Tom White's first experience upon arriving at Lake Mohave Ranchos, what is Now-- Dolan Springs, AZ.
I arrived at the Miller Ranch
on Lake Mohave Ranchos on March 19, 1959, at 2:00 a.m. in the morning. The reason for the late-night or early-morning arrival was the lack of directions to locate the place. I drove past the Pierce Ferry Rd by 10 miles on U.S 93, then back to Kingman for better directions. There was not a light to be seen from the U.S. 93 Inspection Station to the Pierce Ferry Rd in those days.
The Pierce Ferry Rd intersection with U.S. 93 was unmarked on the highway & the road was nothing but a set of ranch road tracks. Even though the road went to Pierce Ferry, it was seldom graded & certainly not suitable for travel with a conventional auto beyond the Miller Ranch Headquarters, now the Tom White property.
Upon pulling into the yard, I fell over into the seat & caught a bit of sleep waiting for the light of day. Upon awakening, I immediately saw four small Indian children gazing into the pickup window. Asking for their father, I was taken next door to what is now the Geraldine Cobb home & a huge Indian introduced himself as Chief & said he was the cattle ranch manager & said he would show me around.
Chief first took me to what he said was my home & even though the house is no longer identifiable. The original house is in the center of our home. The exterior of the house was very old & dry redwood siding and looked like a very small army barracks, no porches, and at the front door was a horse tie rail and a saddle rack. The interior was plank floors, Celotex walls with wine stains, and holes. In the center of the front room was a 1/2 barrel on rocks with a hole knocked through the ceiling to draw the smoke, the sole heat in the house. The kitchen had a kerosene cook stove, and hanging in the middle of the kitchen were three deer carcasses that Chief used to feed his dogs from. No electricity, only generator. I immediately drove to Kingman and purchased cleaning supplies and equipment and attempted to clean the 3 top layers so that I could bring my wife and family one week later. At the same time, I tried to clean out the house just south of ours, setting where our private garage now sits, to use as an office and real estate greeting place.
My wife, being a brave and aggressive person, dove in and helped upon my arrival with my family. I had expected a problem with her as our employers had told us it was not much of a house, yet it was the home of Mr. John Miller, a seven times millionaire. One's thoughts tend to run, a bit rundown perhaps, yet a fine old house. This, I am afraid, was one of many surprises. Now that we had moved in, and for many months to come, made do with what we had, my next act was to contact the Baptist Reverend Nichols of Kingman, as he was also a junk dealer and ask if he would remove the junk from the yard and immediate grounds. Mr. Nichols removed six semi (truck) loads of scrap from the house to where the corner of Pierce Ferry Rd and Tapadero is now located. As we were told, we only had a couple of weeks to make the place presentable before land purchasers started coming, we, my wife, & two older children worked all daylight hours. We cleaned, installed horseshoe pit, made & hung office signs & did what painting we could get done. I have spent so many words on the houses & grounds; it must be understood that the community of Dolan Springs & subdivision action began at this location on March 19, 1959.
From 30 ft. To the rear of our house & stretching 100 feet west of where the club pool now stands, was an alfalfa field, at the south edge of the field was a 1/2-acre fruit orchard with very old trees. This area was irrigated from a dirt tank of someone acre in size & was located 100 feet east of the metal barns still in place and stretched east to Stirrup Circle, area now filled in & mobile homes set up. Water for the tank was piped from Dolan Springs, South of the school in the mid-1940's I think I should add a couple of things before going on. The two old houses still here, even though many changes, were moved here at the end of World War Il from the foundations still visible from the South of Inglewood Rd & 5th St. Mr. Miller moved them because of the shortage of water from Indian Springs. As this area was the ranch headquarters, there was a very large set of corrals and scales located from where the T& F office is and going west to the Ranch Club swim location. There also were very large cattle holding pen in the area & the dirt Pierce Ferry Rd went through it with a cattle guard at each end. In the fall of1959 and again in the Spring of 1960, we allowed Senator Jim Smith to hold 2,000 to 3,000 steers overnight & then trail pitch camp as they were trailing the steers through to the railhead in Kingman, (a page from the old West.)
Copyright Dolan Springs Community Council. All rights reserved.
Below are the transcribed writings of Tom White after he first arrived to LMR
Mr. Tom White's hand writings were not the easiest to read, it took the Patience of Julia Rumbles and Laura Lantz to decipher his writings, The DSCC wants to thank them for their help. Toms original writings are linked below.