Desert Peoples / Homesteaders

Desert Queen Ranch garden

(Desert Queen Ranch Schoolhouse drawing)

ca. 1935 — 1942

Willis Keys was eight when his parents decided he and his siblings needed more education than Mrs. Keys could provide. Oran Booth, local miner and family friend with experience as a junior highschool teacher, gave half-day lessons in the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic for several months before the school district designated the Desert Queen as an official school for the area children. Classes were taught in the one room schoolhouse Mr. Keys built out of recycled building materials sometime around 1935.

Watercolor on paper. H 15, W 22.6 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 11901