A peculiar piece of desert the story of California's Morongo Basin by Lulu Rasmussen O'Neal. Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1957. 20.3x13 cm (octavo), pp. [i-vi] vii [viii] ix [x] [11-12] 13-208, illustrations, endpaper maps, original pictorial burgundy cloth, front panel stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition. A desert classic. "The value of a desert book is largely determined -- first, by the importance that attaches to its subject matter; second, by the scope and significance of the source material it includes. A Peculiar Piece of Desert is our one definitive treatise on the increasingly popular High Desert country embracing the area in -- and adjacent to -- the Morongo and Yucca Valleys, Twentynine Palms, and the Joshua Tree National Monument. The material in this item is intelligently assembled, carefully documented, and entertainingly presented. Moreover, in the reading of it, there can intrude not the slightest doubt of its authenticity. Mrs. O'Neal has done for the High Desert country precisely what Spears did for Death Valley, what James and Chase accomplished for the Colorado Desert, what Mrs. Wynn succeeded in doing for the Randsburg District and a portion of the Mojave. The extent of her research is prodigious. She goes back twenty-five thousand years in her relation of the area's development, brilliantly depicting the part the Indians played in this desert's fascinating history; she supplies a minute and detailed description of the individual communities and points of interest -- Morongo, Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, the Dale mines, the Monument -- even including the more important side trips from its central areas. Coupled with all this pertinent data, the book presents a scholarly discussion of the desert's geological features, its flora, fauna, and related subjects. Because of its content and extremely small number of copies printed, this book -- long out of print -- is much sought after." - Edwards, The Enduring Desert, p. 186. A fine copy in nearly fine dust jacket (priced $7.50 on the front flap) with some rubbing to the black background ink. (#166114).
"A Limited Westernlore Edition / 450 Copies" on half title page.