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Mojave look to the future – 1956

A Page of History

I found an old Mojave newspaper article from May 17, 1956 with a headline proclaiming "Wonder Acres Grow with Mojave Area." An adjacent photo showed a photo of a newly drilled well in Wonder Acres.

I thought to myself this would be great, I didn't think I had ever written a column about the area situated between Mojave and California City. However, as I read the article, which had no byline, it began by extolling the virtues of the desert and finally ended by discussing Wonder Acres future briefly.

The article was actually a letter written by J.J. Wonders, owner of the development and George B. Truaghber, sole agent.

It began in the old-fashioned style of an "old-time" newspaper man, and I was chuckling as I read it. I will include some quotes because they are too entertaining not to be noted.

Thus it began, "The story of the desert has been told and retold for centuries."

He noted that the mule drivers, 20-mule teams and the borax wagons were gone, the prospector and his mule are history, and "but for these men, Mojave would be gone as well."

But he added, "It's time to stop cussing and start discussing the future." The writer noted that two railroads with miles of space for spur tracks and warehousing were there, and major highways with "more on the drafting boards" were on the way.

"Your desert and nearby mountains are loaded with minerals and metals." There was "no smog-no fog" and health and opportunities waited for those who were there, or chose to move there.

There were thousands of acres of land and year round working conditions that were not found elsewhere, Wonders added.

He mentioned that the new Mojave Desert News building was almost completed and its new press would soon be ready to roll. "Your story will be told as only newsmen can tell - efficiently and expertly."

Then new sub-divisions, shopping centers, light and heavy industry, chemical and assembly plants, transcontinental air freight terminals and local freight terminals would soon be coming.

New schools, churches, hospitals, hotels, motels, shops, cafes, payrolls, and more people traveling meant more money spent in the area.

Wow, quite a mouthful and quite a dream.

The picture Wonders painted represented "the confidence we of Wonder Acres have in the future of the desert." He added that investors included people from all over the United States, Norway and Switzerland.

The owners put down an 805 foot well with 400 feet of six inch pipe, and a Peerless pump which was producing 600 gallons per minute. A new trailer court was under construction then and is still operating today.

Espousing his confidence in the area he concluded, "Look for this sign posted in the not too distant future – Mojave - Elevation 2,750 – Population – 25,000!"

If you add up the population of Wonder Acres, Mojave, and California City you might get a population of 25,000, but you can't fault the guy for his dreams!

And the areas continue to grow.