November 2015 Issue Explore Historic California - Magazine for Enthusiasts









Room 8-The Most Famous Cat in Los Angeles

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 * Please contact owner Sean Patterson for information about visiting Cerro Gordo *


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Friends of

Cerro Gordo

The Friends of Cerro Gordo is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation established to assist in the preservation, interpretation and public enjoyment of Cerro Gordo.

Help support these efforts by becoming a member.

Click on the FOCG logo (above) for additional information and to join or make a donation.

Membership is only $10.

Now Available

Cerro Gordo

A Ghost Town

Caught Between


Cecile Page Vargo's collection of Cerro Gordo stories, true, farce and somewhere in between, is being published in a new book, Cerro Gordo A Ghost Town Caught Between Centuries.

ISBN: 978-0970025869

The book gives glimpses of Cerro Gordo from the silver and lead mining days through the early twentieth century zinc era to its modern place as, according to author Phil Varney, "Southern California's best, true, ghost town." There's even a possible solution to the location of the fabled "Lost Gunsight Mine" that former Cerro Gordo owner Mike Patterson once suggested.

We are proud to team with the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert (HSUMD) in Ridgecrest, Calif., to bring Cerro Gordo A Ghost Town Caught Between Centuries to print. This is their first major publishing venture. The book is  available for sale directly from HSUMD or through selected book sellers.

Contact HSUMD directly to order:

P.O. Box 2001, Ridgecrest, CA. 93556-2001.

Phone: 760 375-8456


Announcing our Arcadia Publishing Book:



Cerro Gordo

by Cecile Page Vargo and Roger W. Vargo

ISBN: 9780738595207

Arcadia Publishing Images of America series

Price: $21.99

128 pages/ softcover

Available now!

(Click the cover image for ordering information)

Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

Mules can taste the difference--so can you

Friends of Last Chance Canyon is a new organization interested in sustaining and protecting areas within the El Paso Mountains, near Ridgecrest, California. The main focus is preserving and protecting historic sites like Burro Schmidt's tunnel and the Walt Bickel Camp.

Please click on either logo to visit the FLCC site.

We support

Bodie Foundation
"Protecting Bodie's Future by Preserving Its Past


Click on Room 8's photo or phone

951-361-2205 for more information.


The Panamint Breeze is a newsletter for people who love the rough and rugged deserts and mountains of California and beyond.

Published by Ruth and Emmett Harder, it is for people who are interested in the history of mining in the western states; and the people who had the fortitude to withstand the harsh elements.

It contains stories of the past and the present; stories of mining towns and the colorful residents who lived in them; and of present day adventurers.

Subscriptions are $20 per year (published quarterly – March, June, September & December) Subscriptions outside the USA are $25 per year. All previous issues are available. Gift certificates are available also.

To subscribe mail check (made payable to Real Adventure Publishing) along with name, address, phone number & e-mail address to:  Real Adventure Publishing, 18201 Muriel Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92407.

For more information about the Panamint Breeze e-mail Ruth at:

It's always FIRE SEASON! Click the NIFC logo above to see what's burning.

Visit Michael Piatt's site,, for the truth behind some of Bodie's myths.

Credo Quia Absurdum




Explore Historic California!

     Not too many years ago, the family station wagon was the magic carpet to adventure. Today, that family station wagon is likely to be a four wheel drive sport utility vehicle or pick up truck. SUV's and other 4x4's are one of the best selling classes of vehicles. Ironically, industry statistics show that once purchased, few owners will dare to drive their vehicles off the paved highway.

     Click your mouse through the website and enjoy our armchair adventures and the histories behind them.



The Journal of Lost Mine Canyon

by Cecile Page Vargo

Robert Desmarais (aka The TroubleShooter) is the caretaker and full time resident of Cerro Gordo ghost town tucked away in the Inyo Mountains of Eastern California. Robert's first novel combines his knowledge of history, mining, the backcountry, and more in an often perilous treasure hunting adventure through time.  


Robert Desmarias' first novel is The Journal of Lost Mine Canyon.  Much of the book's Jake Marshall is based on Robert's real-life experiences as a miner and caretaker at Cerro Gordo.

"The ground shook with such force that the mountain began to crumble right where Abe Ransom had his camp. He dodged the first few boulders and slabs of granite but a major rockslide caught him before he could get clear of the area. He became covered along with his gold discovery.

It was over a hundred and forty years later that Abe’s journal was discovered in a pile of rock that Mother Nature had rearranged. Jim ward was on a deer-hunting trip where he discovered the old leather-bound book and a few items that showed someone had been in the area a long time ago. Jim knew who to give the book to, someone who could get the story out of it.

Jake Marshall owned a mining and treasure hunting business and had the resources to research and possibly find a lost treasure. This treasure hunt took the men to the utmost limits of their abilities and endurance and Mother Nature gave them some tastes of hell, but the treasure was there, just like the old journal described, two hundred pounds of gold."


The Journal of Lost Mine Canyon

By Robert Desmarias

ISBN: 978-1-61296-566-6

Published by Black Rose Writing, August. 2015

Available from Robert at Cerro Gordo, Amazon,  and Black Rose Writing.
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