Society of the Old West

From early westward expansion through the early 20th Century.

The massive Blue Cut fire in Cajon Pass, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, California, has scorched at least 37,000 acres and and destroyed 105 homes and 213 out buildings, so far. The fire started Tuesday morning August 16th and quickly grew to over 18,000 acres in less than 24 hours.

Sometime on Thursday it reduced to ashes a cabin that was often used by Virgil Earp while he hunted Deer in the 1880s with his friend Almon Clyde. In 1863 Almon Clyde purchased the 160 acre homestead from George Swarthout for $200 in gold and 8 head of cattle. Virgil would assist Clyde in cutting and baling hay while visiting the ranch and at one point loaned him his Hay Baler which he brought up the pass from Colton where he was serving as the town Constable. The only remains now are building rubble and the lone chimney.

The Ranch and Virgil's Hay Baler are still in the Clyde family today. In 1910 the Clyde's planted a 70 acre Apple Orchard on the property. On Thrusday August 18th not only was the Earp Cabin destroyed but also the apple orchard as well as the barn housing vintage vehicles and the Earp hay baler.Robert Clyde often talked of making the Earp Cabin into a small museum. But over the years time slipped away and more important issues and tasks took priority. Thankfully the current Clyde family home was saved by firefighters.  

We've lost another part of history that we could visit and "walk where they walked." Now in this regard we only have the written historical record  and what has been passed down in stories through the generations. Incidentally; Blue Cut derives it's name from the seemingly blue colored rock that has been compressed where the North American plate meets the Pacific plate along the San Andreas Fault in Cajon Pass. 

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Comment by dirtrider on August 21, 2016 at 7:08am

Sad that we have lost another landmark.  These fires have done so much damage.  Many losing homes and dreams.  I did not know of this Earp Cabin.  Thanks for posting.

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