Save and Restore the OX Ranch

Here is an opportunity for all of us to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

We need everyone’s help to save and restore the OX Ranch residence, which will become the permanent housing for our Artist in Residence while they are at work on projects.

Back Story

Mojave National Preserve does not have a permanent residence for its artists as many of our other national parks do. Currently, artists camp, stay at the California Desert Studies Center near Baker, CA or use one of the hotels in Primm, NV. Artists often drive 70 miles or more round trip to work in various areas of Mojave National Preserve; a 2400 square mile park twice the size of Rhode Island. Consequently, they trade windshield time for creative time, consuming fuel and creating a carbon footprint larger than necessary.

The OX Ranch Solution

The OX Ranch, which located in the middle of Mojave National Preserve, is a great housing solution.

The headquarters ranch home has water and power and can be reached with a two-wheel drive vehicle most of the year via an improved dirt road.  While the two-bedroom facility is in sound condition, it is need of repairs before we can occupy the site.

Thus, the Mojave National Preserve Artist Foundation (MNPAF) is raising $25,000 through an online campaign and personal outreach.  While we have obtained commitments for some equipment and appliances, we still need volunteers for painting, landscape repair, and skilled trades. Cash raised is for specific hardware and trade work.

An Iconic Western Heritage Home

The OX is an iconic location that is at the heart of our Western American Heritage. Founded in 1894 as the Rock Springs Land & Cattle Company by George Briggs and LeRoy Blackburn, the ranch grazed at times more than 10,000 cattle on a fifty-square-mile fenceless range.

A massive drought from 1920 to 1928 contributed to changes in the Mojave. The Rock Springs Land & Cattle Company dissolved under the drought pressure, and most of the cattle had perished on the range, but the remainder were rounded up and sold in urban markets. In September 1928, the Nevada part of the Rock Springs range was sold.  The rest of the California lands were sold to a group headed by Claud Halsell, Sr., who took complete control within a year of the ranch they called the OX. The Ranch continued in operation with various owners until it came under the National Park Service in the late 1990’s and has been used for several National Park Service Housing purposes.

Today this great ranch house with its rich heritage is available for the arts, and the Artists in Residence program.


If you want to volunteer your skills and labor, we will enroll you as an official National Park Service Volunteer. We will assign you to a workgroup, with work schedules usually on the weekends.

Some Specific Help Areas for Volunteers:

General Labor, Painting Crew, Stucco Crew, Carpentry Skills, Electrical, Plumbers, Carpet and Tile Trades

Let’s Do This

We all know that One Person can’t do everything. But we also know that Everyone can do something.

And we all know how great we feel when we contribute to something far bigger then ourselves. The part you play, large or small, on the OX Ranch Team is immensely important.

Will you give a gift—of any amount—to the Mojave National Preserve Foundation OX Fund? Will you share your skills and labor to save the OX and advance the arts in Mojave National Preserve?

Thank you for the part you play.

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Make a Donation

  • Make a tax-deductible gift today to provide a residence for artists on Mojave National Preserve and to present art that educates, entertains, and informs.
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