Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Riding Out the Civil War

Travelers Increase on the Desert

While the Indian hostilities were increasing, so was the number of travelers on the road, and to add to the traffic were the latest mining discoveries in Arizona. Excitement was high over these new finds. In a letter dated September 7, 1863, Los Angeles was likened to the "palmy days" of '49, with "gold excitement, rush of travel and high old times generally." The writer estimated that within five days at least 200 people had left the city for the gold mines, and they were "still leaving, every hour."

The increased traffic was certainly beneficial to Lane, who was situated right on the road where much of it must pass: miners needed provisions, freighters used the road, there was a mail express, and the military had returned to Fort Mojave.

Lemuel Clark McKeeby and six other miners passed through Lane's on a trip out to the El Dorado Canyon mines north of Fort Mojave, and then stopped again on the return trip. In McKeeby's reminiscences he notes that Lane is a bachelor, and is living alone.

McKeeby also remarks that "on our arrival there that evening we were provided with fresh pork, this being all the tame meat to be had at that place, no cattle or sheep. However, the hog meat was all right and we enjoyed it hugely." McKeeby does not say why Lane only had hogs. The Indians may have stolen the rest of his larger animals, leaving just the hogs, which could not be herded so readily. Or perhaps he had moved his more vulnerable stock temporarily to some safer spot with friends in San Bernardino.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
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