On Saturday, June 3, over 40 volunteers gathered to clean-up and protect a historic stage stop and homestead site in Wonder Valley. The area is also home to rare species and magnificent displays of spring wildflowers.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) assisted with the clean-up with a dump truck and hand tools and Community ORV Watch provided delicious food, cool drinks, T-shirts and work gloves. BLM Archeologist Jim Shearer gave a presentation about his discoveries along with a history lesson from the Wonder Valley Historical Society by Pat Rimmington, information about Native American history of the area by Bob Harris and a talk about the flora and fauna by naturalist Pat Flanagan.
The successful clean-up effort was sponsored by Community ORV Watch of the Morongo Basin, the Alliance for Responsible Recreation, the Morongo Basin Conservation Association and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society in collaboration with the Barstow field office of the BLM.
The site contains adobe ruins and evidence of historic habitation. Research suggests that the site served as a freighting and stage stop en route to both the Dale Mining District and Amboy as early as 1899. The site was once homesteaded by Dave and Anna Post. Dave was known as Judge Post, since he served as the Justice of the Peace for Twentynine Palms and as such played a role in the history of the 1943 shooting of Worth Bagley by Bill Keys, an important piece of local history. The BLM has conducted an investigation of the site including an archeological dig revealing clues to the area’s history. The agency is also conducting a biological survey of the area located on public lands.
The ruins, historic site and natural area have suffered from vandalism, illegal dumping and off-road vehicle destruction. In fact, ORVs had used the historic 100 year old adobe structure as a jump!
The site is located on Chadwick Road south of Amboy Road. Local volunteers will be monitoring the site for illegal activity especially on holiday weekends when ORVs have ravaged the area.