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In one way or another all the information in our website can be attributed to any number of the websites, books, news and articles, historical societies, or history hunters found here. I’d like to make sure that credit is given to the myriad of resources and people that have helped enrich our understanding and facilitate our ability to share it with you. 

The Libary

Although we are always sad to leave, a part of the fun is discovering more about a site or region after we’ve visited. Most National, State, and Local Parks and Landmarks & Historical Sites have a visitor center. What trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit?

The internet is by far our greatest source of information –it helps cross check and validate information. Its very essence (that vastness of information) is also a detriment when trying to discover pointed and site/topic specific information. Lets face it, we cannot live on a wikipedia diet alone!

Park Rangers, Docents and Volunteers at those locations are a wealth of insight and the book section of those Visitor Centers are typically specific to that site/park –in other words, curated reading lists. 

Below is a list/summary of books that I picked up at these visitor centers through our many travels, and I highly recommend and encourage that you do too. Many of these are specific to an area/region and therefore immeasurably helpful resources.

Each of the books listed below are available for purchase through Amazon in either hard copy or Kindle versions. Click on the link and away you go! Your experience should not start and stop upon visiting and later exiting the site. Enjoy the insight and perspectives provided by these authors.


Adobe Days: Being the Truthful Narrative of the Events in the Life of a California Girl on a Sheep Ranch and in El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles While it was Yet a Small and Humble Town by Sarah Bixby Smith

Bandido: The Life and Times of Tiburcio Vasquez by John Boessenecker

Beyond Chinatown: The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California by Steven P. Erie, Harold David Brackman

Bob Eichbaum’s Resort and his Toll Road to Death Valley by Mary DeDecker

California: A History by Kevin Starr

Catalina Island by Jeannine L. Pedersen, Catalina Island Museum

Chronicles of Old Los Angeles: Exploring the Devilish History of the City of the Angels by James Roman

City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (New Edition) by Mike Davis

Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife: Tales of Santa Cruz Island by Margaret Holden Eaton, Vera E Amey

El Molino Viejo by Robert Glass Cleland

History of the Sierra Nevada by Francis P. Farquhar

Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America by Theodora Kroeber, Karl Kroeber

Island of the Cowboys (Santa Rosa Island) by Kerry Blankenship Allen

L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City by John Buntin

Land in California: The Story of Mission Lands, Ranchos, Squatters, Mining Claims, Railroad Grants, Land Scrip, Homesteads by William Wilcox Robinson

Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535–1846 by Rose Marie Beebe, Robert M Senkewicz

Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies by Reyner Banham

Los Angeles in Civil War Days, 1860-1865 by John W. Robinson

Lost and Found: Historic and Natural Landmarks of the San Gabriel Valley by Elizabeth Pomeroy

Our Hills and Valleys: A History of the Helix-Spring Valley Region by Thomas Joseph Adema

Rancho Guajome: An Architectural Legacy Preserved by Iris H. W. Engstrand, Mary F. Ward

Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson

San Miguel Island: My Childhood Memoir, 1930-1942 by Betsy Lester Robert

Rancho Los Cerritos: A Southern California Legacy Preserved by Iris H. W. Engstrand

Southern California: An Island on the Land by Carey McWilliams

The Story of Bodie by Ella M. Cain

The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California (Enterprise) by Richard Rayner

The History of La Canada Flintridge by Don Mazen

Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative by Richard Henry Dana

The Anza Trail and the Settling of California by Vladimir Guerrero

California Geology & Natural History

Assembling California by John McPhee

Sierra East: Edge of the Great Basin by Genny Smith

The Yosemite by John Muir

Biographies & Auto-Biographies

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned by John A. Farrell

Frank Lloyd Wright by Meryle Secrest

Juan Bautista de Anza: The King’s Governor in New Mexico by Carlos R. Herrera

Julia Morgan, Architect, and the Creation of the Asilomar Conference Grounds: Including a Comparison with Hearst Castle by Russell L. Quacchia

My Life East and West by William Hart

Pio Pico: The Last Governor of Mexican California by Carlos Manuel Salomon

The Big Bankroll: The Life and Times of Arnold Rothstein by Leo Katcher

The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst by David Nasaw

Villa and Zapata: A History of the Mexican Revolution by Frank McLynn

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson

The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla: With Special Reference to His Work in Polyphase

Currents and High Potential Lighting by Thomas Commerford Martin

United States History

Creating the National Park Service (The Missing Years)

De León, a Tejano Family History by Ana Carolina Castillo Crimm

Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion by Robert Morgan

Sons of the Profits by William Speidel

Texas: A Compact History by Archie P. McDonald

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Edited by Bernard DeVoto. Maps by Erwin Raisz. [Abridged.] by Meriwether

Lewis, William Clark, Bernard De Voto

The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas L. Dyja

Three Roads to the Alamo: The Lives and Fortunes of David Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barret Travis by William C. Davis

Yuma Crossing by Douglas DeVeny Martin

General History

1421: The Year China Discovered America by Gavin Menzies

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

History & Sociology

A Route 66 Companion by David King Dunaway

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition by Jared Diamond

Cod: A Biography Of The Fish That Changed The World by Mark Kurlansky

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

The Citizen’s Constitution: An Annotated Guide by Seth Lipsky

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum

Articles and References

Below is a collection of news and articles we’ve come across in reference to the multitude of historically designated, and otherwise, sites/location around California.

Los Angeles County

Banning Park (#147)
Old Mill (#302)
Bodie (#341)
E.J. Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage (#367)
Mentryville (#516.2)
Cecile B. Demille Film Studio (#554)
The Cascades (#653)
San Fernando Cemetery (#753)
S.S. Catalina (#894) 
St. Francis Damn Disaster (#919) 
Site of Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony (#933)
Old Trapper’s Lodge (#939)
Reform School for Juvenile Offenders (Fred C. Nelles School) (#947)
Adamson House at Malibu Lagoon State Beach (#966)
Navy and Marie Corps Reserve Center (#972)
Frank Lloyd Wright Case Study Ennis House (#1011)

Orange County

Modjeska’s Home (#205)
Crystal Cover Historic District (#1050)

Sonoma County

Fort Ross

San Diego County

Santa Margarita Ranch House (#1026)

San Mateo County

Union Cemetery (#816)

Santa Clara County

Winchester House (#868)

National Parks

Death Valley

Sites & Points of Interest

Center of the World

Other / Misc. Articles

11 Places You Have to See in the California Desert
A Guide to Earthquake Tourism Along the San Andreas Fault
A Walk Along Long Beach’s Gaudy, Tawdry, Bawdy Pike
Inventing LA” The Chandlers and Their Times
Mistaken Maps
Protecting Old Growth Forests at Del Norte Coast Redwood State Park
The Oak Trees of Southern California
The Protected Petroglyphs of China Lake Naval Base

Magazines & Other Resources

Preservation Magazine from National Trust for Historic Preservation

Informational Resources

Much of the history and many of the places in California have additional designations -some national, some natural, and others with world renown. The fun in our journey is discovering, time and again, a place which serves a broader perspective, acknowledgement and dialogue. Below are sites and directories that provide the majority of the research throughout our website.

Atlas Obscura

California Missions

Historic Engineering Landmarks – American Society of Civil Engineers (ACSE)

KCET History & Society

Library of Congress: Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Records, Historic American Landscape Survey

Los Angeles Conservancy

Official State of California Landmark Site

National Natural Landmarks

National Park Service

Register of Historic Places

Petroleum Production Pioneers – American Oil & Gas Historical Society (AOGHS)

The Living New Deal

UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Historical Societies
History Hunters

This fun loving motley crew has in one way or another inspired and stoked our want for more California History. The group runs the spectrum when it comes to careers, age, and even where in “the hunt” they currently stand. We thank each and everyone of them for the insight they’ve shared with us, the (often times) hysterical stories of “the hunt” and their passion.

Landmark Quest

California Historical Landmarks

Bill Beaver Project

California State Historical Landmarks

Landmark Adventures