1Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover

A true story…

Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover is the true story of one hard working pioneering family in the 20th century, and how their life’s work was stolen – a theft sanctioned by the United States Government and the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe.

When Americans greeted 1968, the country was at a crossroads. An unpopular war raged in Vietnam. The hippie exodus from Haight-Ashbury had occurred a few months earlier; Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April of that year, and Bobby Kennedy was killed a few months later. The country was preparing to send a man to the moon and while there were unverified reports of protesting women burning their bras, it was more a metaphor for the growing women’s liberation movement.

For one American family, 1968 was the beginning of a new adventure in a remote desert community in Southern California. They believed in the American dream, where hard work and honesty have just rewards. The family put their trust in government promises, in spite of the fact the common belief among the country’s youth was that the federal government could not be trusted. Perhaps, the family should have paid attention.

Includes over 70 photographs.


5Where the Road Ends,

Havasu Palms Recipes & Remembrances

Where the Road Ends tells the story of the oldest resort on Lake Havasu. With over 85, never before published photographs, beginning in the 1930’s, this book tells the story of the miners and pioneers who developed Road’s End Camp, later known as Havasu Palms.

It is the remarkable account of Havasu Palms’ major force for three decades, Walt Johnson, who created a remote paradise in spite of broken government promises and betrayal. It is the tale of a modern day pioneer family and those who came before them.

Where the Road Ends, Havasu Palms Recipes and Remembrances also includes over 150 favorite recipes donated by the people who have themselves added flavor and character to the place…where the road ends.

Only Available in Paperback





11 comments on “Havasu

  1. Pingback: Remembering the Real Walt | Bobbi Ann Johnson Holmes

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  3. Tom

    Hi Bobbi. My name is Tom. My father used to have a camping trailer at Havasu Palms during the 1950’s and 1960’s. When we first went there it was called Roads End Campground. The last time that I was there was in 1968. That was the year I graduated high school and after that I was in the US Army. I remember a family, that was in Lava Soap T.V. commercials, that used to fly in to the campground. When I became a teenager we used to go down to Black Meadows Landing for the Music and Dances, that were held there and to meet girls. I did a lot of exploring of the backcountry around that area. Lots of old mines, snakes & wild burros back in there. I found a cave where someone had once lived and had set out claim markers. As a young boy I was a avid rockhound and loved this place.

    Best Wishes – Tom

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      Love hearing from people who were around back then! Thanks for posting!

  4. Michael R Allen

    Hello Bobbie. My Grandfather owned a little place called Earp, across the river from Parker, for several years and my Dad managed it. I remember going fishing in 1948 at a small camp on the Calif, side of Havasu at the end of the road. The fellow running it said Donald Douglas, owner of Douglas Aircraft Company, built it for a recreation site during WW2, and it included a small airstrip. Many years later we had a houseboat at Havasu Springs and would go to Havasu Palms for lunch; world class cheeseburgers!!. I often wondered if it was the same place I had gone to as a kid in 1948.
    Good luck to you, Mike

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      Ahh yes, I know Earp! And those burgers! We used to grind inside round roasts, and make our patties, using a press Dad designed and made. The old Road’s End Restaurant at Havasu Palms has been closed over twenty years now. Thanks for posting!!

  5. Myron Wooley

    Hi Bobbi. My name is Myron Wooley. Homer Willis was my Granddad, and he, along with my parents and 2 other partners, owned Havasu Palms until 1968. We spent nearly every weekend and summer of my childhood at Havasu Palms. It was a wonderful place to be a kid. My sister Val and I were the only kids around with pet tarantulas and a pet waterdog!

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      Hello! Thanks so much for posting! Sounds like we both have some wonderful memories of the place!

  6. Steve C.

    Hey there Bobbi. My parents bought a trailer in 74. We drove it to havasu palms on that long dusty rough road. I remember how scared i was because of the sharp corners and steep drop offs. We had the space right next to the public bathroom or laundry mat. I remember the horrible smell when people would empty their tanks in the septic tank which was next to the laundry building. My Grandparents, David and Lucile Cheney, moved into the trailer when we moved to havasu city. I can remember when we would pull up to your dads trailer to the gate and he would come out to see who it was that was coming in. I remember kind of feeling scared because of the little security gate. Your dads sun bleached hair and my dad and him having a few kind words and parting ways with your dad smiling and patting my dad on the forearm. My Gandparents lived there until the late 80s and we would visit them every weekend via the lake. There are so many great memories i have from that place. I remember following your dad in his water truck as he watered the trees. Going to the little store there to get jerky or a big stick Popsicle. Catching bluegills off a little dock tucked back behind the boat docks. That place created so many memories for me. Memories that i have told my children because they ment alot to me. I thank your family for those things. Best wishes. Steve

    1. Bobbi Holmes Post author

      Thanks for writing! We have some special memories of the Palms.

  7. Mike

    Hi Bobbi, we loved this place. There was a cook/ server that would drive his jet ski from havasu. Really nice guy, what was his name. He was there for a while and was there just prior to the restaurant closing. Thank you!

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