10 Men in Jeep Pioneer Desert-Mountain Short Cut

July 25, 1947 - The Grizzly
ROUGH RIDE”RS” FROM DESERT … Ten men and a couple of pal dogs blaze a new trail from Pioneertown in desert to Big Bear valley in a 1947 Willy’s jeep. Dick Curtis, president of the Pioneertown Corp., at the wheel. On his right andd a little to the rear is W.H. Schmidt, mountain guide, and in the seat (right side) is Leonard Wyckoff, chief engineer of the Pioneertown project. Immediately behind Curtis with black hat is Joe La Borde, editor of Pioneertown Gazette. Others in the party are N.R. Watson, Cam West, Dick Wet, Walter Giles, Cliff Downing (stage coach operator,) Richard Brown and “Cappie West,” white dog, and “Buddy,” black dog.

Pioneering the shortest possible land route between the new and thriving desert town of Pioneertown and Big Bear Lake, 10 men, 2 dogs and a Willys 1947 jeep make a “short-cut” record Friday that may have far reaching consequences.

Under the leadership of Dick Curtis, president of Pioneertown corp., Leonard Wyckoff, chief engineer: W.H Schmidt, guide: N.R. Watson, Joe La Borde, editor of Pioneertown Gazette, Cam and Dick West, Walter Giles, Cliff Dowing, stage coach operator, and Richard Brown, a route was selected that carried the rugged party up Burns canyon to Rattlesnake canyon, thence along the ridge between the old Rattlesnake road and tungsten mine. Coming out at the Round valley road they passed the Rose mine and up to highway 18 and into Big Bear Lake.

Curtis reports that although there were spots where only 10 men and a jeep could make it, his engineers believe that from the viewpoint of road construction the route offers little difficulty.

Total distance between Pioneertown and The Grizzly office where the party “Checked in” is 27 miles, through a country said to be scenically comparable with that of any of the best known western highways, whose beauty is the talk of the tourist.

Reducing the distance between tha valley and this point on the desert by 40 miles, the party expects to start plans with whatever procedure is necessary to call the public’s atention to this potential “cut-off” and the many advantages in such a roadway.

Reports from Pioneertown indicate that the new desert enterprise is making headway rapidly. Twelve store buildings have been completed within the last few weeks, and many more stores and resident structures are in process.

A six lane bowling alley and a shooting gallery are the more recent business installations. The motif of Pioneertown is early western_all architecture and building design conforms to that period.

Motion Pictures producers already have Pioneertown “pegged” as the right location for certain types of productions, according to Curtis.

July 25, 1947 - The Grizzly