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Squatters At Greenwater

The squatter in a mining camp is about as welcome as a flea in Milady's chamber. In Goldfield the squatter has earned a reputation. In Bullfrog and Rhyolite this peculiar composition of nerve and callous found temporary fame. Now he has come to Greenwater, the city of many sites, the town on wheels—Greenwater, the restless virgin of the Funeral range. The first specimens of this parasite appeared in the copper city on Sunday, December 16, and he abides still much to the disquietude of those holding vacant town lots and to the disgust of the Townsite Company.

In Goldfield the squatter claimed an excuse for taking lots that had been purchased by others on the ground that the titles were not valid. In that case he argued that someone else would claim the lot if he did not. He reasoned facetiously that the lots were sure to be stolen and therefore he was the proper person to do this little distasteful duty. In this he was, in a measure, upheld by the courts of the state of Nevada, so what the 'ell was anyone else going to do. If a man had a lot he was compelled to put a padlock on it, fence it 'round with barbed wire or keep a chained bull pup where the intruder was likely to step.

In Greenwater the squatter has been lured by the restlessness of the town and its propensity to move. When it was finally decided by the powers that the town should be on the Ramsey site instead of the Kunze site, it necessitated the approval of the new Board of County Commissioners that meets at Independence in the middle of January. In the meantime the title of the lots which the townsite company had ordered surveyed and staked out were in statu quo. No one owned them. The townsite company claimed them but would not sell because no deeds could be given with the sale. In this state of affairs the squatters saw their opportunity.

One fine Sunday afternoon, while the townsite people were quietly planning their plans and counting their gains which would accrue from the sale of lots in the new Greenwater, two men with a burro sauntered along the main street of the town until they came to a choice corner in the heart of the business section. This corner was held at a fancy figure. It was' bid for at sums ranging from $2,000 to $3,000, but this was all Greek to the two men with the burro. The corner looked good to the men, and even the burro evinced some intelligence by stopping of his own volition and nibbling the greasewood. On his back was a grub outfit and a tent. The men took a calm survey of the street ahead of them and of the part which they had already left behind. There seemed apparent no reason why they should go any further or drive their animal another step. There was no such reason. The lot on which they had inadvertently stopped was as good a one as they were likely^ to find. Without any particular show "of interest or concern, they forthwith unpacked the burro and began to pitch their tent.

Squatters have an abundance of stubbornness in their makeup. It's one of the characteristics of their stock in trade. Dr. H. G. Ford, townsite agent, and H. B. Gee, cashier of the bank, paid the two men a call before the tent was well up, and there followed "a colloquy which resulted in nothing of interest. The squatters stayed. They announced that they would stay until some court of the great state of California ordered them to move.

Courts are a slow medium for redress, and the squatters' game is extremely harmful to a, community like Greenwater. People who come with money to invest in real estate become frightened. A squatter is not particular whose lot he takes. Any vacant lot is likely to become his spoil. All this makes it evident that some other remedy must be found, and the remedy must come through the people in whose community the crime is being committed. Being parasites, squatters should be treated as such. The best way is to remove them gently from their usurped lot and send them from the town. It's the only way that real estate can be made secure from their molestations.

ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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