The Historic Landscape of the Vallecito Valley

Friday, November 25, 2016 - 7:00pm to Saturday, November 26, 2016 - 4:30pm

The Historic Landscape of the Vallecito Valley

November 25-26, 2016

Instructors: Dr. Joan Schneider, Heather Thomson & descendants of Granville and Mollie Martin

Explore the ranching history of the valley and the landscape features that have attracted humans to Vallecito for thousands of years. For more than 40 years, the valley was home to the Campbell Ranch, a full-time desert ranching operation. Antique ranching memorabilia will be on display at the Friday evening lecture.

Descendants of ranchers Granville and Mollie Martin will share personal stories and read diary entries that reveal what life was like for this hired cow hand and his family. The field class will include a hike to Bailey Cabin and an overview of the ranch operation.

Hike Level: The hike will be about three miles total on a mostly level ranch road with some loose sand. Other walking will be on flat terrain of unpaved ranch roads.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, water, sun protection, and good walking shoes.

Class Schedule and Pricing

Friday Lecture
7:00-8:30 p.m.
$5 at the door; open to the public

Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center
401 Tilting T Drive
Borrego Springs
Saturday Field Class
8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
$60 - Public Rate (includes lecture)
$50 - ABF Member Rate (includes lecture)

ABF Office
587 Palm Canyon Drive #110
Borrego Springs


About the Instructors:
Joan Schneider, PhD, retired as Associate State Archaeologist, Colorado Desert District, in 2011. During her time in the District, she was the lead for the designation of seven new Cultural Preserves within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, including the Hawi-Vallecito Cultural Preserve. She documented the long standing and diverse cultural heritage that the Vallecito Valley landscape represents. In addition, she guided and reported on the stabilization and interpretation of the Bailey Earthen Structure (cabin) that is included in the Cultural Preserve.  Schneider’s research interests include the archaeology of arid landscapes, women’s roles as expressed in the archaeological and historical record, and the geophysical aspects of archaeological chronology and rock and mineral sourcing.

Heather Thomson, M.A, R.P.A has more than 14 years of experience, much of it within the Parks of the Colorado Desert District. Thomson received her M.A. with merit in Archaeology and Heritage from the University of Leicester in the UK in 2012. Ongoing research interests include cattle ranching in the back-country of San Diego. She is a co-author of “240 Years of Ranching. Historical Research, Field Surveys, Oral Interviews, Significance Criteria and Management Recommendations for Ranching Districts and Sites in San Diego County.”  She has also authored numerous site inventory reports, detailed Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) site records and has conducted archival research in pursuit of background information about both historic and prehistoric cultural resources. Thomson has authored cultural resources management documents for a diverse set of clients besides California State Parks including SDG&E and the County of San Diego. Among the projects in which she played a major part was the documentation and National Register of Historic Places assessment of the Campbell Ranch at the time ABDSP acquired that property. She has worked closely with Native American Tribal members on many projects. Thomson has been with the Riverside County Planning Department since November 2013.