Nolie and Lela Murray owned what they claimed was the "Only Negro dude ranch in the world," and called it the "Overall Wearing Dude Ranch." The ranch was first a home for troubled youths, and in the late 1930s the Murrays built accommodations for adult guests. The ranch catered to many famous black celebrities. Murray's served as the set for two of the world's only four black singing cowboys movies starring Herb Jeffries. Pearl Bailey purchased the ranch in 1955 and lived there for almost a decade. Desert Knolls Press, Apple Valley, CA, 2002. Softcover, 40 pages including illustrations, footnotes, and index.
Early pioneers in Apple Valley in the Bell Mountain area, for whom Corwin Road was named. The history includes some information on early Apple Valley history, such as how Apple Valley got its name, farming, the Apple Valley Improvement Association, etc. Desert Knolls Press, Apple Valley, CA, 2002. Softcover, 32 pages including illustrations, footnotes, and index.
Sagebrush Annie ran a roadhouse on a segment of Route 66, between Oro Grande and Helendale, during the Depression and Prohibition eras. She was a very colorful character with a shady reputation. Desert Knolls Press, Apple Valley, CA, 2001. Softcover, 38 pages including illustrations, footnotes, and index.
John Brown Sr., along with his son, John Jr., had financial interests in the ranch located in the Victor Valley area on the Mojave Desert, but it was John Sr.'s sons, James and Joseph, who actually settled the ranch in the mid-1800s. This booklet is a brief history detailing the origins of the Brown Ranch and its chain of owners--when it was established and where, and when it changed hands--up until it became the Kemper Campbell Ranch. Desert Knolls Press, Apple Valley, CA, 2001. Softcover, 12 pages including illustrations and footnotes.
A history of the first permanent settler on the High Desert, and an account of the early settlers and development of Oro Grande and Victorville during the mid- and late-1800s. This publication was co-authored with my wife Kathryn L. Thompson. Desert Knolls Press, Apple Valley, CA, 1995. Hardcover, 210 pages including illustrations, maps, footnotes and index.
A 100-year history of Arrowhead Parlor No. 110, Native Sons of the Golden West. Published by Arrowhead Parlor, No. 110, San Bernardino, CA, 1987. Softcover, 53 pages including illustrations and index.
The history begins with the arrival of the Chinese in 1867, discusses the anti-Chinese movement that began in 1870, the Anti-Laundry Ordinance of 1876, the founding of Chinatown in 1878, and other topics. This history was published in the first Heritage Tales, an annual publication of the City of San Bernardino Pioneer and Historical Society, 1978. Softcover, 18 pages including illustrations and footnotes.
A history of the Arrowhead Springs Hotel, which tells about the arrival of David Noble Smith in 1857 and his Hot Springs Infirmary for tubercular convalescents, which had such facilties as the Treatment House and a swimmiing bath/lake. The history tells of the destruction and rebuilding of the hotels over the years, up until 1961 when Dr. William Bright decided Arrowhead Springs would be an excellent site for a conference center for Campus Crusade for Christ, complete with a village. Published by Arrowhead Parlor No. 110, Native Sons of the Golden West, San Bernarsino, CA, 1976. Softcover, 34 pages including illustrations.
The story of the founding of San Bernardino, told through vignettes about nine prominent pioneers of the valley. This pamphlet was written to serve as a supplement to the Pageant of the Valley in 1976. Published by the San Bernardino Pageant, June 1976. Softcover, 19 pages including illustrations.
A brief history written to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Native Sons of the Gold West. Published by Arrowhead Parlor No. 110, Native Sons of the Gold West, San Bernardino, CA, 1975. Softcover, 11 pages including illustrations.