Oh the back log of adventures...lol Let me start it this way, as I have mentioned here before we love Craftsman homes. One of the distinctive features of Craftmans is the tapered columns on the front of the house. Some of these are made of rock, some wood, some are just thick timbers and are not tapered at all. This all brings me to these pillars out in the middle of the desert along the California Highway 138.
I have passed these ruins for years and always thought what a cool house this must have once been. I found out recently that this was really once a Hotel.
I found a website not long ago called Ghosttown.com, it focuses on anything that was once a mining town, logging camp, or railroad stop. The site is fun to go through. You can click on the state you live in and find a ghost town near you and maybe even go see it. I have found some awesome places to go for an adventure because of this site, and this site it set me straight about this hotel shown above.
What I was really surprised to find out that this was actually part of an real and true socialist commune. Back in 1913 a very nice socialist named Job Harriman, one time socialist vice presidential candidate and two time candidate for L.A. Mayor, after failing his last election, he wanted to try his socialist idea on a smaller scale. Harriman and some like minded investors purchased about 2000 acres of land in the Antelope Valley east of Palmdale Ca.
They called it Llano Del Rio. Here they bought this land and the water rights and started a socialist colony, building the hotel and a meeting house and a water tank as a start. This was suppose to be some sort of Utopian Socialist Colony, it was set up as a corporation and stocks were sold to people that wanted to participate. It looks like is lasted for about 3 years but internal strife and some water problems cause them to pull up stakes and move to Louisiana.
and that new town, struggled until around 1930. The ruins are as fascinating as the story I read about this commune and it's founder. Socialism has failed every time it has been tried. To bad people can't see it with history like this in front of them.
My son and I rolled around the site for a bit and I got some pics.
Here is another angle on the hotel that stands next to the highway.
I'm only guessing that this is the meeting house.
I just can't see any Utopia around this site. From what I have read most of the residence live in a tent city. Although this is basically a desert this place sits in it still snows here.
Brrr it must have been cold in Utopia. One quote though did say they held nice dances here during it's short time.
I talked to my son to see if he knew what socialism was, he gave me some teenager sigh and said "kind of". The tone told me he wouldn't listen so I just asked him questions instead. They don't teach about this stuff anymore. I wish they would. I think some of the troubles we are having now in this country are because some people in power are swinging back around to semi-socialistic ideals. Our youth will never know what hit them.