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Desert Queen Ranch and the Keys Family

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Join Laureen Lentz for an exploration of the history of the Desert Queen Ranch. In the high desert country that was to become Joshua Tree National Park, rugged individuals tried their luck at cattle ranching, mining, and homesteading. William F. Keys and his family are particularly representative of the hard work and ingenuity it took to settle and prosper in the Mojave Desert. This class will explore the colorful story of the 60 years Bill and Frances spent working together to make a life and raise their five children in this remote location. The ranch house, school house, store, and workshop still stand; the orchard has been replanted; and the grounds are full of the cars, trucks, mining equipment, and spare parts that are a part of the Desert Queen Ranch story. In addition to the history of this National Historic Register Site, class participants will have an afternoon photographic opportunity with photography instructor, Jim Smart, to capture the images of the Desert Queen Ranch. Participants are encouraged to bring a tripod with their camera(s), which are not allowed on normal tours of the ranch.

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