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A Town W/Five Names: Desert Springs, CA (Dpo 1949-1959)

 
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Bedrock Of The Community
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Posted 01/01/2011   12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wt1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I was doing some research on these precancel stamps and thought I'd share what I found to be a rather interesting story.

The two precancels shown are from the Prexie (#803) and Liberty Series (#1031) but both precancels are from a town then-known as Desert Springs, California, for which a post office by that name only existed for about a decade, from 1949-1959, and probably due to its short life, it's one of the few precancels I have come across for which the town only used one precancel type (Style 734):



Anyway, I found the current name of the town to be Pinon Hills and as result came upon this short history of the town showing that it had as many as five names in less than 20 years time, which must be some sort of a record:


Quote:
A Town With Five Names (a.k.a. Pinon Hills, California)

An old map, printed before Highway 138 came through as a dirt road, showed the name of the town to be Border Town as it was located on the San Bernardino-Los Angeles county line. Later the town was called Horine Springs for Merrie Horine who homesteaded the foothill region east of the county line. The Horines let people dip water from the end of the water line at their house and did not charge for dipping. A man named Smithson ran cattle over most of the area, and the water company later created at the springs by Alfred Mondorf was named
Smithson Springs after the Smithson Springs Water Company. Naturally, the town inherited the name for a while. But the residents didn't like all the s's, so they changed the name to Desert Springs and they obtained a post office under that name. Winifred E. Ellison was their first postmaster. There was trouble in the wings for Desert Springs. The San Bernardino Post Office mail sorting division, threw the mail too fast and letters directed to Desert Springs went to Desert Hot Springs much too frequently (today, the zip code method would keep that from happening - anyone want to go back to Desert Springs?) The Area Received its Final Official Name, PINON HILLS after a secret ballot by settlers at the Chamber of Commerce building. The name Pinon Hills was the winner.

There aren't too many other locations with the distinction of having had five names in 20 years. The name Pinon Hills comes from the Pinus monophylla (pinyon pine) that dominate the desert-facing slopes.

While I don't think the precancel stamps are particularly valuable, the story behind it certainly will make for an interesting read on an album page.
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Edited by wt1 - 01/01/2011 12:46 pm

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Posted 01/01/2011   1:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add raywrio to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Precancels - a great thematic topic. WT1 are these pictures part of a bigger precancel collection?

You mention a type of style, is there a list of precancel styles?

"used one precancel type (Style 734):"

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Posted 01/01/2011   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Russ to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
raywrio, here is a link to the PSS styles
http://precancels.com/types.htm
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Posted 01/01/2011   1:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The web site Russ cites above also has a link to precancel album pages listing all of the known precancels for every town in the US. It's a good resource if you don't have the extensive catalogs to go by. I understand some of the catalogs are in the process of being updated but due to the number of precancels out there (tens of thousands of different ones, I understand) the catalogs can become rather expensive and take up quite a bit of space.

I was given an accumulation of precancels many years ago. Never really appreciated them much until quite recently and with SCF members often ready and willing to help me identify some of them, it has become a rather interesting collecting sub-topic for me.
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Posted 01/01/2011   1:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cynical to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
wt1: given what you have shown us do you know if Desert Springs cancels of any kind are hard to come by? One would think they would be.
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Posted 01/01/2011   1:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have absolutely no idea how easy or hard the stamps/cancels from Desert Springs are to come by. (Maybe someone else on SCF can chime in and advise us.) I did see one web site where a 2 cent Liberty series precancel (on cover) was being sold for $10, but that seems inflated to me. The precancels are not said to be worth all that much. Although, with a post office name that was only in operation for 10 years, it stands to reason that there can't be all that many cancels out there with that name. On the other hand, there is probably no telling how many thousands of precancels may have been made during the time the post office was active.
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Posted 01/01/2011   2:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cynical to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's interesting. I have a passing interest in dead post offices but many of these operated for many years and issued a large number of cancels. Given that the name Desert Springs was in use for such a short time and nobody knew beforehand that this would turn out to be the case you would think that few such cancels exist. It would be neat to find out if other posters here have any.
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Posted 01/01/2011   2:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Desert Springs has a 0.25 cv, so it should be relatively easy to find.
Here is mine cropped from my CA Types album:
http://home.roadrunner.com/~adrion/desert.jpg
The one I am missing there is Del Rey CA type 479 - A-rated - minimum value 300$ - if you find one I am a buyer.
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Posted 01/01/2011   2:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cynical to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Chasa: went to your site but it was slow to load. Will try it again later. Is their a story behind the Del Ray cancel being worth so much?
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Posted 01/01/2011   3:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some comments on rare California precancels. The Del Ray 479 was not known (undiscovered) when the 1954 CA general catalog was published. I don't own the most recent CA catalog so I don't know what denominations Del Ray 479 comes on. At least 2 copies are known [otherwise it would be rated -AA- one only known]. There are 30 A-rated California precancels of which I own only 1 - Redlands. [I sold a copy of Reedley CA - TWICE! - foolishly]. There are now 6 -AA- rated CA precancels, nominally priced at 1000$ in the catalog altho I have never seen one offered for sale. The 7th edition of the catalog [2007] listed 4 -AA-'s, and there have been TWO discoveries since then. The wonderful PSS town and types catalog on CD lets you do easy searching to get these totals.
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Posted 01/02/2011   7:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperdude to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I see a Route 66 tie-in to the town of Desert Springs. That would be San Bernardino which is on Route 66. Now you see why precancels where a good choice for me for my Route 66 collection.
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