PILGRIMS IN THE DESERT
The Early History of the East Mojave Desert and the Baker, California Area
"Pilgrims in the Desert" contains nearly 200 historic and contemporary photographs such as the one on this page. The news article on the left was provided by Pat Schoffstall, great-great Granddaughter of "Dad" Fairbanks, from the archives at the Mojave River Valley Museum.
You can read about Charlie Reno and Renoville in the book. The remains of Renoville can still be found alongside Highway 127 and are discussed in the book. Also in the article you will see where several people "motored" to Beatty (Nevada) for the Saturday night dance.
One of those people, Phil Lisle, was kind enough to sit down for an interview which is contained in the book. You will also learn about Ralph Fairbanks and others mentioned in the article.
The last paragraph notes that "Ray the night cook" had resigned his job to go work on the new bridge. The new bridge was necessary because flood waters had washed the old one away the year before. That "new" bridge is still in use today! On the pages of "Pilgrims" you will see photographs and discussion of both bridges.
The history of Baker is only a part of what you will find in "Pilgrims". You will also find the early history of the East Mojave including contemporary photo's of many historic sites.
You will find discussion and photographs of "The Amargosa House" reported to be the oldest structure in the Mojave. Photo's and discussion of Salt Springs, Marl Springs, Rock Springs and many other historic spots.
You will find a lot of information about other areas such as Soda Springs, later known as Zzyzx, including who named it and why the odd name. You will read a first hand account from a man who knew the man who developed Zzyzx.
You will also read an interview with Willis Herron, the man responsible for the "worlds Tallest Thermometer".
Baker Post Office most likely in the late 1930's. It was also a Drug Store where you could buy lots of things including Kodak film.