Hesperia (Images of America)
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Set at the top of the Cajon Pass in the High Desert of Southern California, Hesperia was built on the spirit and strength of character of American frontiersmen. From the time of the first documented travelers through the area in the late 1700s and continuing into the 1900s, the region has been a place of innovation and magnificent feats, where men have traveled through to new lands for a new start, striking it rich or making that big business deal in a new frontier. Named for Hesperus, the Greek god of the evening star in the West, Hesperia has proven to be a place of resilience and perseverance. The second largest land purchase in the western United States became the original Hesperia land holdings. In many areas, the people of Hesperia might be considered trendsetters, and Hesperia a land before its time.
as being inducted into five different halls of fame—the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame; California Hall of Fame; Utah Sports Hall of Fame; Marion County, Mississippi, Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame; and Raymond Sports Hall of Fame in Alberta, Canada. Earl Bascom had numerous prestigious awards bestowed upon him during his career. During the 1950s, the Bascom family called Hesperia home. (Courtesy BF.) With the bull’s eyes blazing and the clowns ready, here comes a rider out of the chute. Local athletes
storm created four inland lakes that were each 4 feet deep. Many adobe homes succumbed to this event; contemporary illustrations show town residents boating through the streets. (Courtesy HOTM.) Silas Cox was born in 1843 and came to the High Desert and San Bernardino as a boy in 1851. Silas ran freight in and out of the area and was noted for killing his first bear at 14 years of age—which led to his being compared to Daniel Boone. Once, Silas chased some horse thieves who had stolen his horse
helped in making this book something that will make a Hesperian say proudly, after reading it, “Hesperia is my hometown.” I would like to extend a special thanks to some people both past and present who have been an inspiration for many reasons. First are the historians of the area, who have all made major contributions to preserving Hesperia’s history during their time, including Arleen Kallenburger, John Swisher, Leo Lyman, Myra McGinnis, and George Dewey Hedrick. Thanks also go to a variety
about $1.6 million. Total damage was estimated at $2.4 million. Adjusted for inflation, $131,000 in 1938 would be $2,025,064 in 2010. (Courtesy HOTM.) Five PATHWAYS, WATERWAYS, RAILWAYS, ROADWAYS, AND HIGHWAYS People have always made and followed paths. At first, humans and their paths stayed close to water. People followed paths beside the water or used the waterways as paths themselves. As new means of travel were found, such as wagons (which could carry a small water supply), travelers were
Old Trails Highway. The back of the map shows the Hesperia Hotel, which was located on Hesperia Road and popular with traveling motorists. The 1923 AAA map features an important change—it shows Route 66 (still under construction) as the primary road through the area. Hesperia Road had then become a secondary route, and this fact alone greatly reduced the amount of traffic down Hesperia Road, which in turn affected its businesses—including the hotel. Three years later, when Route 66 was officially