The Royal Cactus Queen

The Royal Cactus Queen

by

Vincent Rosamond Rice

A Movie Idea For – The Wandering Star Film Company

Copyright 2021

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Roy, as his friends were want to call him, now that he talked some of them into getting into his 1941 Chevrolet, and barreling out into the Mojave Desert at a break-neck speed, that had Erl Stanly Gardener holding on the back of the driver seat, turning ashen white and giving Norbert Davis a look of utter disgust as he kept twirling his pistol – that he was sure would go off and put a bullet in the back of Dashiell Hammet’s head! Hammet and Royal Rosamond had sold the sailboat they bought, the proceeds going to fund Roy’s campaign to become a Socialist City Councilman of Ventura By The Sea. The four friends were on the campaign trail when Roy got a letter informing him his lost father had died in the town of Rosamond, and, he left him a gold mine that was next to the Cactus Queen Mine that recently struck paydirt. A little gold rush was on. In the minds of four authors, this was the Big Deal, the chance of a lifetime. Making money selling Pulp Fiction, was mind altering. Having Gold Fever, was a welcome relief.

“God damn it, Norbert! At least take your finger of the trigger!” Erle shouted.

“The Last Chance Mine is in Rosamond, California. Historically the site has been part of the Mojave-Rosamond Mining District. The Last Chance Mine is a underground mining operation. The Sonoran Desert of the Intermontane Plateaus characterize the geomorphology of the surrounding area.

Location: The Mojave-Rosamond district is in southeastern Kern County. The gold deposits are associated with the five prominent buttes south of the town of Mojave and west and north of the town of Rosamond.

History: Gold was discovered in the Yellow Rover vein on Standard Hill by George Bowers in 1894, and soon afterward other discoveries were made. Activity continued until about 1910 but waned over the next 20 years. The Cactus Queen mine was discovered in 1934, and from 1931 until 1941 mining was done in the district on a major scale. The mines were shut down during World War II, but there has been some activity since. The Tropico mine is now an historical museum and a popular tourist attraction. The district is estimated to have had a total gold and silver output valued at $23 million (period values).

Geology and Ore Deposits: The principal rocks are Tertiary rhyolite, rhyolite porphyry and quartz latite, which are underlain by Mesozoic quartz monzonite. All the ore deposits are associated with the five prominences (fig. 29), the most important of which, both in productivity and in the number of deposits, is Soledad Mountain. The ore occurs in epithermal fissure veins that occupy brecciated and sheared zones in the rhyolitic rocks. The ore contains finely divided gold, with appreciable amounts of silver minerals, including cerargyrite, argentite, and smaller amounts of proustite, pyrargyrite, and electrum. Pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, and chalcopyrite also are present. The ore shoots range from a few feet to 40 feet in thickness, and are up to 200 feet long. The veins have been developed to depths of 1000 feet. Milling ore usually averaged about ⅓ ounce of gold per ton, but some rich ore shoots were worked in the earlier mining operations.

Mines: Burton-Brite-Blank, Cactus, Cactus Queen ($5 million +), Double Eagle, Crescent, Elephant ($200,000 to $400,000), Excelsior, Golden Queen (includes Echo and Gray Edge, Queen Ester and Silver Queen) ($10 million +), Middle Butte ($150,000 +), Milwaukee, Pride of Mojave, Quien Sabe, Standard group (Desert Queen, Exposed Treasure and Yellow Rover) ($3.5 million), Tropico (114,000 ounces), Wegman group (Eureka, Karma and Monarch) ($100,000 +), Western, Whitmore, Winkler, Yellow Dog (5,800 + ounces).

Mojave-Rosamond Mining District (Mojave Mining District), Kern Co., California, USA (mindat.org)

“Thar’s Gold in Tropico!” read the headline of the Jan. 30, 1960, Bakersfield Californian. No, this was not the start of another gold rush in Kern County but was the announcement of another year of amusement at the Tropico Gold Mine Camp.

Located five miles west of Rosamond, the “ghost town” encompassed 200 hillside acres and drew thousands of visitors each year from all over the world.

Before becoming one of Kern’s most popular tourist attractions, Tropico Gold Mine Camp’s history as a highly profitable mine stretches back to 1894 when Ezra Hamilton first discovered gold in what was a lucky accident. He owned a clay pit at the bottom of the hill for use in his Los Angeles Pottery Company when he came upon gold higher up the hill.

In 1909, the Tropico Mining and Milling Company took over operation and in 1924 brothers H. Clifford and Cecil Burton became the owners of the mine. After it became too expensive to continue operations, the mine was closed on May 4, 1956.

But soon Glenn and Doreen Settles, who was the daughter of H. Clifford Burton, saw an opportunity to preserve history and operate the only gold mine and mill open to the public in the state of California.

On Jan. 25, 1958, the Tropico Gold Camp became an instant success as visitors were transported back to the days of the old West. In addition to the original buildings left behind, the Settles, along with the East Kern-Antelope Valley Historical Society, added the schoolhouse from Old Palmdale, the Palmdale Southern Pacific depot, mining buildings from neighboring old mines, and old homes of pioneer residents, an old country store, fire house, post office and assay office, barber shop, blacksmith shop, a shed filled with old automobiles, and the main museum. To add to the authenticity, a “boot hill” cemetery was created. Guided tours took visitors into the main tunnel where they could see visible veins of gold.

Tropico’s most popular event that brought visitors from all over was the World’s Championship Gold Panning Contest. It was started in 1961 to commemorate the first discovery of gold in California by Francisco Lopez on March 9, 1842. This was the first documented discovery of gold in California — a full six years before James Marshall came upon the glittering specks of gold in the American River at Sutter’s Mill, which then sparked the more widely known California gold rush.

Each contestant was given a 10-inch gold pan filled with crushed gravel and eight small gold nuggets. The winner was determined by the quickest time uncovering the nuggets, free from all gravel. The first winner was Charles Deegan of Lancaster and in 1963, Mrs. Frankie Lowry of Cantil, who was the only woman to enter the contest, was named the new world’s champion gold panner.

In 1975 the Settles sold the Tropico Gold Mine Camp and within a few years it was permanently closed to the public. Now privately owned and surrounded by fences with no trespassing signs, one can still get a glimpse into Kern County’s mining past, but only from a distance.

Cactus Queen Mine And Mill Near Mojave, California | The Diggings™

Royal Rosamond Had An Accident

Posted on May 17, 2012 by Royal Rosamond Press

Two oilmen had an accident near Saint Louis Oklahoma. One of them was my grandfather, the plaintiff. Consider ‘Dallas’. On this road the story of the Rose of the World Artistic Dynasty, begins. It’s time we move off the railroad crossing, and go forward.

“Plaintiff, 63 years of age, engaged in buying and selling oil
and gas leases, was driving a 1941 Chevrolet automobile in a westerly
direction, and defendant, Robert Poole, 28 or 29 years of age, an
employee of defendant, Reed Roller Bit Company, was driving a 1952
Chevrolet automobile, owned by said defendant company, in an easterly
direction.”

Frank (Royal) Rosamond Has An Accident

(Images: Rosamond’s ‘The Crossing’. 1941 Chevrolet Coupe)

http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=26062

On the morning of May 31, 1953, my grandfather, Frank Rosamond, had a
head on collison. He was driving a 1941 Chevrolet. If it was a coupe,
then Frank could have been driving the same car my late sister posed
in for her painting ‘The Crossing’. Shortly after she completed this
foreboding work she asked me if I had seen it, she saying this is how
she dealt with Bill’s death. Bill was a fellow artist, my childhood
friend who got killed by a train after his car stalled on the
railroad tracks in Ogden Utah. He was eighteen. After Christine
Rosamond’s death, The Crossing was put in the window of the Rosamond
gallery in Carmel as if to suggest Fate had played a hand. If this is
the truth, then Fate has taken a real toll on the creative folk in my
family. Christine did not know her grandfather, or anything about his
accident – including what kind of car he owned!

Frank, a published writer, was making a living selling oil and gas
leases. Crippled due to this accident, he took a job selling
newspapers on a corner in Oklahoma City. I doubt he had insurance. I
believe he was at fault for my grandfather was a Dreamer and a Poet,
and it looks like he was looking at the beautiful scenery rolling by.

“plaintiff was driving his vehicle to the south of the center line of
the highway and was looking to the south ”

Bill’s son, Shane, was born seven months after his death. Shane will
never know his father. Frank was buried in a unmarked grave, never
knowing his grandchildren.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2007

“On the morning of May 31, 1953, plaintiff and defendants were
involved in a head on collision of their automobiles on Highway 59,
just immediately east of St. Louis, Oklahoma. The accident occurred
on a blacktop highway 22 feet in width. At the place of collision the
road was straight, though hilly, and was immediately opposite two
driveways, one leading from the highway north to a church, the other,
almost directly opposite leading from the highway south by a private
home. Plaintiff, 63 years of age, engaged in buying and selling oil
and gas leases, was driving a 1941 Chevrolet automobile in a westerly
direction, and defendant, Robert Poole, 28 or 29 years of age, an
employee of defendant, Reed Roller Bit Company, was driving a 1952
Chevrolet automobile, owned by said defendant company, in an easterly
direction. The collision occurred just north of the center line of
the paved road. The plaintiff sustained severe injuries as a result
of the accident. ”

Christine Rosamond Presco, a ‘Rose of the World’ was born October 24,
1947 in Vallejo California. Christina was the third child of Victor
and Rosemary, our mother one of four beautiful daughters born to the
writer and poet, Royal Rosamond, and Mary Magdalene Wieneke. Royal
and Mary met in Los Angeles where Mary went to live after leaving her
father’s farm in Iowa. Seeking her independance, as a young woman
Mary worked as a seamtress in Downtown L.A. The Wienekes were said to
have owned castles in Germany. Mary was a frequent guest at
Krishnamurti’s retreat in the Ojai Valley where her brother had a
farm and may have delved in the philosophy of the Theosophic Society.
Royal wrote stories for ‘Out West’ the ‘Arcadian’ and several Romance
magazines, he sailing to the Anacapa Islands with is friend, Dashiel
Hammet, the author of the ‘Maltese Falcon’, a mystery novel that was
made into a movie about the search for a golden falcon once belonging
to the Knights Templars. Royal taught Earl Stanley Gardner the
rudiments of writing. Royal’s poem ‘Your Name’ could well acompany
Rossetti’s painting of the young man writing his lover’s name in the
sand. Living by the sea in Ventura California, Rosemary, and her
sister, Lillian, were courted by the famous actor, Errol Flyn, thus,
there was a powerful sense of the Romantic in our household that
would influence both Christine’s and my work.

All the Rosamond women were beautiful, they the arhetypes for the
rosy women that began to peer gracefully from their canvases in the
early seventies at a changing world, their beauty and strength
heralding in the Woman’s Movement, the very idea women could now own
their own Creation and Creations. In the words of Swineburne’s Fair
Rosamond; “But that I am Part of the perfect witness for the world.”
My dear sister drowned off the Coast of Carmel on March 26,1994. The
legacy this complex person left behind is an important one as we were
both influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite artists who are at the core of
Grail Mysteries that have surfaced once again in the Quest for
Religious and Spiritual pertinence. The name Rosamond means ‘Rose of
the World’ and is one of the names applied to the Shekinah which is
the ‘Light of the World’ that I believe is found at the center of the
Labyrinth, like the one King Henry the second built for the love of
his life, Fair Rosamond. He also built a Well and Arcadia for her
after the story of Tristan and Isolde. A Grail Cup entwined in a vine
was engraved on her tomb. She has been compared to Mary Magdalene by
some authors, and a Catholic Bishop upon seeing how she was being
worshipped by Knights about to go on Crusade, had her remains removed
from the Nunnery at Glascow, and scattered to the wind; he calling
her a whore. Christine gave me credit for being her teacher, my art
touring the world in a Red Cross show when I was twelve, and then
again when I was sixteen.

In 1970 I discovered Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelite
Brotherhood, they modeling their movement after the Nazarene artists
of Germany, a guild dedicated to bringing back a spritual base to
Germany’s fine art. The Rossetti family were all gifted. Christina
Rossetti was an extraordinary poet and was considered a member of the
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Her father translated ‘Dante’s Inferno’
and owned a Publishing firm that her brother Michael opperated.
Dante was a close friend of the famous poet, Algernon Swineburne,
whose poem ‘The Queen Mother and Fair Rosamond’ became a model and
inspiration for all the Pre-Raphaelites who resurected themes from
the Grail Romances, breathing new life into the Knights and Fair
Maidens of our Ancient Dawn, raising a new light in the search for
the Truth. Many genealogist claim King Henry Plantagenet married Fair
Rosamond Clifford, who like his uncle, Robert Guisgard, King of
Sicily, was allowed more then one wife, as they are of the Seed of
King David, a theme of one of Rossetti’s paintings, who also painted
a painting titled ‘Fair Rosamond’. New information has surfaced that
the Rosamond name comes from Rougemont Switzerland, there a
Rougemont/Rosamond family crest depicting a cross surrounded by
roses, which is the discription of the crest belonging to Rosenkrantz
the founder of the Knights of the Rose Cross.

Rosamond passed into another Realm on her first sober birthday in AA,
we both sharing a Program that gives its Brothers and Sisters a coin
that says this upon it; “Unto they own self be true.” Christina and I
were Brother and Sister in Recovery, and in this Quest that has come
full circle, I see how we did climb the Spiritual Mountain together,
with Courage and Imagination so that we may own the very awakening
Rose of our soul. Like an errant Knight who has made his way through
the heavy thorns, roses taking bloom as I go forward, I now find
myself before the Tower of Beauty. And she assures me as she hands me
my reward: “Spiritual Courage, will be me with, Spiritual Courage.”
Royal Rosamond My grandfather, Royal Rosamond, authored several
books, numerous short stories, and countless poems that were
published in ‘Out West’ ‘Liberty Magazine’, and several Romance
magazines. He was good friends of Dashiel Hammet according to my
mother Rosemary, and my Aunt Lillian recalls falling asleep to the
sound of her father, and the author Earl Stanley Gradner, typing away
in their home in Ventura California, they honing up on their literary
skills. Dashiel and Earl were members of the ‘Black Mask’ a society
of mystery writers. Royal was born in a log cabin on the Missouri
River, the only known child of William Rosamond and Ida Louisiana
Rose. He met my grandmother, Mary Magdalene Wienke while working in
Brakey’s Cash Bizaar in Ojai, and would later own the first general
store in Ventura. A short biography of Royal is found in my link to
my newspaper ‘Royal Rosamond Press’.

Royal was a good friend of Otto Rayburn, the Ozark historian, they
meeting when Royal returned to the Ozarks to become a Regional
writer. Royal published in Rayburn’s ‘Arcadian Magazine’ “A Journal
of the Well-flavored Earth” printed in Eminence Missouri. Royal would
later found ‘Gem Publishing’ in Oklahoma City, and publish his
books ‘Bound in Clay’ and ‘Ravola of Thunder Mountain’. I have
corespondence between Royal and Otto. I wonder if he met the Regional
artist, Thomas Hart Benton, who was also good friends of Otto
Rayburn, there photographs of both men in Volume 1. of
Rayburn’s ‘Enchanted Ozarks’ an archives of Ozark Folk Life found at
the University of Arkansas. That the offspring of these men, were
destined to meet is quite extraordinary. Benton and Rosamond have
done much to make Folk Art, Folk Music, and Folk Lore, the Gemstones
of our American Tradition.

My sister, the world famous artist ‘Rosamond’, married Garth Benton,
the grandnephew of Thomas. Garth is an accomplished artist and
muralist. My niece, Drew Benton, has shown she has inherited a real
gift, and her artwork can be seen on my link to her mother’s page, my
late sister founding ‘Rosamond Publishing’.

My daughter, Heather Marie, is also a very talented artist, singer,
actress, and aspiring songwriter. We co-wrote a Country Western song
together. Royal lost his mother when he was nine, and his father
abandoned him when he was ten. Thomas Benton grew up in boarding
schools, and Heather did not know her father until she was sixteen.
From these uprooted beginnings has risen some true Gifts who have
established a Literary and Artistic Legacy that hopefully will last
many lifetimes, and be there for members of Rosy’s family to enjoy.
Christine Rosamond’s gallery is still flourishing in Carmel
California, and ‘Royal Rosamond Press’ will be publishing her
biography, as well as my fifteen year study of the Arcadian and Grail
Legends that are associated with the name Rougemont, a family from
Switzerland who are related to the Habsburgs, who along with the de
Anjou, Gonzaga, and Medici family, have done much to promote Art,
Music, and Literature. Christine and Garth were good friends of the
J. Paul Getty family whose Museum and Foundation are mainstays in
American Fine Art.

My niece, Shannon, and Garth completed a large mural in the Getty
mansion. On other webpages, that are linked in a circle to this one,
I compare the Rosamond family legacy with that of the Dante Gabriel
Rossetti family, whose siblings were also at the core of the Pre-
Raphaelite art movement, Michael and Christine Rossetti publishing
in ‘The Germ’, they taking over their father’s printing company. In a
record of immigrant names, Rossetti, in French, is Rosemond.
Christine and I were inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, several of them
Knighted Artists of England where lived other Royal and Rosy people
that are now being linked to our Family Tree, a Rose Bush if you
will, for alas in the finding of my lost daughter, the roses now
harken to the legend of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ who lay aspleep in her
bower at the center of a hedgerow of thorns. May this family of the
Royal Rose restore the Forsaken Garden.

1 On the morning of May 31, 1953, plaintiff and defendants were
involved in a head on collision of their automobiles on Highway 59,
just immediately east of St. Louis, Oklahoma. The accident occurred
on a blacktop highway 22 feet in width. At the place of collision the
road was straight, though hilly, and was immediately opposite two
driveways, one leading from the highway north to a church, the other,
almost directly opposite leading from the highway south by a private
home. Plaintiff, 63 years of age, engaged in buying and selling oil
and gas leases, was driving a 1941 Chevrolet automobile in a westerly
direction, and defendant, Robert Poole, 28 or 29 years of age, an
employee of defendant, Reed Roller Bit Company, was driving a 1952
Chevrolet automobile, owned by said defendant company, in an easterly
direction. The collision occurred just north of the center line of
the paved road. The plaintiff sustained severe injuries as a result
of the accident.

¶2 In his petition plaintiff alleged that defendants were negligent
in that the defendant driver failed to keep a proper lookout for
vehicles upon the highway; failed to keep his vehicle under proper
control; was driving at an excessive and dangerous speed; was driving
at a rate of speed greater than would permit him to bring his vehicle
to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead; and that he failed
to keep to the right of the center of said paved road, operating his
vehicle on the north or wrong side of the road.

¶3 He testified that he was driving west at not to exceed 30 miles
per hour; that he first saw defendants’ automobile as it was coming
down the long hill coming out of St. Louis; that it went out of his
vision by reason of a small intervening hill; that he next saw said
vehicle as it came over the small intervening hill; that its left
wheels were then on the north or wrong side of the center line of the
highway; that he was on his side of the center line of said highway
and pulled his vehicle further to the north side of the road; that he
did not apply his brakes; that he remembered nothing more until about
10 days later in the hospital at Shawnee.

¶4 Defendant driver denied that he had been driving on the north or
wrong side of the road prior to the immediate time of the collision;
that when he came over the small hill he was driving his vehicle at
approximately 50 miles per hour; that he observed plaintiff’s vehicle
when it was approximately 400 feet away; that plaintiff was driving
his vehicle to the south of the center line of the highway and was
looking to the south; that he thought plaintiff was intending to make
a left turn; that he tapped his brakes to break the speed of his car
in order to permit plaintiff to get across in front of him; that
plaintiff’s car continued on toward his car instead of making a left
turn and he braked his car hard and attempted to pull across the
highway to the north in order to go to the left of plaintiff; that
when he applied the brakes hard, plaintiff looked up and pulled his
car sharply to the left and the cars collided; that when he began
applying his brakes all wheels of the vehicle he was driving were to
the south and right side of the center line; that, in attempting to
avoid the collision, he pulled to the north and wrong side of the
road.
¶5 The cause was submitted to a jury which returned a verdict for
defendant.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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