Desert Queen Ranch
William and Francis Key made a wonderful life for themselves in the desert. Bill enticed Francis away from her comfortable home in Pasadena, California and settled with her in this beautiful desert valley. There they raised their family and made local history. They farmed, ranched, mined for gold and ran various businesses including gold stamp mills and a resort. Bill was even featured in a couple of Disney movies. Bill shot and killed Worth Bagley for which he spent five years in San Quentin. With the help of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of the Perry Mason books, he was eventually exonerated and returned to his beloved ranch where he lived out his days.
Bill used this one stamp mill at the ranch to crush gold ore for miners at $5 a ton. The miners didn’t get rich but Bill made a very comfortable living for his family.