“Homestead is where the art is.”

November 29, 2008

Marine Base expansion proposal will affect homesteading areas

Filed under: Marine Base expansion — magicgroove @ 9:29 am

Do you live near the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC)?  Then you may be affected by the Base’s new expansion plans launched in 2008.

Because so much homesteading occurred in the areas west and south of MCAGCC, the homestead communities will be impacted by proposed Base expansion.  Those impacts could potentially include loss of homes or properties, noise, dust, safety hazards, loss of recreational access, airspace restrictions, and changes to local environmental and cultural resources.

The Base currently is studying for expansion areas to the west, south, and east of their present home territory.   The expansion could include as much as 424,000 acres; currently included in the study areas are 341,000 acres of public land and 75,780 acres of privately-owned land.

In a recent article in the Hi-Desert Star:

“Larry Johnston drove from Upland to [an October public information] meeting because he and his family own property on land in the Wonder Valley area that falls within the expansion proposal.  ‘I’m very concerned,’ said Johnston. 

“‘My dad homesteaded five acres up here probably 50 years ago.’  Now, he said, Johnston, his siblings and their cousins all own homesteads on adjoining properties there. ‘We’ve been coming up here since we were kids.’”

Concerned?  I’ve formed a Google Group/listserve for sharing information and discussion of the impacts of the Base expansion, particularly geared toward local residents and members of the legacy homesteading communities (such as Johnson Valley and Wonder Valley).  Find out more, including how you can participate and/or be on the listserve to receive updates on the Base expansion, here.  Learn more about the basics of the expansion proposal, such as what areas are affected, on Group Page here.  The official Marine Corps Land Acquisition Study (LAS) Website is here.

November 21, 2008

Grant awarded for homestead art/historical project

Filed under: Art, Events, History — magicgroove @ 9:39 am

Photographer Kim Stringfellow, who gave a presentation on her upcoming book, Jackrabbit Homestead, at the Homestead Cabin Festival opener last February, has received a grant from California Council of the Humanities as part of their California Stories Initiative.

JACKRABBIT HOMESTEAD is a forthcoming book and Web-based multimedia presentation featuring a downloadable car audio tour exploring the cultural legacy of the Small Tract Act in Southern California’s Morongo Basin region near Joshua Tree National Park. Stories from this underrepresented regional history will be told through the voices of local residents, historians, and area artists–many of whom reside in reclaimed historic cabins and use the structures as inspiration for their creative work.

The Web site will also feature a community-created geo-tagged map of the area’s cabins using the Google Maps API. The Web site is scheduled to launch in March 2009 at a public event hosted by the project’s sponsoring organization–the Twentynine Palms Historical Society Museum.

Kim’s book of photos and text, Jackrabbit Homestead: Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape, 1938-2008, is scheduled for publication in fall 2009 by the Center for American Places.

Learn more on Kim’s nifty Jackrabbit Homestead Website.

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