Sunday, September 26, 2021

Visit these 14 monuments in the high desert with the help of Mohav Hist Historical Society

There are many relics of our remarkable local history hidden across the high desert, and with some help from the Mohav Hist Historical Society, you can explore the area and find these little-known gems.

MHS has recently identified and listed 14 unique and interesting monuments that provide information about the history of Victor Valley. The group is renovating several monuments, and some will be moved for better visitor access.

A booklet describing the monuments and their location has been published by MHS, and can be used as a driving tour for marking inspections.

MHS was founded in 1964 by a group of Victor Valley College history students. Since then, the group has expanded, and they continue to organize monthly meetings, and field trips to the area’s historic landmarks. The MHS adopted the unique Mohahov spell from the journal of the famous explorer John C. Fremont, who explored the region in 1843-44.

The Mozave Indian Trail and the Hesperia Lake Monument were erected in 1989 in the Mohave Hist Historical Society and the Hesperia Park District. It is located in Hesperia Lake Park near the Park Store on 7500 Arrowhead Lake Road. (Photo by Mark Landis)

Since its inception, MHS has played a key role in researching, recording, teaching and publishing the history of the people and communities of the Mojave Desert. The group has been involved in the installation and maintenance of monuments in the area for many years and the projects usually collaborate with a city, conservation group or aggal scout.

Here is a sample of the details you can find in the MHS booklet (some spelling, punctuation, and historical accuracy can be found in the monuments):

No. 2 Mosaic River Crossing (Granite)

Location: Turner Road, south, one mile west of National Trails Hui, Victorville

Monument Lessons: From prehistoric times to the 1800s, here was the main crossing of the old Indian Mozave Path. Padre Garces (1776), Jedediah Smith (1826-27), Kit Carson (1840s) have passed here. The Westward Migrant, Mormon, Army Camel and Mule Path (1850) also crossed the site.

Once known as Lane Crossing (1857), Wells Fargo and Pony Express were stations here. Early Victorville called it Turner Ranch (1883).

Note: This site has a new concrete and granite monument commemorating the lane crossing. It was dedicated in 2014 by the Billy Hallcomb chapter of E Clampus Vitas.

No. 3 Mormon Springs (Granite)

Location: Northwest corner of 8th and C streets, Victorville

Freshwater springs in the area were created by Mormon freighters in the 1800s, making the springs and the surrounding cotton fields a popular campsite.

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1998 Troop # 28 Seek in collaboration with Jonathan Oliver’s Aggall Scout Project, Mohav Hist Historical Society, Mormon Trails Associates, Victorville Hist Historical Advisory Committee.

No. 7 John Brown Road 1861 (Granite)

Location: Ridgecrest Road, a block north of Bear Valley Road, east, Victorville

Near this monument is the historic John Brown Road. In 1611, John Brown, a hill man and Mormon pioneer, narrowed the Mozave River through the Kazan Pass and built a toll road. This road was once part of the main road to Utah, used by miners, mules, and pioneers. Today this dirt road is found along the tracks of the nearby railroad, just west of here.

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John Brown was born in 1817 in Massachusetts

Russell MacDonald’s Aggall Scout Project, April 1995, Screaming Aggall Patrol 356 Apple Valley, historian John Bascom, with a letter from the Sutter Sign Company.

# 10 Hallcomb Valley Road 1861 (with granite, new aluminum plaque)

Location: Arrowhead Lake Road, west side, .25 miles south of Rock Springs Road (along the golf course fence), Hesperia

A free graded road is crossed here to join the Brown Toll Road via the Cajon Pass from Holcombe Valley. The citizens of Belville collected 1, 1,500 in 1861 to hire local blacksmith Z van Dujen to build the road.

Visit these 14 monuments in the high desert with the help of Mohav Hist Historical Society
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