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26C Queen Mountain

Location: San Bernardino County, California

Name given for reasons that may never be known. Bill Trusdale, Chief of interpretation for Joshua Tree National Monument, suggests that it could have been given as a result of some lonely unknown miner's longing for feminine company as he searched for his bonanza. We do know that nearby there once existed some local famous enterprises with similar names. The "Desert Queen" was the name of mining and ranching operations (2-6 miles southeast of the summit) run by Roughrider William F. (Bill) Keys (1879-1969). Keys used to joke to his wife (Frances May) that he named it after her.

Earlier this same name and location were used by beloved Bill McHaney (d. 1937) and his ne'er-do-well brother Jim as a winter grazing spot for their highly suspect "cattle business", and for their mine. The brothers later installed their sister Carrie Harrington as a partner but there is no evidence that they were thinking of her when the name was given.

There were a few transient Americans at the Oasis of Mara, now Twentynine Palms, at least by the 1860's-this was before Bill McHaney first arrived (1879), so perhaps use of the term "Queen" could have predated him. Trusdale believes that the name Queen Mountain was in local use during McHaney's time but doesn't know which came first.

Cheryl Erickson, the Librarian of Twentynine Palms, is certain (but won't disclose her source) that the name of the mountain was derived after 1900 from the Desert Queen mine.

There is also a Queen Valley to the South which is famous for its forest of Joshua Trees.

Original surveyor's notes are first printed record of name (1939).

Name first appears on USGS Twentynine Palms quad (1955).

Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1958.


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Updated 25-February-2003