Treasures of Corn Springs Ca.
The history of Corn Springs goes back thousands of years, back to the first native inhabitants of the area. As you enter the canyon you will be greeted with rocks and boulders covered with Native petroglyphs that possibly go back thousands of years. Many of the petroglyphs are in what is called entopic forms, which means they were most likely made by a Shaman during his many vision quests. Others show more of a Grapevine style and indicate a Yuman influence ( according to petroglyphs.us ). If you decide to stay awhile and explore the canyons, you will notice that the petroglyphs are spread out through the whole canyon and they are exquisite. As you continue into the canyon you will see the remnants of a once beautiful oasis, but there is a bit of controversy concerning how the oasis came into being. A man named Tyler Bennett stated that sometime around 1907 he planted two fig trees in the canyon, but others feel that the oasis has been there much longer. In 1921 there 57 trees, but a fire swept through later and damaged most of them. The trees did manage to survive and by 1945 there were over eighty.
One of the true treasures of this wonderful place was a man named August “Gus” Lederer, otherwise known as the ” Mayor of Corn Springs “. Gus was born in Idaho in 1868 and was only about five foot six and weighed roughly one hundred and twenty pounds. With only a couple of years of what we would call a formal education, Gus was admitted to the Colorado School of Mines. But he did not stay long enough to graduate. Gus’ love was for the eighteen burro’s that he called family. He would always make sure they were corralled at night, for safety. And every morning, the burro’s would line up at his backdoor for their morning pancake and Gus would make sure each and everyone of them were fed. A part time prospector and a great conversationalist, Gus could discuss anything from desert wildlife, city people, politics and even had a take on the Pegleg mine. But unfortunately Gus died in December of 1932 from a black widow bite, seems the spider bite him on the back of his neck and by the time he was able to get help, it was too late. Gus was one of those early desert inhabitants that gave some sort of life to what most people called a desolate area. Important well educated people, while exploring the desert, sought him ought and others simply stopped by and were glad they did. Gus, petroglyphs and a desert oasis make visiting Corn Springs a great daytrip for the whole family…
Directions from Desert Center: Head East on the I-10 about 8 miles, Exit Corn Springs Rd, Follow road to Corn Springs sign and turn right. Follow road until you see the oasis, petroglyphs are on the right and Gus’s cabin is straight ahead. NEVER drive in the desert unprepared!!!! make sure you have plenty of supplies and water and for safety ALWAYS travel in pairs or groups… FAIR WARNING!!!