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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Green Gold and Mint Juleps

Lane's is a Principal Ranch on the Mojave

Even as late as 1871 the Mojave River was considered rather remote. One person took a trip to the mines at Ivanpah and thought it enough of an adventure into the wilderness to warrant writing a series of articles for the paper. In the September 9, 1871, Guardian, he writes of his stop at Lane's prospering way station and of Lane's good cheer and benevolence:
    After crossing the river we struck a rolling sandy road running parallel with the river six or eight miles; we then reach Capt Lane's ranch; the hearty greeting of the old Capt (who had his title in the Mexican war) was refreshing; he has the good things of this life in abundance, and which he dispenses with a liberal hand to any unfortunates who may pass and there are a good many in this lower country who know from personal knowledge of the fact.

    The Capt has a nice garden growing on the banks of the river below his house with a good crop of corn, melons and vegetables generally. He has also about one hundred acres enclosed in a substantial fence which affords good pasture for his stock, consisting of horses, cattle and sheep.
The fruitfulness of the Captain's garden was a wonderment to many of his guests over the years. One observer said that it had the best turnips he had ever seen, and a squash weighing over 100 pounds.

In December of 1873 Lane's Station was listed in the San Bernardino newspaper as one of the nine principal ranches on the Mojave River, along with Houlton's, Brown's, Kelley's, Atkinson's, Point of Rocks, Lightfoot's, Grape Vine, and Cady.

From the standpoint of acreage, these ranches were modest in size for the time, except for that of Amos Houlton, which at 920 acres was at least in the top 64 in San Bernardino County. There were nine ranches in the county that exceeded 10,000 acres. Former mountain man James W. Waters owned properties amounting to over 36,000 acres, which made his holdings almost feudal in proportion. Total acres assessed in 1873 were 370,880, at a value of $679,001 -- an average of $1.83 per acre.

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