Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Abandonment: Actis Gardens - Mojave, California

Actis Gardens Sign - Mojave, California
"Actis Gardens" is not a typo. The place was really called that. Actis was the name of a tiny town south of Mojave, California that existed from 1918 to 1927. Mining and the railroad are why Actis existed. Only a handful of homes are still in the area.

Despite the name, there were no gardens at Actis Gardens. Instead, there were 10 "cabins" that were basically one-bedroom apartments. The place was found along old Sierra Highway across the street from a railroad mainline in a lonely section of the Mojave Desert. Rent was cheap, and the renters were typically poor. 
Junk Pile - Mojave, California
Someone said that Actis Gardens was built in the 1940's and someone else said the 1950's. It is possible that there is truth to both claims (perhaps not all of it was constructed at the same time). In 1984 a fire burned the place down. Apparently three children died in that fire.

Not a lot remains today. One building still stands, although it is not clear if it was actually a part of Actis Gardens or if it was a next door neighbor. The sign still stands, acting like a memorial to those who called this place home, and to those who never got to leave. The foundations are still in place. What's left of the cabins are now junk piles slowly returning to the desert.
Bolt - Mojave, California
The house that still stands is abandoned. It appears as if someone continued to live in it well after Actis Gardens was no more. No one currently lives there and it has been at least several years since someone has.

I used a Nokia Lumia 1020 to capture these photographs.
Deserted Chair - Mojave, California
Abandoned Baby Shoe - Mojave, California
What Once Was Home - Mojave, California 
Forgotten Remnants - Mojave, California
Abandoned Boot & Box Fan - Mojave, California
Super Shoe - Mojave, California
Obscured Through The Window - Mojave, California

7 comments:

  1. Actis Gardens was also a Richfield gas station, store, bar, and restaurant. A nice place to go play pool. An oasis. It can be seen at the 32 minute mark in the movie "Detour" 1945. Detour can be seen for free on YouTube. Soledad Mountain near Mojave is in the background during the opening credits and can be seen in the desert background. It is also in the background after the Actis Garden scene. There is also a Texaco station in Rosamond shown.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Dave! I will definitely check out Detour.

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  2. Very interesting, thank you for sharing the info and photos...
    I live in Rosamond and never knew much history of Actis Gardens. I knew a Hispanic family that lived there from around 1985-1992, the parents worked in the fields and topped onions in August, however they lived there year round. Going North on the 14, the last cabin was lived in for many years by a woman named Susie and her husband. She invited me in to visit many times and it was the tiniest little home, very well kept. Her husband was also a field worker and keeping on in years. The other couple left around 1992 and moved to what they called, Rancho Grande which if I recall, is west of Rosamond around maybe 180th st., then south to almost Ave.A...the had a small trailer by this time and 7 children. Many fields of watermelon back then. Back to Actis Gardens... traveling to Mojave on occasion, once in awhile their old place would have occupants, but not for long. Soon after, not much was left standing, but the last small home, farthest north still occupied Susie for several more years. What an interesting place, I'm sure they're many stories those ruins can tell. I really enjoyed your photos ~Susan in Rosamond, CA

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  3. Very interesting, thank you for sharing the info and photos...
    I live in Rosamond and never knew much history of Actis Gardens. I knew a Hispanic family that lived there from around 1985-1992, the parents worked in the fields and topped onions in August, however they lived there year round. Going North on the 14, the last cabin was lived in for many years by a woman named Susie and her husband. She invited me in to visit many times and it was the tiniest little home, very well kept. Her husband was also a field worker and keeping on in years. The other couple left around 1992 and moved to what they called, Rancho Grande which if I recall, is west of Rosamond around maybe 180th st., then south to almost Ave.A...the had a small trailer by this time and 7 children. Many fields of watermelon back then. Back to Actis Gardens... traveling to Mojave on occasion, once in awhile their old place would have occupants, but not for long. Soon after, not much was left standing, but the last small home, farthest north still occupied Susie for several more years. What an interesting place, I'm sure they're many stories those ruins can tell. I really enjoyed your photos ~Susan in Rosamond, CA

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  4. I really enjoyed seeing your photos , I lived there 1967, as I can remember , but,my mom Susie and father Ernie we're there several years before,I have lots of memeries of the bar , the 3 kids that parished , and there were like 16 homes there , my father worked at Great Lakes Carbon, in Rosemond , I'm really surprised to see pictures here , god it brought back so many memories, looking thru the window at the water tank ,I felt was standing in my house, that is my house it will always be my house, didn't leave until 2005!

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  5. My daddy put that gate up, and I meant to say lived there since 1967 to 2005 ish

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