refused, and the people of the surrounding country were constantly in receipt of favors at his hands. If one wanted a bullock and had no means to pay for it, he would send out a vaquero to lasso one and bring it in and tie it to a cabestro (a steer broken for that purpose), so that the man could take it home, and told him he might pay for it when convenient, or if not convenient, it was no matter. So with a horse which he might furnish, it didn’t matter whether the animal was returned or not. This generosity was continual 70 and seemed to have no limit. At his death, which occurred in 1864, his funeral was attended by a vast concourse of people from all the surrounding country, who came in wagons, buggies, and carriages to the number of several hundred vehicles, such was the high appreciation in which he was held by the community.

I never saw such respect paid to the memory of any other person. If true generosity and genuine philanthropy entitle a man to a place in the kingdom of Heaven, I am sure that Don José Martinez is received there as one of the chief guests.

Seventy-five years in California; a history of events and life in California http://www.loc.gov/resource/calbk.025

The Wife of Don Antonio Maria Lugo

Don Antonio Maria Lugo, of Los Angeles, was genial and witty, about eighty years of age, yet active and elastic, sitting on his horse as straight as an arrow, with his reata on the saddle, and as skillful in its use as any of his vaqueros. He was an eccentric old gentleman. He had a wife aged twenty or twenty-two—his third or fourth. In 1846 I visited him. After cordially welcoming me, he introduced me to his wife, and in the same breath, and as I shook hands with her, said, in a joking way, with a cunning smile, “ No se enamore de mi joven esposa.” (Don’t fall in love with my young wife.) He had numbers of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Los Angeles was largely populated from his family. Referring to this circumstance, he said to me, quietly, “ Don Guillermo, yo he cumplido mi deber a mi pais.” (Don Guillermo, I have fulfilled my duty to my country)

William Heath Davis – “Seventy-five Years in California”

Don Antonio Maria Lugo

Wrong-Way River

by walter feller

Mojave River

In 1852 a survey was made of the southwestern edge of the Mojave Desert. The Old Spanish Trail # had become a wagon road bringing thousands of pioneers to the west and developed as a supply route between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. The survey was as accurate as any at that time and followed the trail from near the top of the Cajon Pass to a point where the trail leaves the Mojave River near Fishponds. The trail to Salt Lake continues north as we know it, but the river flowing east on this map bears southeast and empties into the Colorado River. At the time it was thought the Mojave (spelled Mohahve on the map) River followed this course. It did not. There was no Mojave Road in 1852 and not many Americans had traversed that portion of the desert. As we now know the Mojave River cuts through Afton Canyon and then disappears into the sink of the Mojave before it reaches Soda Lake.

The Williamson survey the next year in 1853 begins to correct the true ancient course of the river as it would have found its way to converge with the Amargosa River and empty into Death Valley’s Lake Manly via Soda Lake, Silver Lake, Silurian Lake, and Salt Springs.

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