Newsletters

Snow and Slow

Snow and Slow

In last week’s newsletter, we published excerpts from Hearst Newspapers syndicated columnist Louis Sobol’s “New York Cavalcade” column, which was primarily devoted to Broadway show business news and gossip but also included communications he had with Cabot Yerxa on life in the desert. The following comes from Sobol’s “American Cavacade,” published in the February 13, 1939, edition of San Francisco ...

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Starting Lines

Starting Lines

Although Cabot Yerxa wed his second wife on August 8, 1945, the occasion was announced nationally in the January 2, 1946, edition of New York Journal-American. For two or three years, Cabot wrote a monthly letter to Hearst Newspapers columnist Louis Sobol about life in the desert. Sobol often used them in his “New York Cavalcade” column, which otherwise was ...

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No Place Like Nome

No Place Like Nome

Last week’s excerpts from the museum foundation’s new publication — 1900 Gold Rush to Nome, Alaska: Cabot Yerxa’s Coming of Age Memoir — established Cabot Yerxa’s experience with winter in Alaska. This week, we look at how the desert pioneer called upon his entrepreneurial spirit to make money in a frontier filled with “bad men and desperados,” as well as ...

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Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Now that we have officially entered winter, it seems apropos to relate Cabot Yerxa’s 1900-1901 experience of wintering in Nome, Alaska. As you read the excerpts below, you should feel quite content to be in the Southern California desert where even the shortest days of the year bring us light and warmth. Nome was unbelievably cold during stormy weather. The ...

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Merry Hearted

Merry Hearted

While walking to Morongo one day, Cabot Yerxa came upon a man leading a small black burro. The man had purchased the animal specifically to carry his belongings to the railroad. Judging the burro to be intelligent, Cabot spent $10 to buy it for help on his homestead after the man completed his trek. He named the burro Merry Xmas ...

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A Weighty Problem

A Weighty Problem

Featuring burros in this month’s newsletters, we turn to an amusing story Cabot Yerxa told that begins with Orr Sang, a fellow homesteader. The retired policeman from Los Angeles not only had the desert’s first bathtub, but also a burro carriage with a fringed canopy and one cushioned seat. His two burros were Molly (“white, strong, and willing”) and Fanny ...

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Tales of Tails and Trails

Tales of Tails and Trails

Now that December is upon us, it seems like a good time to pay tribute to Merry Xmas: Cabot Yerxa’s first burro. This month, we’ll present Cabot’s story of how he acquired the animal that became his companion and confidante. But first let’s establish how burros, including Merry Xmas, fared in the desert. The following comes from the museum’s book ...

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The More Important Things

The More Important Things

Most of Cabot Yerxa’s writings comprise his recountings in journals, letters, and newspaper articles about his life and the lives of people he encountered. But a person with his flair for narrative and observation surely needed another creative outlet of expression. And so it was that he dabbled in creative writing: poetry, short story, play. The text below, which comes ...

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Saving the Legacy: Cole Henry Eyraud

Saving the Legacy: Cole Henry Eyraud

By the time of his death on March 5, 1965, Cabot Yerxa had hand-built a 35-room pueblo with 150 windows, 65 doors, and 30 rooflines. As noted in last week’s newsletter, Portia Yerxa helped her husband operate the pueblo as a museum offering tours and a trading post. When her health failed and she entered a nursing home, the property ...

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A Woman of Spirit: Portia Fearis Graham Yerxa

A Woman of Spirit: Portia Fearis Graham Yerxa

After his first marriage ended in divorce, Cabot remained on his own for some 20-plus years before wedding again at the age of 62. The following profile of his second wife, Portia, comes from Cabot Yerxa’s Family Circle. That book, published by Cabot’s Museum Foundation, contains a more in-depth reconstruction of Portia’s life based on research by the foundation’s history ...

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