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The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology and culture is present in It is my purpose in this chapter to discuss those patterns of social and economic interaction with which Keys' Ranch was associated during various periods of California Desert history and to point to interactions which took place at or around the site.
Network analysis is appropriate to a regional perspective that views the ranch not as an isolated entity, but in terms of interaction between occupants of the site and the surrounding area. I have tried to reconstruct the personal networks of Keys and the McHaneys from the first settlement of the ranch to the time of Keys' death, by identifying those individuals linked by direct interactions with the ranch.
My description is modeled after the work of ethnographers studying complex modern societies cf. Barnes ; J. Mitchell , ; Whitten and WolfeI have tried to describe social interactions at the ranch and to suggest how those interactions were related to the patterns of social expansion and contraction in surrounding areas.
Some types of questions relevant to this approach include: How did the existence of the family group shape the experience of those living at the ranch? What were the relationships among members of the family group? How was labor divided among family members? What changes in family relationships occurred with the increase or decrease of its membership; that is, as it proceeded through the domestic cycle Goody ?
How did the family see itself as distinct from other persons or groups? Social interaction at the ranch also involved those people who came to work for Keys hired help, school teachers, etc. Meanwhile, Keys and his family were responding to developments outside the ranch. I wanted to document how interactions among family members and others at the ranch were affected by these developments and to describe the nature of the interactions.
One way of approaching this description in a consistent way is to focus on exchanges and on the roles associated with statuses characterizing interactions. Did exchanges of goods and services take place?
If so, what was the nature of the exchange; that is, what sort of reciprocity was involved? Was Keys providing goods and services without much concern for whether he would be repaid immediately in equivalent monetary terms? Did he stipulate a price which both parties considered equitable?
Or did Keys attempt to manipulate the other party in order to get maximum return for minimum effort? Sahlins distinguishes several kinds of reciprocal exchange by arranging them along a continuum of expected return for gifts or services. At one end of the continuum is "generalized reciprocity," referring to exchanges in which the giver does not expect immediate return for his gift.
This kind of exchange is characteristic of close familial or altruistic sharing and of situations in which wide discrepancies of wealth and status exist between the giver and recipient. Sustained one-way flow of goods and services in the direction of the "have-nots" is acceptable to the "haves.
The exchange is perceived by the giver as "gift," but it is couched in terms of "responsibility" SahlinsGeneralized exchange is also a way of gaining control over those who receive:.
A gift that is not requited in the first place creates something between people; it engenders a continuity in the relation Secondly, falling under the shadow of indebtedness, the recipient is constrained in his relations to the giver of things. The one who has benefited is held in a peaceful, collaborative, circumspect and responsive position in respect to his benefactor SahlinsI think this sort of exchange characterized Keys' relationships with Bill McHaney, Johnny Lang and the reported draft dodger, as well as with some of the surrounding homesteaders who came to Keys for aid, all of whom will be discussed in this section.
Keys was able to reap social prestige from his giving while a subtle debt was being created. Keys gained in stature in proportion to the amount of goods and services he was willing to give to those who "needed it. A different sort of reciprocity is at the other end of Sahlins' continuum; this is "negative reciprocity," a most impersonal form of exchange, in which both parties try to get the maximum from each other while giving the minimum in return.
This rather aggressive form of interaction characterized Keys' early relationships with the National Park Service, with Barker and Shay and with such people as Morgan, to whom he leased the Desert Queen Mine only to repossess it, along with Morgan's improvements. At the midpoint of Sahlins' continuum is "balanced reciprocity," a relationship characterized by direct exchange between equals within a specified time span.
The milling that Keys did for miners during the s is an example of this kind of exchange. Using this framework, it is possible to suggest questions of general anthropological concern about the rise and decline of Keys Ranch as an interaction node. For example, we can ask whether the interaction patterns represented at the ranch, as reciprocal exchange types, change in response to such variables as the numbers of people with whom Keys and his family could interact, the amounts of goods available for exchange fluctuations in the social value of goods or services, or decreasing amounts of open, unclaimed resources.
If predictable changes do occur, we can ask whether they represent classes of phenomena which may occur under similar circumstances elsewhere, providing a basis for further testing and greater anthropological generalization. The theoretical concerns outlined above have structured my identification of "broad patterns of our history. The following history of Keys' Ranch is divided into five chronological periods. A brief summary of the overt events occurring within each period is presented below; a more detailed interpretive summary concludes the fuller discussion of each period.
The first four periods are defined by major socioeconomic shifts, which emphatically affected the region and the ranch. The final period is idiosyncratic to William Keys, comprising the period from his imprisonment to the end of his life.
During the period what is now Joshua Tree National Monument became increasingly accessible to travelers, with east-west transportation lines bordering it on the north and south.
The monument's interior, however, remained relatively isolated. Cattlemen also improved and developed wells, springs, tanks and lakes throughout the monument area. Two mines that had great impact on the history of Keys' Ranch were discovered by the end of this period and machinery representing large capital investment was brought in to develop them.
The Indian population, fluctuating from 0 to 40, was centered at the western end of the Twentynine Palms Oasis and interaction with Anglos was minimal. The second period saw two competing communities established.
Other mining communities were scattered through the monument at Pinyon Wells, for example , but the most extensive mining was carried on east of the monument in the Gold Park and Virginia Dale areas. Much of the mining apparatus at Keys' ranch today was brought into the area at this time and was later collected by Keys and brought to the ranch. Large cattle companies competed with locals, such as Ryan and Keys, for water rights and grazing lands.
Mining became unprofitable during World War I and the region was again isolated as miners withdrew and transportation routes were changed to bypass Twentynine Palms. The Indian population withdrew from the oasis after the Willie Boy tragedy ofConflicts between Keys and his competitors for water and grazing were intensified during the periodKeys concentrated on making his ranch into a homestead capable of supporting his growing family.
He collected abandoned mining materials and debris of all sorts through out the area, filed on many claims and built several roads. Keys set himself apart from the new community developing at Twentynine Palms. He maintained his relationships with the oldtimers of the area, however, and selectively extended support to the socially marginal people of Twentynine Palms. Keys' Ranch developed as a separate social system, co-existing with that of Twentynine Palms.
Each node had its economic bases, separate schools and systems of welfare. By Twentynine Palms was a semi-viable community, capable of providing rudimentary services and supplies, paid for by pensions or other income sources from the "inside.
Dominating the fourth period , of course, was the Great Depression. The impact of hard times on the coast brought people to the desert to take advantage of government lands as homesteaders or to try their hands at gold mining. Twentynine Palms became an active community and basic concomitants of civilization, such as electricity and regular mail service, were introduced.
Keys intensified his mining activities and milled for himself and for others at Wall Street. He "took in" people at the ranch and increased agricultural efforts there and nearby. Joshua Tree National Monument was established in the mids. Eventually, grazing restrictions and drought conditions restricted cattle raising. Keys' hegemony over the area was challenged by the Park Service, the community at Twentynine Palms and, of course, by other cattlemen.
The period closed with Keys' conviction for manslaughter inBy this time he had become a figure of envy, by virtue of his properties, a nuisance to the Park Service and a somewhat fearsome enigma to the newcomers at Twentynine Palms. Five of the last 25 years of Keys' life, the fifth period considered here, were spent in prison. The shooting incident which sent him to prison centered on Keys' year struggle with competing cattlemen. The incident also highlighted Keys' conflicts with the economic and political interests of businessmen and veterans at Twentynine Palms.
He immediately began to rebuild his ranch on his release and to plan for its development as a resort. The entire high desert was developing rapidly and Keys paid lip service to the idea of exploiting the potential tourist market.
Keys remained hostile to the National Park Service, which he saw as infringing upon his rights, for close to 20 years. He became friendly with monument staff a few years before his death; this coincided with his increasing fame and prestige in the new towns of Joshua Tree and Yucca Valley.
The ranch was visited by film-makers, Marines, Boy Scouts and others. After the death of Mrs. Keys in , Keys allowed several young men to live with him periodically at the ranch in return for help with his dams and with the Wall Street Mill. The residence pattern at the ranch changed from a nuclear family pattern to one of bachelor male residence.
Although the ranch was well known, it never fulfilled its potential as a major interaction node in the region. This period set the stage for the social and economic tensions which developed in succeeding periods. Economic events in the central valley and in the foothills of the Sierra and Coast ranges led to the exploration of the high desert for promising grazing lands.
Spillovers from mining activity to the north and east led to the exploration of the area's mineral potential and to the establishment of several "mining districts. It was during this period that what is now Joshua Tree National Monument and vicinity was connected to external population centers by three routes Map 2.
The Southern Pacific Railroad followed the Bradshaw route to Indio, so that by the southern part of the region was connected to "the inside" by several railroad stops MendenhallBanning, Whitewater, Garnet and Mecca became important nodes of interaction for the desert's populations HolmesThe main route continued directly to Twentynine Palms Oasis and eastward toward Parker. The area north and west of Cottonwood Springs was used and developed by cattlemen and miners, whose activities were localized at grazing areas, wells, springs, tanks, natural lakes, mines and mills see Maps 3 and 4.
Longhorn cattle were brought into "the area"? KeysCattle apparently were driven from Arizona up the Coachella Valley or across Chuckawalla Valley, through Cottonwood Springs and westward to Lost Horse, Queen and Pleasant valleys, where they were pastured before being driven down the Morongo Valley for sale in southern California markets. Mitchell 8 notes that the catch basins of these valleys were used for spring grazing during this period.
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The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology and culture is present in It is my purpose in this chapter to discuss those patterns of social and economic interaction with which Keys' Ranch was associated during various periods of California Desert history and to point to interactions which took place at or around the site. Network analysis is appropriate to a regional perspective that views the ranch not as an isolated entity, but in terms of interaction between occupants of the site and the surrounding area. I have tried to reconstruct the personal networks of Keys and the McHaneys from the first settlement of the ranch to the time of Keys' death, by identifying those individuals linked by direct interactions with the ranch. My description is modeled after the work of ethnographers studying complex modern societies cf.
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