Category Archives: California History

WAGON WHEEL RUTS

Few wagon wheel ruts worn into the barren landscape more than a century ago remain accessible for curious rut rats to trace on foot. Many are on private property; others are buried under blacktop or shopping malls. The 1844 Emigrant … Continue reading

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DESERT WARFARE TRAINING CENTER

In early 1942, after the U.S. was drawn into World War II in Europe, the War Department believed the first place to confront the enemy would be in North Africa. U.S. Army Major General George Smith Patton Jr. selected 18,000 … Continue reading

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ARBOR DAY

Arbor Day observance dates in the United States vary every spring depending upon the climate for tree planting. Sunriver, Oregon, is the only unincorporated community in the United States to receive its 36th year award as a Tree City. Trees … Continue reading

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CLASSIFIED MILITARY BASES

It required several attempts for us to gain access to Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base in San Diego County, California. Civilians are denied entrance during any “world conflict” or “police action”. In other words, war. During one narrow window … Continue reading

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BORDER TRAFFIC

Around the bend and down the grade of two-lane Highway 188, two Tecates sit on either side of the narrow river bordering California and Mexico. Trucks, semi and pickup, horns blaring, race every which way including straight down the middle … Continue reading

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PETROGLYPH and PICTOGRAPH ROCK ART

Petroglyphs are prehistoric images chiseled with stone and bone tools onto rock surfaces. Pictographs are prehistoric images painted with dyes made from plants and mineral pigments mixed with water. Many are found in California but few are easily accessible. Most … Continue reading

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SNOWSHOE THOMPSON

He was born John Albert Tostensen in Norway in 1827. Ten years later, his parents brought him to America to farm in Illinois. In 1851, “gold fever” lured the husky, six-foot blond to California where he panned enough gold to … Continue reading

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