The First WalMart - or so they called it:

Looking southwest from the front door
The Key's Ranch in Joshua Tree is a success story of an early pioneer of that area.  In front of the house, they had what the ranger called the First Walmart of the area.  William Keys was a rancher and miner and all around entrepreneur.  In his front yard, he had a little bit of everything a miner or rancher might need to get it rich quick.  
 Keys was the closest thing to a store in the area.  People would buy from him and go off to their holding. And Keys kept an eye on them.  For once they gave up and left, he would go to their place and pick up all the things they abandoned and replenish his inventory - thus selling the stuff over and over (not that Walmart does that -LOL). 
His wife got into the act by setting up a gift shop - but her sales were final - she sold soap, knic-knacks, snacks - not something you could recover.  Here's her store:


  1. I would rather shop here than at Walmart, But that's just me. Looks like an interesting place.

  2. What a life they must have lived at that time! Which state is it? Thanks for sharing the photos!


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