The following information was given by Ike Harris, a maintenance man for the Southern Pacific at the Ben Hulse Highway crossing. 

“Glamis was a railhead for the Palo Verde area prior to 1910, and in 1910 the Santa Fe built a branch line from Glamis to Blythe and that eliminated Glamis from being a railhead.  When the irrigation district of Palo Verde was first set up back at the turn of the century, all of the lumber that was needed for the irrigation checks and everything used was brought through Glamis.  From here it was hauled by wagon and mule freight into Palo Verde.  Also, I might mention that I have read in this RIVER MAN, DESERT MAN that they used to dump lumber off the Santa Fe Bridge at Topah and float it down river, but they always had such a hard time catching that lumber and bringing it to shore that they discontinued it.  The Palo Verde Valley was being developed about the same time the Imperial Valley was—about the turn of the century.”
Ike Harris referring to Glamis as a railhead back in the early 1900’s. 
(The book RIVER MAN, DESERT MAN was written by Camille Dickens and can be located in the Yuma Library.)


Here’s a letter written in 1979 and received by Ike Harris.  The letter starts without prelude:
“I have a strange request for someone in Glamis.  In 1911, the last of September or October, I and my mother came to Glamis from Colton.  We had to wait for the train from the East to bring the wife and family of my dad’s friend who was living near Palo Verde.  A Mr. Randalls (who is long dead).  Since the train was late and by the time the wagon was loaded it made our arrival at Wiley’s Well (I think) quite late.  So by the time we settled for the night it was quite dark.  The stars were so bright as we kids went to sleep.  I don’t know when, but the heavens burst during the night and we never so soaked and all we could do was to steam in the wet bed.  That man who drove us slept under the wagon and was the only dry thing there.  Somehow we got a fire, got something to eat and steamed out.  Then on the road we had to walk most of the way to Palo Verde as the load of wet things in the wagon almost too heavy for the horses to pu ll.  All the way from Glamis to our home it rained heavily.  Does Glamis have any record of that time?  When I heard on national television that Glamis had a raging rain the other day I decided to write.  I am now 80 and active.”
Marguerite Barnes
Brea, California
(The storm Marguerite Barnes refers to was the late rain Glamis got in August, 1979, which caused tracks to washout and a Southern Pacific derailment).


The following is from Ike Harris, giving information about the Pay Master Mine.

“Now I’ll tell you about the old Pay Master Mine.  Some of the old timers in this area say this was a pretty good mine, both for silver and gold, and as I understand its history, both during and after the Civil War there was a lot of European money in the United States invested in different mines in the West.  This was an English concern that had money invested in the Pay Master Mine, and they mined this ore and had it transported to the mouth of the Colorado where all freight and ore went, transported it on an old steamer that went up and down the river to Yuma and clear down to the Gulf where it was shipped to England for processing.  And I understand there were other mines where they did the same thing in the long ago, even in the Cargo Muchachas (the Cargo Muchachas Mountains are located East of the Sand dunes).  You know how that mine was named, don’t you?  Well, the Spanish when they mined this area back in the 1700’s practically enslaved the Indians, and the children.  All the Spanish miners could do was get the gold from ore they could see.  Well, they didn’t want to remove any more ore than was necessary so they got the children to follow just where it was.  Children just big enough to creep and they’d follow a vein and take little cargoes, which were little satchels, and they’d go in there and get the gold.  They’d get satchels full and pull them back out.  That was about when the Spanish were in this country and they were seeking the ‘Seven Cities of Cibola’.  Well, they knew that there was gold in these mountains; they mined gold here.  But in those days they had to mine with the method they knew.  Since then other methods have been developed.  That’s what developed the Tumco mine.  Since that day they have developed the cynide process and since that time they have been able to come back and redo all the old ore and extract gold from what they had thrown away in the earlier day.  In other words, they would pound it, put it through a cynide process and were able to extract the gold the Spanish couldn’t get.  There’s been a lot of that in the Cargo Muchachas.”



“We had lunch just off Osborne Park Road and watched and listened to the people on vacation, members of families riding sand buggies, ATC’s, and two and three-wheel cycles of all description.  So many people having fun.  Sand hills in every direction—no boundary lines to fence a body in or out!  The only visible ‘boundary’ was the horizon.  What vastness!  What freedom of spirit one felt!  With the sky as a canopy, the sand dunes seemed to flow into one dream-like world.  Just sand and beauty.”
Mary Ben Kerkhoff, 1980


“What a difference this is from the quiet country store we used to run!” Carol said, looking around her.  “We used to bring back yardage for mothers of school students who sewed, or prescriptions for a minor who couldn’t get into town, as well as buy for the store.  The entire community lived a slower pace; people had time to visit, and time to listen to what was being said.” 
Carol Hales Allen, 1980

“In a way we feel protective and possessive of the desert, and these characters come and just take everything for firewood.  When they do that you resent them.  Of course, there are some good and some bad.  But we resent them destroying things, just taking them apart apart in the territory where they’ve been part of the scenery for so long.  Not too long ago we had an old square pole in the back here.  One day I just happened to be home alone when a dune buggy drove in and by the time I got outside, there was someone up that pole removing insulators.  Right here in our yard!  It had been here the twenty-two years we’ve lived here…”
Charlotte Harris, 1980

Ik (Dwight) Harris continued…
“That particular pole was an old Western Union pole.  The line went through here when the railroad was built in 1877.  Then it was rebuilt about 1910 with different types of poles because they increased their number of wires.  But the old square poles have completely disappeared, they no longer exist.  The original line went through when the railroad went through in 1876-1877.  Now there is an old Ft. Yuma line that went from San Diego to Ft. Yuma—that was the way as I read it from material from the Fort, or out of Territorial Prison.  I think that was right after the Civil War, in the 1860’s.  When the Civil War came along, the government thought they should have better communications to the coast and forts there.  They thought the confederates might come up from the south.” 


“My mother couldn’t believe it when she saw the place (Glamis).  For a long time I had to convince her, she couldn’t believe that we were really happy down here.  But I don’t know.  Everything seemed really all together down here.  Everyone pulled together in the community.  They al showed up for an election, plus every one was so nice.  Well, I think we just fell in love with the people.”
Charlotte Harris, making statements on how she felt when first arriving in the town of Glamis in 1946.

“You speak of duners coming out.  A lot of them used to come when it was BILL’S STORE—the GLAMIS BAR now—a lot of them liked the quaint old-time atmosphere.  That’s what a lot of them come down here for and they enjoyed it that way.  But now there is that element that’s beer-minded.  You can tell—hard-eyed kids.  98% of them are real nice people, family people, but there’s always that 2% you know.  We have quite a bit of vandalism on the railroad, but it’s that 2%.”
Ike Harris, referring to the duners that come to the dunes—1980.


Town of Glamis
“Miners came from their claims for supplies, some were just ‘camping out’ and there were probably three hundred people living in tents and half-heartedly prospecting for gold during the depression years.  They had no place else to go and they’d find enough gold to buy a quarter’s worth of beans from time to time.”
Ike Harris, 1980