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Colonel Allensworth
Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California



A.M.E. Church
Noted Individuals

Historic Sites
Selected References


A History of Black Americans in California:

Murray's Dude Ranch
Apple Valley, San Bernardino County

Murray's Dude Ranch, located in Apple Valley, San Bernardino County, operated for nearly 20 years as a dude ranch with a pool, several small houses, tennis courts, and riding stables. The ranch was founded by N. B. Murray, a Black businessman from Los Angeles.

An article in the Los Angeles California Eagle, dated September 14, 1914, describes the business acumen of Murray when he opened Murray's Pocket Billiard Emporium and Cigar Store on East Ninth Street in Los Angeles:

. . . owing to sober and investrous habit, honest and just methods of dealing with his many patrons and with an intelligent application to business has brought to himself a large following of friends and enviable standing with the business world Murray and his high class way of doing things is indeed a credit to his race.

These glowing praises are still used when ex-patrons describe the establishment Murray operated in Apple Valley until the 1940s. The ranch was used by entertainment personalities and by ordinary families. It was open to all who could afford to come. Murray's was a recreational favorite for Blacks, and a marker in the history of Black recreation. The sign at the entrance to the resort advertised: "There are only two places in the world to go, Murray's Dude Ranch and Paris, France."

In the 1920s, when Murray's Dude Ranch opened, widespread segregation practices limited Black Californians' access to most private and public recreational facilities. Resorts, hotels, nightclubs, and even public parks in many California communities were closed to Black patrons. For nearly half of the twentieth century, recreational activities of the Black community were carried out in separate facilities. Black-owned resorts were established in the first two decades of the twentieth century, including Lake Elsinore in Riverside County and Piru in Ventura County.

Murray's Dude Ranch
Murray's Dude Ranch, Apple Valley, San Bernardino County

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