Indian Joe Canyon

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Indian Joe Canyon

Postby panamint_patty » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:54 am

Anyone know the story behind Indian Joe Canyon? I went camping there a few times when I was a kid and I know that there was a guy named Indian Joe who grew stuff there. He sold fruits and vegetables and had like a little farm there. It's a neat place to visit if you go there the right time of year.
:thumb:
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby James Sel » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:44 pm

panamint_patty wrote:Anyone know the story behind Indian Joe Canyon? I went camping there a few times when I was a kid and I know that there was a guy named Indian Joe who grew stuff there. He sold fruits and vegetables and had like a little farm there. It's a neat place to visit if you go there the right time of year.
:thumb:


I'd like to know more too. I fell in love with the place when I was a scout.
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby wildrose » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:09 am

What I know is that for a long time the land was owned by an individual who allowed people to use it with his permission. He wound up selling it to some conservation or environmental organization and now people can visit the site without permission, but the land is still privately owned by that organization. Last time I was up there the path was pretty over-grown, but it was still possible to get up to both the lower and upper gardens.
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby mrfish » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:29 am

Vegetables, fruit, and nuts were grown in the canyon dating back to before 1900. The canyon is named after Indian Joe Peterson. His family provided local residents with produce for many years and he also made a fair amount of money by allowing the local Borax Company to use his water. I'm not sure when agricultural activities ended in the canyon, but since then the terraces that were set up to provide flat ground for growing vegetables have deteriorated, although you can still see them if you visit the old site.
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby cactuspete » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:50 am

wildrose wrote:What I know is that for a long time the land was owned by an individual who allowed people to use it with his permission. He wound up selling it to some conservation or environmental organization and now people can visit the site without permission, but the land is still privately owned by that organization. Last time I was up there the path was pretty over-grown, but it was still possible to get up to both the lower and upper gardens.

For some reason the name Pete Canning comes to mind. Not sure if that's right or not. It's been a long, long time since I thought about the previous owner of the canyon. I believe that the canyon was acquired by the environmental organization some time back in the 1990s. My memory is pretty foggy on this though.
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby CactusHugger » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:15 am

Indian Joe Canyon
Here's something I found on a website about Searles Valley. It's a little sketchy, but then again there doesn't seem to be a lot of solid info about Indian Joe Canyon to be found.
Since Indian Joe Spring in the Argus Range has year-round water, John W. Searles planted a garden and fruit trees there to help feed workers at his borax mine. Fig and nut trees, grape vines, and celery still grow there. The spring, which was named by Searles, requires a 1.5-mile moderate hike. The trailhead is 2.2 miles north of the Inyo County line and then west 2.5 miles on graded dirt road.

LINK: http://www1.iwvisp.com/svhs/BrochurePg.html
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby twister » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:02 am

Trona on the Web: Indian Joe's Springs
Indian Joe's is nice now, but it was like the "Garden of Eden" back in the 1940's and 1950's according to this account. This guy talks about apple and pear trees and all sorts of neat stuff.
As a kid who grew up in Trona in the 40's and 50's Indian Joe's was my favorite area. It was an opportunity to eat fresh picked fruit and seemed like the Garden of Eden. I hope that the things that made it seem so wonderful to me are still there.

LINK: http://www.trona-on-the-web.com/trona_files/indian-joes.html
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby cactuspete » Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:57 am

Here's something interesting I found on the interwebs:
89-17 9/10-11/89 Search/Recovery Great Falls Basin Finco
In response to a pager call, I was told by the San Bernardino Sheriffs dispatcher that the problem was a search for 33 year old Ronald Vassar. Ronald left his house on 3 Sept., and his abandoned vehicle was found in the parking area at Great Falls Basin. The vehicle had been parked there for at least two days because it was spotted there by a friend of Ronald's on Sept. 7. I decided to get a team of four together to quickly rappel the seven waterfalls of Great Falls Basin, since we knew from experience that this was the most likely area for someone to get stuck or possibly injured. Sheila Rockwell coordinated the callout and got Bob Rockwell, Andrew Mitchell, Paul DeRuiter and Tom Sakai to volunteer. We met at the but at 1700 and left by 1715. We arrived at the parking area of Great Falls Basin at 1800. Deputy Lopsteich from the San Bernardino Sheriff and 7 members of the Searles Valley Fire and Rescue Team were already there. Four members of the Searles team were hiking up the trail that leads to the top of the falls. A thong sandal and cigarettes had been found on the trail. Ronald had left his house wearing thongs and shorts, and the cigarettes matched the brand that Ronald smokes. I spoke with one of the members from the Searles team and asked if we could use their people to thoroughly search the rocks along the trail leading up to the falls. CLMRG could then hike straight up the trail and begin the series of rappels down the falls. Searles Valley agreed to the assignments.

At 1815 Rockwell, Mitchell, DeRuiter, and Sakai, started up the trail. At 1840 the four started to rappel down the first of the falls. About fifteen minutes later a call came on the radio that they had found Ronald's wallet. While we were trying to quiet the other radios in base another call came over the radio that Ronald had been found. The time was 1855. It appeared Ronald had died due to injuries sustained when he fell down the falls. While we waited to get the O.K. from the coroner to move Ronald from where he was found, the members of the Searles team returned to base to pick up the stretcher and ropes that would be required in the lowering, to get Ronald down the remaining falls. The O.K. was given and Ronald was lowered down the four remaining falls to the mouth of the canyon. Everyone was back in base at 2345. After a debrief with the sheriff and the coroner we headed back to Ridgecrest. We arrived home at 0130.

Comments:
Paul DeRuiter did a good job of sketching where Ronald had fallen, where he had crawled and/or walked, where items were found and finally where Ronald was found. It is important that this be done for fatalities in which the coroner cannot get to the scene.

The Searles Valley Fire and Rescue Team was formed for rescues with Kerr McGee; however they are very interested in becoming more involved in search and rescue in the Trona/San Bernardino County area, so we may be working with them again. I recommend that we follow up with some of the contacts made on this operation to possibly do some joint training together in the Great Falls Basin area.

LINK: http://www.clmrg.org/TP%201-99/081.pdf
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby sandman » Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:57 am

cactuspete: Interesting post. You could have made a new category for Great Falls Basin, but it's just around the corner from Indian Joe Canyon anyways and so why bother? I don't recall hearing about this story though. Seems like I should have.
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Re: Indian Joe Canyon

Postby shadylady » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:41 am

Does anyone know if access to Indian Joe Canyon has been blocked by the plant? I was driving on the highway north of the county line at night a couple months ago and saw bright lights way across the way near the mouth of the canyon. A couple days ago I heard the plant had purchased the land near the mouth of the canyon, but the person I talked to wasn't sure if the plant had blocked access to the canyon or not. Has anyone been out to the canyon lately?
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