Desert Peoples / New Industries

Joe Pachecco and family in front of the Old Adobe

(Joe Pachecco and family in front of the "Old Adobe")

1915 – 1916

Most of the cowboys and miners who came to the Southern California desert were of European descent. Some of the men from the park’s associated Native American communities adapted to the new economy and lifeways by working as cowboys or as farm workers in order to support their families.

Indigenous men began working for local ranching operations, even as native communities faced racism and were forced off their traditional land by Euro-American settlers and ranchers. Joe Pachecco, a Chemehuevi, worked for a time for the C.O. Barker Cattle Company out of the company's Twentynine Palms/Oasis of Mara (Maara’) area headquarters - his wife's former childhood home. He and his wife, Annie Mike, built a house and fenced their pasture and garden to protect them from the cattle that watered at the oasis. The building that served as their house was torn down before the property was donated to the National Park Service.

Courtesy of the Van Lahr Collection
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 20575, image #1648