You're standing in front of Driggs Mansion. The mansion was
constructed in the early 1900's by Lawrence LaThourette Driggs.
Driggs acquired the 320 acres of land through the Desert Entry
Act, approved by Congress on March 3, 1877. Under the plan,
landowners had to petition the General Land Office (now known as
the Bureau of Land Management) with a plan to develop and
cultivate desert land. Whoever bought the land had to prove they
could establish water rights and irrigate the land.
Driggs met all of the petition requirements. Land documents
show that he was the original land owner. The exact date that
Driggs Mansion was constructed is unknown. An outside reference
believes that the mansion took four years to build, 1914 to 1918.
Driggs hired local masons Nunzio Grasso, and his son, to do the work.
The construction process was long and hard as water had to be
hauled from West Creek to mix the mortar. The family had to
camp at the site until the construction was completed.
In the final construction, the mansion had six rooms that
included two bedrooms, one large commons area, kitchen, and a
small utility room. The most visual aspect of the mansion was its
archway, which resembled the rock found behind the mansion.
Unfortunately, by most accounts, the Driggs family only stayed for
a short time (just a few weeks).
Currently, there is much effort to try to
preserve the Driggs Mansion. The structure
does qualify for State and National historical site
registries, according to the BLM. Vandals and
erosion have taken their toll on the once
impressive stone house, now leaving it the shell
of its former self.
Driggs Mansion as you see it today.
Driggs Mansion as seen in the early part of the 1900's.
People speculated that Lawerence Driggs had intended to turn the
mansion into a 40 room hunting lodge.