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.


This article was written circa 1904

The cultivation of alfalfa has become an important industry in this
state and throughout the West. As San Bernardino County can claim the
first successful culture of this plant in the United States, a brief outline of
its history may not be out of place.

Lucerne Valley, Ca.

Alfalfa is the oldest grass known, having been introduced into Greece
from Media, 500 years before Christ. The Romans, finding its qualities good, cultivated it extensively and carried it into France when Caesar reduced Gaul. It has always been extensively cultivated in Europe under the name of lucerne, supposed to be derived from the province of Lucerne in Switzerland. The name alfalfa was given to the plant in Chili, where it grows spontaneously in the Andes as well as on the pampas of that country and of the Argentine Republic.

Oro Grande, Ca.

It was introduced into the United States as early as 1835—and probably
earlier—and attempts at cultivation in New York and other Eastern states
were unsuccessful.

In the United States Agricultural Report for 1872, Mr. N. Wyckoff, of
Yolo, Napa County, Cal, reports: “In the winter of 1854. I sowed four acres
with alfalfa, or lucerne, as it was then called, seed brought from Chili. As
far as I know, it was a part of the first parcel of seed brought into this
country. My sowing proved so foul with weeds that I plowed it up and
did not re-sow until 1864.” The United States Agricultural Report of
1878, a considerable production of alfalfa is reported from some of the
northern counties of the state.

In the winter of 1852-3, a party of Mormons arrived in San Bernardino from Australia. At least one of the party, Mr. John Metcalf, brought with him some alfalfa seed. This was sown on his place, now the Metcalf place on Mount Vernon Avenue, near First street. It was irrigated from Lytle Creek and did well, and the plant was soon cultivated by others. The seed was at first sold for $1.00 per pound and was distributed from San Bernardino to other points in Southern California. The early supply of seeds for Los Angeles was obtained from San Bernardino and the seed was taken from here to Salt Lake thus the alfalfa industry, one of the most important in Utah, was started. The alfalfa crop is now one of the most important of the county and San Bernardino County had, in 1900, more than six thousand acres seeded to this plant.

San Bernardino County
1769 to 1904 (201)

Coyote (Crowder) Canyon

There are numerous names of features within the story of the Cajon Canyon complex; Mormon Rocks, Lost Lake, Lone Pine Canyon, and more. There is one canyon, however, the most popular variation of the Old Spanish Trail as it entered southern California was known as Coyote Canyon.

In the early 1840s, Englishman Michael White and William Workman were partners in a store in New Mexico. White sold his part of the business and came west to live on one hundred acres his wife purchased from the Catholic Church. On this property near Mission San Gabriel, Michael White established a home. Indian raids were discouraging, but Mr. White worked on and ultimately succeeded in raising cattle. His herd grew and he looked for range land. Mr. White and two other men made an agreement to help each other raise cattle in the valley northwest of San Bernardino.

The Story of Coyote Canyon

It was near the mouth of the Cajon Canyon where he built his camp. However, the ‘partners’ failed to show up leaving Miguel to his own defense if there were an attack.

Miguel Blanco

One morning Mr. White woke up to find his cattle missing–the culprits most likely were ‘Chaguanosos.’ The Chaguanosos were a band of Indians exiled and cast away from all, the worst of the worst, cast from their own tribes, notorious and deadly in their own right. These men would steal anything and everything and kill anyone that attempted to stop them. These renegades committed many of the raids on the animals of the ranchos. There was Chief Coyote who was known in the area to be cunning, and violent and leading a band of these heartless men.

During the dark of night, the Chief and his thieves drove away over 400 head of Mr. White’s herd. Michael White was alone save for a seventeen-year-old Indian boy. Together, they rode off to attempt to halt the theft. They needed to keep the band of thieves from leaving the Cajon Canyon and entering the Mojave Desert–they had to head them off at the pass.

Crowder (Coyote) Canyon – Initially named ‘Coyote’ canyon, for the horse thief, Chief Coyote who was killed within the narrow canyon walls by protector of the Cajon Pass, Miguel Blanco,

Mr. White and the Indian boy rode up the canyon, circled around, and came in between the outlaws and the top of the pass. The thieves were unaware as they were greedily feasting on a horse they had killed.

Mr. White thought to stampede the herd back down through the narrows trapping the Chaguanosos from escape.

Michael drew the attention of Chief Coyote. The renegade charged him. Michael aimed and fired. The shot knocked the Chief off of his horse. He fell into the brush. Dead. The gunshot startled the cattle and they stampeded over the camp and back down the canyon surprising those in the camp. There was a gunfight. White would fire his gun and one by one the Chaguanosos fell dead in the canyon. The boy reloaded the extra gun and kept Michael White fighting. Several of the renegades escaped in the dust and confusion.

A possible site of Campo de la Puente (Camp on the bridge)

The stolen animals were rounded up and returned to the glen at the mouth of the Cajon canyon.

Calling the canyon ‘Coyote Canyon’ wasn’t in honor of a great chief. It was simply a ravine where a bad guy was killed. That is how the canyon became known as Coyote Canyon.

However, the story doesn’t end there- The Governor of California heard of this heroic episode and found that Mr. White had no land but desired to. So, Michael White became naturalized as Miguel Blanco, a citizen of Mexico, and received a grant for 32,000 acres (50 square miles) of land northwest of the Lugo Rancho San Bernardino. With this land situated on a high point of the bajada that runs the southwestern base of the San Bernardino mountains, he was to guard and defend the southern California ranchos from further raids from horsethieves.

Of course, the story doesn’t really end there, either- This is the beginning of the story of Miguel Blanco and the Rancho Muscupiabe.


(c)W.Feller – 2022

Just California

Augustin S. Macdonald, comp.
A Collection of Verse by California Poets. 1914.

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

By John S. McGroarty

’TWIXT the seas and the deserts,
’Twixt the wastes and the waves,
Between the sands of buried lands
And the ocean’s coral caves,
It lies not East nor West,
But like a scroll unfurled,
Where the hand of God hath hung it,
Down the middle of the world.

It lies where God hath spread it,
In the gladness of his eyes,
Like a flame of jeweled tapestry
Beneath His shining skies,
With the green of woven meadows,
And the hills in golden chains,
The light of leaping rivers,
And the flash of poppied plains.

Days rise that gleam in glory,
Days die with sunset’s breeze,
While from Cathay that was of old
Sail countless argosies;
Morns break again in splendor
O’er the giant, new-born West,
But of all the lands God fashioned,
’Tis this land is the best.

Sun and dews that kiss it,
Balmy winds that blow,
The stars in clustered diadems
Upon its peaks of snow;
The mighty mountains o’er it,
Below, the white seas swirled—
Just California stretching down
The middle of the world.

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

The Overland Trail

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

by J.C. Davis

An alkali flats

Over the sagebrush desert gray,
Through alkali patches pale,
It stretches away and away and away –
The weary overland trail.

Where they who followed have smoothed the path
For the track of the iron horse
Between the rocks and around the hills
It threads its sinuous course.

And ever the wagon tracks diverge,
Like strands of a parted skein;
And anon the old trail straightens out
And gathers them again.

Eagle Butte

When bison fleeing the red man’s chase
Stampeded the toiling train.
And dust clouds rose as thundering herds
Swept over the rolling plain.

These deep-worn ruts that divide the bank
At this dry arroyo’s brink
Still tell of the awful, maddening thirst
Of the beasts that rushed to drink.


Rushed down to drink, too oft, alas,
To find but a bed of dust,
Or, here and there, a sunken pool
White with alkali crust.

And many a rock was an ambuscade
That sheltered a skulking foe;
And wild shrieks echoed the Indian yell,
While men and women and children fell
And arrows flew like snow.

Unnamed graves

And smoking heaps in the dawn-light gray
Unfolded the tragic tale
Of the wagon camp that was sacked and burned
On the winding, windswept trail.

And many a ghastly heap of bones,
Bleached white by the sun and wind,
Is the final record of man or beast
That faltered and fell behind.

Who runs may read, as he speeds along,
Its record of blood and tears;
May see dim specters wan and worn,
The ghosts of the vanished years.

My heartbeats quicken, the trail grows dim,
My eyes are blind with tears
As | think with pity and pain and pride
Of those daring pioneers.

And in fancy I see, as my palace winged
Flies over the iron rail
The long, slow-creeping, wagon train
That traveled the overland trail.

Out Where the West Begins

Camp Cajon
Camp Cajon Dedication

by Arthur Chapman, (1917)

Out where the handclasp’s a little stronger,
Out where the smile dwells a little longer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where the sun is a little brighter,
Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter,
Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter,
That’s where the West begins.

Out where the skies are a trifle bluer,
Out where the friendship’s a little truer,
That’s where the West begins;
Out where a fresher breeze is blowing,
Where there’s laughter in every streamlet flowing,
Where there’s more of reaping and less of sowing,
That’s where the West begins.

Out where the world is in the making,
Where fewer hearts in despair are aching,
That’s where the West begins.
Where there’s more of singing and less of sighing,
Where there’s more of giving and less of buying,
And a man makes a friend without half trying—
That’s where the West begins.

Camp Cajon
The Dedication of Camp Cajon

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