Inyo County Points of Interest

Lorenza and Larkin McKellips Gravesite Near Death Valley 20 February 2007
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Lorenza and Larkin McKellips Gravesite
State Route 190
Mojave Desert Near Death Valley
Died 1874

The wooden marker at the base of the cross states that Lorenza and Larkin McKellips were laid to rest here in 1874. Larkin was four years old and Lorenza died in infancy.

In the 1870s Alonzo and Nancy McKellips ran a stagecoach stopover here called Oren's Station. They had two young children, Lorenza (an infant) and Larkin (age 4) who both died from a plague in January 1874. The grieving parents buried the children. Not long after they abandoned the stage stop and moved away.

The graves remained neglected and nearly forgotten until 1947 when local miner Bill James discovered them. The faded wooden markers were barely legible. James asked many locals if they knew anything about the graves and he soon pieced together the story behind them.

James carved a new wooden marker for the graves. Through the 1950s James and other locals maintained the graves.

In 1959 when nearby Route 190 was scheduled for realignment, locals requested that the Division of Highways not disturb the graves. Two of the road crew decided to protect the site by erecting a new large wooden cross, and they established the painting of the cross and rocks and markers as part of routine Cal Trans maintenance.

Source: Fall 2013 Edition of The Survivor: The Bi-Annual Journal of Desert Survivors

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