Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781935195054 Published February 2010

Jackrabbit Homestead

Tracing the Small Tract Act in the Southern California Landscape

Kim Stringfellow

Kim Stringfellow

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

136 pages | 61 color plates, 18 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2009
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781935195054 Published February 2010

The landscape of the Morongo Basin of Southern California’s Mojave Desert is dotted with unusual buildings and parcels of land that developed as a result of the Small Tract Act of 1938. The structures, which are remnants of a mid-century homestead movement, have become a lightning rod for seemingly disparate communities wishing to claim and inhabit the desert landscape.


In Jackrabbit Homestead, Kim Stringfellow, an artist and writer known for her cross-disciplinary work addressing the American West, land use, and the built environment, documents the character of the homestead architecture and the homesteaders who built it. Alongside her compelling photographs, she explores the origins of the Homestead movement, the Public Land Survey, and other U.S. public land policies that have shaped our perception and long-term management of the California desert.


Richly illustrated with Stringfellow’s color photographs and historical illustrations, Jackrabbit Homestead is an essential document of American landscape history.

Lucy R. Lippard, author of The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society and Defining Eye: Women Photographers of the 20th Century

“Kim Stringfellow has invented her own genre, a fusion of cultural geography/tour guide and artist’s book. These books are unique as environmental and local histories that are up-to-date, readable (!), and imaginatively illustrated. I’d welcome her into my neighborhood any time.”

Bill Fox, author of In the Desert of Desire: Las Vegas and the Culture of Spectacle

“Stringfellow’s mix of natural and cultural history, social criticism, and art is a smart and succinct addition to the top shelf of desert geographies.”

Danny Lyon, author of The Bikeriders and Conversations with the Dead

“Stringfellow attacks her subject as a historian, a collector, and a photographer with the vision of a Walker Evans on acid.”


Map of the Morongo Basin and Vicinity




A Brief History of Jackrabbit Homestead


Artists, Off-Roaders, and the American Dream Writ Miniature


The Plates


Notes on the Text


Patents for Pages 66-67


About the Mapping Process




About the Author

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