original landscape of quiet desert beauty. Finally (from 1944-46), frosts, heat and hail fell upon the surviving orchards. For the next seven years, firewood – the only thing growers had left to sell – was carried across Cajon Pass for burning in the fireplaces of Los Angeles. In 1945, Newton T. Bass and Bernard (Bud) J. Westlund, oil field wildcatters, became the area’s primary developers. Drilling in the Apple Valley area, Bass found something even more valuable than the oil he was searching for: water. Bass and Westlund bought 20,000 acres east of Victorville from the Union Pacific Railroad and decided to develop a community. The men pioneered land development, turning the acreage that they bought into a recreational and retirement “bedroom” community. This development has made Apple Valley one of the desert’s most prosperous areas. With extensive advertising and sales offices in other cities, Apple Valley lot sales reached the 5,000 mark within five years. Following the Apple Valley example, developers built golf courses and other recreational facilities, and modern homes began to replace the weather-beaten board shacks left behind by
the homesteaders. The boom of schools attested to Apple Valley’s attraction. In 1909, the Apple Valley School District had to “borrow” one pupil in order to have the minimum seven students that were required to hold class; between 1949 and 1958, three elementary schools and a junior high school were built and expanded. Known as a retreat for movie stars and the sight of several movie productions, Apple Valley became world famous. Among celebrities who came up to make movies or to just get away from it all were Red Skelton, Fred MacMurray, Jonathon Winters, Caesar Romero, Anthony Quinn, Dorothy Malone, Raymond Burr, Chuck Connors, Lawrence Welk, John Charles Thomas, Dean Martin, Dale Robertson and Desi Arnaz. Bass, who died in 1983, was once asked why he wanted to build a city out in the middle of nowhere. He said, “I had the vision to see, the faith to believe and the courage to do it.” Apple Valley Today! The Town of Apple Valley is not just a place. Apple Valley is an experience. Here a family can have a real home, uncrowded and sun drenched. The air is clean and the neighbors friendly. The community was incorporated on November 28,1988 with a population of just 41,000. The Victor Valley, in which Apple Valley is located, has a population of more than 300,000.