i was there

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Posted by sas on April 20, 2002 at 08:04:11:

In Reply to: Re: WHAT? posted by Desert Bug on April 19, 2002 at 20:23:45:

i lived at wildrose station in 69 when the mansons were busted. wildrose station was nestled in wildrose canyon just 3 miles inside the "monument". it was an old historic stage stop. after years of being a privately owned business (structures only- not the land), the NPS refused to sign another 6 year lease to my parents and bought them out. they then tore down all the buildings (resteurant, gift shop, gas sta/pumps, 4 cabins, restrooms etc.

we took several trips up goler (before it has been made into a freeway) and checked in on the barker and meyer ranch. these ranches were owned by jim and kirk barker and the meyers family. the meyers used to own wildrose station.

jim and kirk barker also owned the indian ranch in panamint valley about 10 miles north of ballarat. they owned a plateing company in southern cal. they built a huge house at the indian ranch where they had a 50 year lease on the land from the shoshone indians.

we knew jim and kirk well. i went to visit kirk one day on my yamaha 60 from wildrose during a lull in the customers. kirk showed me a beachboy gols album on the wall. brian wilson had contacted her and offered this record as a gift and in return he asked if he could live at the barker ranch in the seclusion and write music. this was charlies connection to the barker ranch. wilson and manson knew each other through drugs and music.

manson and his group were raising hell in panamint and death valleys. stolen cars, burning NPS road equiptment and scaring tourists in ballarat all led to their arrest- not connected to the tate/labianca murders at the original arrest.

jim purcell(highway patrol) sat at our restaurant and told us all the details of the manson bust that day in 69.

my dad and i took the jeep and headed up there to check out the remains. the bus was there with clothes strewn all over. i shot out the tires and windows as a kid thing. we checked out their dugouts in the side of the hill where they would hide when a vehicle was heard coming up the canyon.

yeah it was a strange period in history of death valley :)

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