New and Noteworthy


July 2015. From the Mojave Desert Archives

Flag on the Depot 7-4-2015

The Dennis G. Casebier Library was built in 2008 in the image of the Goffs Santa Fe Railway depot (1900-1956) with funding from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) and the membership of the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association. This wonderful repository houses the research collections of the Mojave Desert Archives. (Photo: Leslie Ervin)



January 2015. New Year’s Message from President Steve Mongrain.

2015-Goffs-Schoolhouse-Snow-Greeting31 December 2014. Wednesday. A storm came in yesterday evening. On the last morning of 2014 the ground was covered with about half an inch of snow. That is the first time in the 25 years the Casebiers have been in Goffs. Flurries in the air will occur once or twice most years, but this is the only time it has stuck on the ground. (Goffs Schoolhouse photo by Hugh Brown)

The Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association (MDHCA) enters 2015 financially sound, goal-oriented, and strengthened in volunteer support.

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Schoolhouse Centennial - 2014 saw the very successful celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Goffs Schoolhouse. Reaching this goal was a culmination of some fifteen months of planning and coordination. A big thank you to Board Member and Centennial Chair, Jacqueline Ridge.

*     *     *

Mojave National Preserve - The MDHCA also strengthened its relationship with National Park Service (NPS). Superintendent of the Mojave National Preserve, Stephanie Dubois, has been very supportive of our goals during her tenure, and it is with great reluctance that we witness her departure from NPS, but most certainly wish her well in her retirement.

*     *     *

Goffs Cultural Center - We launched the Memorial Brick program to assist in moving the GCC into perpetuity. We improved security to the grounds, worked within our budget, successfully ran the American Boy 10-stamp mill, oversaw a Cal Humanities grant, and produced a number of Goffsgrams. Our goals for 2015 include the continuing recruitment of oral history interviewees, the publication of at least one of the desert-related histories we have in works, and the continued organizing of the collections.

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Mojave Desert Archives - 2015 will see the addition of two new residents to the population of Goffs. Long time MDHCA members, Chris and Leslie Ervin, will be moving to the GCC in the early part of the year. Chris has been an active member since 1988, has served as a director and president of the Board and was instrumental in acquiring the original funding and the actual building of the $1M Dennis G. Casebier Library.

Chris recently completed his master's degree in Archival Science and will become Archivist of the Mojave Desert Archives. Leslie manages our social media presence, does the set-up and artwork for the Mojave Road Report, and manages our mailing lists and membership. We could not accomplish what we do without the two of them and they will be most welcome additions.

Looking forward to a successful 2015, and thank you for your continued support.

Steve Mongrain, President


November 2014. Thank you to our members for a special and memorable celebration.

2014 Rendezvous-Centennial
2014 Mojave Road Rendezvous and Goffs Schoolhouse Centennial. (Photos by A. Cohrs and C. Ervin)

On October 10-12, the MDHCA held its 35th annual Mojave Road Rendezvous and the 100th anniersary of the Goffs Schoolhouse at the Goffs Cultural Center.

The full story on the celebrations are detailed in the latest issue of the Mojave Road Report, #301. Also, an album of Rendezvous and Centennial photos is here.


September 2014. The Goffs Schoolhouse Turns 100.

Goffs Schoolhouse Centennial
Join us Sunday, October 12 to celebrate the Schoolhouse Centennial

History, Fun, and Food for the whole family

Join us to step back in time and learn about life during the early 1900s at this unique one room desert schoolhouse in Goffs, California.

  • Visit the schoolhouse and see our collections of historical artifacts
  • Hear stories of life as a student in the 1930s from a former Goffs student
  • Watch TWO historic ore crushing stamp mills operate as they did in the heyday of mining in the Mojave Desert
  • Hear how the U. S. Army brought camels to the desert in the 1850s
  • Prizes to children for identifying historic "mystery" objects
  • Learn the games children played at the Goffs School in the 1900s
  • A special keepsake publication about the students, teachers, and events of the time collected from interviews and newspapers
  • Huge book sale, specializing in Western Americana
  • Lunch to be served from 12:00 - 1:00 (Donations appreciated)

Please phone (760-733-4482) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your reservation for lunch including the number in your party.

Goffs is located 30 miles NW of Needles, California, on historic Route 66. DIRECTIONS

Hosted by the Mojave Desert Heritage and Cultural Association.


June 2014. The MDHCA is a proud partner of The Mojave Project.

The Mojave Project
The Mojave Project Web Site

The Mojave Project is an experimental transmedia documentary by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert. The Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Association and KCET Artbound are project partners.

The Mojave Project reconsiders and establishes multiple ways in which to interpret this unique and complex landscape, through association and connection of seemingly unrelated sites, themes, and subjects thus creating a speculative and immersive experience for its audience. It will explore the following themes:

  • Desert as Wasteland;
  • Geological Time vs. Human Time;
  • Sacrifice and Exploitation;
  • Danger and Consequence;
  • Space and Perception;
  • Mobility and Movement;
  • Desert as Staging Ground;
  • Transformation and Reinvention.

The expected launch of the completed project is 2017. Stay tuned.


April 2014. What our volunteers were up to at our annual working weekend.

Debbie Miller-Marschke
Debbie Miller-Marschke adds new paint to a numbered signpost. (Photo by Scott Braley)

On April 11-13, the MDHCA held its 25th annual Spring Encampment at the Goffs Cultural Center.

The full story on the working weekend is detailed in the latest issue of the Mojave Road Report, #299. Also, an album of Encampment photos is here.

Do you have a great photo to add to the album? Add it to the Google+ Photos of Mojave Desert Archives. Be sure to "tag" it with "Mojave Desert Archives" so we see it. Or, just send your image to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll post it.


February 2014. The MDHCA is pleased to announce a new book:


  • Claude Compton, Indian Trader: Fort Mojave, Arizona 1899-1904


Claude Compton, Indian Trader is a fascinating historical account of the activities and developments around the trading post at the Fort Mojave Indian School in Arizona Territory from 1899 to 1904.

Compton headed west at the age of 23 to find his fortune, eventually becoming the Post Trader and Post Master at Fort Mojave on the east bank of the Colorado River, just below today's Bullhead City. Rich in historical detail, the book contains over 70 early photographs and is illustrated with maps and drawings.

Free-lance writer and historian Jere Baker has written several works on early life in Arizona. Jere is a particular authority on this subject as Claude Compton is his grandfather. The publication is 132 pages long and is softbound. We are selling this book for $15.95.

Jere's books can be purchased from our online book store.



January 2014. New Year’s Message from the Executive Director.

Casebier-Midden-Paintbrush(East Mojave Indian Paintbrush by Chris Ervin)

Here it is the end of another year. We’ve had our ups and downs, but all in all, it has been a good year. Major accomplishments of the MDHCA include:

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American Boy Stamp Mill Thanks to the leadership, expertise, and hard work of Charlie Connell, the volunteers he has recruited, and the generosity of board member John Fickewirth, we have made major progress on the American Boy Ten-Stamp Mill during 2013. To the delight of all who were at Goffs, the mill was operated during the recent Mojave Road Rendezvous. Our goal for 2014 is to have this huge artifact fully on line and functioning by the time of the Spring Encampment in April. We plan to have a dedication ceremony for the mill at that time.

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Mojave Road During the year the MDHCA entered into an agreement with the National Park Service, Mojave National Preserve, to periodically patrol the Mojave Road to pick up trash and provide for early detection of any emerging problems. The terms of our agreement with NPS MNP are such that we can do these monitoring trips up to four times a year. These trips will be under the oversight of Dennis Casebier.

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Mojave Desert Archives Major progress has been made during the year organizing the collections of the Mojave Desert Archives. Our single most extensive collection is that of Harold and Lucile Weight. Much progress has been made by Loris Mitchell organizing materials and constructing finding aids. Other volunteers have put in many hours re-housing the Weight materials in archival quality sleeves.

I have nearly completed digitization of the hundreds of audio tapes of oral history interviews with desert old-timers done by the Weights years ago. Also, I sleeved nearly half of the thousands of Weight Collection photograph negatives and developed an electronic finding aid to them.

Also during the year, Jackie Ridge has continued her work organizing the massive collection formed over a period of many years by San Bernardino County historian Germaine Moon.

From June through September, Claire Dubois was an intern-in-residence. With our high-end scanner she digitized about 4,000 of our more than 100,000 historic photographs.

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Looking Back and Looking Ahead It has now been a little over year since I took over as Executive Director of the MDHCA at the 2012 Rendezvous, relieving Dennis Casebier, who had been in the role since 1993. Providing leadership and coordinating most MDHCA affairs at the Goffs Cultural Center is a challenging, yet rewarding, job.

Looking back over my 2013 accomplishments, I can report to you that I continue to work with the County of San Bernardino to gain the necessary permits to construct a new Exhibit Hall with a county block grant. This structure, measuring 24' by 40' will be located on the Boulevard of Dreams across from the Dennis G. Casebier Library. We expect to see it go up during the first half of 2014. It will be used to house artifacts that have been in storage for want of space.

Here at the end of 2013, the MDHCA is financially solvent. Thanks to you, our recent raffle fundraiser and Rendezvous were successful. We met our goal of $20,000. That sounds like a lot of money, but keep in mind it costs upwards to $100,000 a year to run the Goffs Cultural Center.

As is true with much of America, the Association has suffered financially through the economic downturn of recent years. For that reason, those of us on the board managing the purse strings are naturally frugal... we call ourselves "frugalites!" Therefore I should note that we need your financial support more than ever. Remember, your donations are tax deductible, as we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Hugh Brown, Goffs


September 28-29, 2013. Slideshow of the 34th Mojave Road Rendezvous held at the Goffs Cultural Center.

  • Rendezvous-Dinner
  • American-Boy-Morning-2013-09-28
  • Awards-Presentation
  • Hugh-and-Fran-Dale
  • Cathy-Hugh-Nance-Charlie
  • American-Boy-Morning-2013-09-29
  • Crowd-watches-American-Boy-Demonstration-20130928
  • Chris-Leslie-Grand-Marshals
  • Rendezvous Dinner
    MDHCA members and their family and friends enjoy good food and good times on Saturday evening at the Rendezvous. Photo by Scott Braley
  • American Boy Mill Saturday morning, 28 Sept. 2013
  • Wagon Master awards and plaques
    Wagon Master awards are presented each year to those who have made outstanding contributions to the MDHCA. Photo by Scott Braley
  • Wagon Master awards
    Executive Director Hugh Brown presents Fran Dale with a twenty-first year Wagon Master award. Photo by Tim Augustine
  • Golden Key Award
    A special award is presented to Charlie Connell (right) for his passionate efforts restore the American Boy Stamp Mill. Photo by Tim Augustine
  • American Boy Mill on Sunday morning, 29 September 2013
    Preparations are made for a demonstration of the ten-stamp mill.
  • American Boy Mill demonstration Sunday, 29 Sept. 2013
    Charlie Connell: "Our final run got 9 ½ stamps running on the mill."
  • Grand Marshals 2013
    Mojave Road Rendezvous Grand Marshals, Chris and Leslie Ervin.

See the full story on the proceedings of the 34th Mojave Road Rendezvous in Mojave Road Report #296.

Do you have a great photo to add tho this slide show? Please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


July 2013. From the porch of the restored Goffs Schoolhouse, desert author and historian Dennis Casebier gives a talk on the fascinating heritage of the Eastern Mojave Desert.


Brief History of the East Mojave and the Goffs Cultural Center

Featuring historical and modern images, this series of six short videos encapsulates the rich history of Goffs at the "top of the hill" where old Route 66 and two railroads intersect.

1. Introduction 6:33

2. The Railroad and Route 66 5:30

3. The Mojave Road and the Goffs Schoolhouse 6:27

4. Schoolhouse closed 1937, WWII Desert Training Center 7:10

5. 1990s: Formation of the MDHCA 6:49

6. MDHCA Mission: "This is what we do" 6:08

Produced by David Edholm for the MDHCA.



June 2013. The MDHCA is pleased to announce two new books for sale:

  • Lieutenant Mark Hersey: The Final Days of Fort Mojave, 1887-1890
  • Calico Memories of Lucy Bell Lane.


Lieutenant Mark Hersey was assigned to the Ninth Infantry at Fort Mojave, Arizona. Author and historian Jere Baker draws upon Lt. Hersey’s extensive letters from 1887 until mid-1890 and official army re­cords to chronicle Fort Mojave’s final years as a frontier army post. The publication is 106 pages long and is softbound. We are selling this book for $12.95.

Calico Memories of Lucy Bell Lane

Calico Memories is the story of Lucy Bell Lane’s memories of the silver mining town of Calico, California from the mid-1880s through the early 1960s. This 2013 publication is a revision to the 1993 book and has been updated with new pictures, end notes and index. It is edited by Phyllis Kolbly, Patricia Schoffstall, and Alan Baltazar. The publication is 173 pages long and is softbound. We are selling it for $20.00.

Both books can be purchased from our online book store.