Thank you to Steve Williamson and the Temecula Valley Museum for sharing with us these wonderful photos from Erle Stanley Gardner’s camera. Gardner used his income from books and his Perry Mason TV show to finance expeditions into and over Baja California, a land he was totally enchanted by!
The Palm Canyons where a fascination of Gardner. Getting into them wasn’t easy! Read about Cañon Salsipuedes in ‘Hovering Over Baja’.
Gardner brings helicopters to Baja:
Captain Francisco Muñoz was a primary pilot during the Gardner expeditions. A rumor says that Erle was so appreciative of Muñoz’s services, he was a major sponsor in the captain’s Baja Air Service.
Flying got you to Baja quickly when there were only dirt roads!
Gardner gets the Goodyear Blimp to come to Baja, in 1967. This event was featured in ‘Mexico’s Magic Square’.
Mission Santo Domingo:
Mission El Rosario (de Abajo):
Mission Santa María:
Mission San Ignacio:
San Ignacio from the helicopter.
Mission San José de Comondú:
Mission San Borja:
Looking down on San Borja from the top of the mesa.
Mission San Javier:
Loreto, California’s first mission:
The San Felipe hotel, Augie’s Riviera
El Barril & the Villavicencio Family:
El Desengaño, ruins from a 1930s gold mine.
The next three photos are what Erle Stanley Gardner thought might be the Lost Mission of Santa Isabel. In reality, they are the remains of the home of Primitivo Arce at his Rancho San Luis, 29.2762, -114.0486. The adobe has all but vanished in the over-sixty years since these photos.
Natural wall, looks man-made, north of El Barril.
San Juan Mine?
The Painted Caves north of San Ignacio (Sierra de San Francisco)
Bahía de Palmas Resort (Los Barriles)
El Mármol, onyx schoolhouse and quarry:
Rare paved Baja California airport! Tijuana
The Gardner (Perry Mason) Writing Staff of Temecula, California: