Thanks for posting those pictures of Josies camp. They really brought me back! I lived there for a summer in 1967 when my father and uncle were working the Roberts Copper Mine. Old man Roberts from Caldwell Idaho I believe owned the camp at the time and using the camp was part of the deal of purchasing the mine. My mother cleaned it up and we used her home as our kitchen but we mostly lived in trailers that were brought up to have some creature comforts. We used the showers and I slept in the bunk beds in the back when company or certain workers were there. I would not sleep in there alone.
We would sit outside on the porch after dinner and feel the cool breeze as the sun went down and the poplars would catch the wind. It was a bit of an oasis for travelers. They would stop by occasionally when they would end up on the roak from Leonard Creek. There was a dump site just below the camp that antique collectors would rummage through looking for treasures from previous times and mining camps. My uncle said that he expected that my mom was the first lady to cook in Josies house since she passed. It was a nice little cabin and a bit unexpected where it was located. When you were there you felt like you had your own little world even though Monteros ranch was not too far away. BLM men would come by occasionally and check the salt licks and springs. Cattle ranchers would also come through on the way to check on where the cattle had wandered off to.
I did not see any pictures of the modern structures that were built at the site. Across from the garage were some concrete vats used to precipitate copper out of a leached solution. There was a water hole dug behind Josies house which was filled by the spring about an eigth of a mile above the camp. I used to swim in it but it was to cold to stay in very long. The sun did not hit there long enough to warm up the water.
I had a love hate relationship with the place as I was a city kid and did not like being away from friends whenever I had to go out there. But once I was there I really enjoyed it especially if I knew I could go into town once in a while. We had two dogs and I had a pet porcupine there as well. There were mountain lions and rattlesnakes to deal with which made it a bit of an adventure. I loved to shoot a 22 rifle out at rocks and tin cans and targets. My brother in law came there and hunted one year and shot an antelope. It was hung to cure in a tunnel or cellar that was dug in the back of Josie's house. Not long after a mountain lion came and got into the cellar to get the meat. The dogs scared it away and my uncle shot into the air and it ran away. It was a bit nervous around there for a while. Rattlesnakes and bull snakes would set off the dogs and so you had to always watch where you walked and went around the camp.
Josie was a legendary figure and many saw her as minings version of Annie Oakley. She was supposed to be very tough and lived at the camp until she died. My uncle and my father and mother had known her from many years before we lived at the camp. My father always dreamed of buying the place and makeing it into a dude resort of sorts and as a tribute to Josie. Keep the legend alive sort of thing. I have not been there for over 40 years and need to go back there before it is too late and take some pictures and possibly show my kids the place that I spent in the country as a young boy. I will want to see the desert sky at night especially when there is a meteor shower. It is a spectacular thing I will always remember from my time there. I don't think I ever saw more stars in any other sky that I have seen since. The solitude there is a feeling that I can feel to this day. It really is a rugged beautiful place in that region around Josie Pearls camp.