Back Roads Press

Back Roads Press A publishing company focusing on San Bernardino County History. Feel free to contact us with any questions. [email protected] or [email protected]
(6)

A native of Somerville, New Jersey, Nicholas R. Cataldo has made San Bernardino, California, his home since the age of 12 in 1966. A graduate from California State University in San Bernardino with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Science in 1977 and M.A. in Education in 1983, Nick has been a special education teacher in the San Bernardino Unified School District since 1978. Nick is a contributing western history writer for the Tombstone Epitaph and for Dezert Magazine. He is the author of Images of America: San Bernardino (published by Arcadia Publishing in 2002), co-author of Pioneers of San Bernardino: 1851--1857 (published by the San Bernardino County Museum Association in 2001) and co-author of The Earps of San Bernardino County, (published by the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society in 2002), and currently writes a local history newspaper column for the San Bernardino County Sun. His most recent book, entitled “The Earp Clan: The Southern California Years” (published by Back Roads Press) was released in October of 2006.

Operating as usual

My article for the San Bernardino Sun on October 27 is about Keenbrook, a small community in the Cajon Pass that thrived...
11/01/2020
Keenbrook in Cajon Pass was once a popular stop for travelers

My article for the San Bernardino Sun on October 27 is about Keenbrook, a small community in the Cajon Pass that thrived with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad, the National Old Trails Road, and eventually Route 66 from the late 1880's until the 1960's. When Interstate 15 came through in the late 60's, business took a detour...into a fond but faded memory.

In 1921, the post office closed followed by the depot and then the school.

The history of the westward movement during the 19th century contain innumerable tales of courage and adventure.  One of...
08/26/2020
This San Bernardino pioneer loved to share history of adventures

The history of the westward movement during the 19th century contain innumerable tales of courage and adventure. One of the most amazing pioneers in San Bernardino County’s annals who exemplified these features was “Uncle Joe” Hancock---the focus of my article written for the San Bernardino Sun that appeared on August 25, 2020.

“Uncle Joe” Hancock kept in his possession the board they used as a table from the wagon caravan from Council Bluffs to Salt Lake and later to California.

Written for the San Bernardino Sun on July 28, this is part two of a two part article that I did about Cozy Dell, a popu...
07/29/2020
Along early Route 66 in Cajon Pass, Cozy Dell Ranch was the place to stop

Written for the San Bernardino Sun on July 28, this is part two of a two part article that I did about Cozy Dell, a popular rest stop used by travelers making their way through the Cajon Pass for over a century.

The Cajon Pass property and its owners changed over the years as automobile travel really took off and those new owners shifted the vision for the site.

In the July issue of the Tombstone Epitaph, I wrote about the "Hell-Raising" frontier days of San Bernardino...which pre...
07/14/2020

In the July issue of the Tombstone Epitaph, I wrote about the "Hell-Raising" frontier days of San Bernardino...which preceded that of the legendary Old West towns of Tombstone, Dodge City and Deadwood.

My article written for the San Bernardino Sun on June 23 focused on a popular pioneer rest stop in the Cajon Pass called...
06/25/2020
For early San Bernardino County travelers, Cozy Dell Ranch was a welcome site

My article written for the San Bernardino Sun on June 23 focused on a popular pioneer rest stop in the Cajon Pass called Cozy Dell. This was part one of two parts. This first one focused on the 1870's through the 90's. Part two, which will include up to the 1950's, will be next month.

The spot was an early rest stop near the Cajon Pass.

My article written for the San Bernardino Sun that appeared on April 28  focused on the time period following Brigham Yo...
04/29/2020
San Bernardino’s ‘Whiskey Point’ brought notoriety in city’s early days

My article written for the San Bernardino Sun that appeared on April 28 focused on the time period following Brigham Young's recall of all Mormons to Salt Lake City in 1857. This mass exodus contributed to the transition of San Bernardino's fairly peaceful reputation to a bonafide "hell-raising" town...long before well known names like Dodge City and Tombstone became synonymous with the "Old West".

The drinking establishments surrounding Whiskey Point occasionally brought out the worst in the civic leaders as well.

This article which appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on March 24 was about an incredible woman who was one of the many ...
03/25/2020
This longtime San Bernardino resident was ‘always more than a doctor’

This article which appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on March 24 was about an incredible woman who was one of the many unsung heroes in Southern California during the early 19th century.

For much of our country’s past, the male population’s accomplishments have greatly over shadowed their female counterparts. In fact, for many men the role of women was limited to supporting t…

This article which appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on March 24 was about an incredible woman who was one of the many ...
03/25/2020
This longtime San Bernardino resident was ‘always more than a doctor’

This article which appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on March 24 was about an incredible woman who was one of the many unsung heroes in Southern California during the early 19th century.

For much of our country’s past, the male population’s accomplishments have greatly over shadowed their female counterparts. In fact, for many men the role of women was limited to supporting t…

Do you ever wonder how the names of cities came about?  And how about the streets and other locations in those cities?  ...
02/27/2020
How these San Bernardino County landmarks got their names

Do you ever wonder how the names of cities came about? And how about the streets and other locations in those cities? The article that I wrote for the San Bernardino Sun on February 25 focused on many of these place names and the historical significance behind them.

A history lesson in how some of the names came to be.

My article written for the San Bernardino Sun on January 28 is about the Municipal Auditorium. For those "San Bernardini...
01/29/2020
In the 1920s, this was San Bernardino’s gathering spot

My article written for the San Bernardino Sun on January 28 is about the Municipal Auditorium. For those "San Bernardinians" that grew up in this area--especially in the 1950's, 60's and 70's-- this should bring back fond memories.

In 1921, a bond election was held to finance a new social center dedicated in memory of soldiers killed in World War I.

This article written for San Bernardino Sun that appeared on December 26, focused on the day nearly a century ago when t...
12/28/2019
Hesperia Hotel hosted a special impromptu concert in 1920s

This article written for San Bernardino Sun that appeared on December 26, focused on the day nearly a century ago when the Mojave Desert town of Hesperia played host to a world-famous pianist.

Without hesitation, a renowned musician agreed to perform for the community.

For many of today's motorists, the Cajon Pass is nothing more than a necessary evil potentially slowing them down as the...
09/29/2019
Home to the modern-day 15 Freeway, the Cajon Pass has presented challenges to travelers for centuries

For many of today's motorists, the Cajon Pass is nothing more than a necessary evil potentially slowing them down as they hurry home from work or on their way to make a "killing" in Las Vegas… with little time to contemplate those who struggled through here in the past. My history article, which appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on September 26, focuses on the generations of weary travelers who had their own headaches while passing through this corridor bridging the Mojave Desert with the San Bernardino Valley.

The first known use of the “road” through the pass was as an American Indian trail connecting a string of villages that stretched from the upper Mojave Desert to Cajon Canyon.

Jacob Nash Victor played a major role in developing San Bernardino County.  If it wasn't for the railroading efforts and...
09/03/2019
This man played a role in the completion of the transcontinental rail line in San Bernardino County

Jacob Nash Victor played a major role in developing San Bernardino County. If it wasn't for the railroading efforts and leadership from this man, Southern California may have looked a whole lot different than it does today. I wrote this article for the San Bernardino Sun, which appeared on August 29.

With the arrival of the railroad in San Bernardino County during the 1870s and ’80s, opportunity seeking land speculators found the perfect magnet for people coming from the East Coast fed up…

Lyndon Baines Johnson was our nation's 36th president.  However, long before entering politics, "LBJ" resided in San Ber...
07/31/2019
The day Lyndon B. Johnson returned to San Bernardino

Lyndon Baines Johnson was our nation's 36th president. However, long before entering politics, "LBJ" resided in San Bernardino for a short time while working as an elevator operator. This article appeared in the Sun on July 30.

The former president once operated an elevator in downtown, before taking a job in an attorney’s office in the same building.

No matter how hard present day historians and history “buffs try to experience the past--it is still difficult to fathom...
04/25/2019
This 1849 caravan had a grueling experience in their quest for gold near San Bernardino

No matter how hard present day historians and history “buffs try to experience the past--it is still difficult to fathom what the pioneers of the 19th century had to endure as they made their way out west. This article, which appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on April 23, is a fine example of how dedicated these individuals were in hopes of acquiring a better life.

A caravan of 100 wagons formed in Salt Lake City to head to California gold country.

Writing this article for the San Bernardino Sun (appearing on February 26) about San Bernardino's Company K Division was...
03/01/2019
Company K Division of San Bernardino, aka ‘Waterman’s Rifles,’ had many sendoffs as they went to war

Writing this article for the San Bernardino Sun (appearing on February 26) about San Bernardino's Company K Division was inspired by James R. Valdez's excellent presentation for the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society. Jim's program was called "The Homecoming From Wold War I.", which highlighted the 100th anniversary of our local soldiers returning home after the conclusion of what President Woodrow Wilson hoped would be "The War to End All Wars." Linda Cataldo John Cataldo

Various local soldiers in the group eventually won recognition.

While preparing for this article that appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on January 22, I thought about how frustrating ...
02/04/2019
San Bernardino’s past traffic, road conditions weren’t always ‘the good ol’ days’

While preparing for this article that appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on January 22, I thought about how frustrating it can be getting stuck in heavy traffic, especially while also dealing with heavy rain and roads "infested" with potholes. Linda Cataldo John Cataldo

Maneuvering a horse drawn wagon along pothole-rutted dirt roads was not an easy task.

My article that was published in the San Bernardino Sun on December 25 focused on a man who had a major impact on the ci...
01/01/2019
A look back at the life and leadership of Warner Hodgdon in San Bernardino

My article that was published in the San Bernardino Sun on December 25 focused on a man who had a major impact on the city of San Bernardino from the mid 1960's and continuing until the 1990's...a controversial individual with both ardent supporters and reviled opponents.
Despite not always making popular decisions, Warner W. Hodgdon dared to take a stand in order to make his city successful. You can read this article (as well as other articles) by going to Sbsun.com and then typing "Cataldo".

A developer and car enthusiast, this longtime San Bernardino-area resident had a true love for the city.

During the 1860's, San Bernardino County was in many ways synonymous with the frontier days of "The Old West".  My artic...
05/12/2018
Like a page out of a Western novel, Mojave Road was well fortified

During the 1860's, San Bernardino County was in many ways synonymous with the frontier days of "The Old West". My article for the San Bernardino Sun, which appeared on April 24, gives the reader a nostalgic stroll back in time to that period in our country's history.

During the 1860s, Mojave Road was the main trans-desert route between Arizona and the California coast.

Saloons were big business in the Old West.  These drinking establishments were an absolute necessity on the frontier.   ...
01/28/2018
How M. and O. Saloon played into San Bernardino’s bar history

Saloons were big business in the Old West. These drinking establishments were an absolute necessity on the frontier. One of these saloon towns was San Bernardino and perhaps its most popular as well as enduring "watering hole" was the M. and O. Saloon...later renamed the Vendome Bar. I wrote this article for the San Bernardino Sun on January 23.

The saloon was a popular gambling center and there was almost always a big game going on in the back room.

I wrote this article about miner and grizzly hunter, William F. Holcomb,  for the San Bernardino Sun on October 24.  Hol...
11/03/2017
Famed mountain man Bill Holcomb leaves mark on San Bernardino County’s early days

I wrote this article about miner and grizzly hunter, William F. Holcomb, for the San Bernardino Sun on October 24. Holcomb (who later in life was a local civic leader) is credited with the first discovery of gold in a San Bernardino Mountain valley today commonly known as "Holcomb Valley".

For many of us present-day historians, no matter how hard we try to experience the past, it is still difficult to fathom what the pioneers of the 19th century had to endure as they made their way o…

"Gold Made Lytle Creek Sparkle"  is my article written for the San Bernardino Sun on August 22, which  focuses on the 18...
08/24/2017
Gold made Lytle Creek sparkle

"Gold Made Lytle Creek Sparkle" is my article written for the San Bernardino Sun on August 22, which focuses on the 1860's mining boom in that area.

When the words California and gold are linked, one usually envisions the Mother Lode country in the High Sierras. However, there have been literally scores of major discoveries in this state stretc…

PUBLISHED IN 2006 AND CURRENTLY IN ITS 3RD PRINTING.The story of the Earp brothers lives on in books, movies, and even a...
07/30/2017

PUBLISHED IN 2006 AND CURRENTLY IN ITS 3RD PRINTING.
The story of the Earp brothers lives on in books, movies, and even a 1950’s television series. The focus has always been on their “lawman” escapades in Tombstone. The truth is, they lived there just a little over two years. And what is not well known is that the entire family spent most of their time in Southern California’s San Bernardino County. The Earp Clan: The Southern California Years is the seldom-mentioned story of the legendary family’s many years living there.
Soft cover 176 pages.
$23.00 (includes S&H) in lower 48 states.
Send check to: Back Roads Press, 6804 Ventura Court, San Bernardino, Ca. 92407.

Back Roads Press
07/28/2017

Back Roads Press

PUBLISHED IN 2002 AND NOW IN ITS 3RD PRINTING.

Captured here in over 200 vintage photographs is the history of this Southern California city and its roll in the state's development for more than Two Centuries. $25.00 (includes S&H) in lower 48 states.
Send check to: Back Roads Press, 6804 Ventura Court, San Bernardino, Ca. 92407.

The Calico Print is the subject of my article written for the San Bernardino Sun, which appeared on July 25
07/26/2017
Calico’s print pioneer: The Print newspaper

The Calico Print is the subject of my article written for the San Bernardino Sun, which appeared on July 25

It’s hard to imagine a booming town without a local newspaper to report on its progress, and during the frontier period in Southern California few newspapers were more colorful than the Calico Print.Born in a bustling silver mining camp

How an English sailor played a part in San Bernardino County history
03/30/2017
How an English sailor played a part in San Bernardino County history

How an English sailor played a part in San Bernardino County history

The history of San Bernardino County is full of interesting pioneers, many of whom you may not know a whole lot about. One of these seldom-mentioned individuals was an English sailor named Michael White.According to his life story, which was pr

This is my most recent article written for the San Bernardino Sun.
03/06/2017
Camp Cajon: Picnic tables with a past

This is my most recent article written for the San Bernardino Sun.

On July 5, 1919, The San Bernardino Sun raved about a huge celebration that took place in the Cajon Pass the previous day promoting what would soon become a popular rest stop and picnic area for motorists passing through as well as for local residents

The Struggle of the "People of the Pines"  is the title of my most recent article written for the Tombstone Epitaph.
01/08/2017

The Struggle of the "People of the Pines" is the title of my most recent article written for the Tombstone Epitaph.

Historic Tour of Mt. View Cemetery         Saturday, October 15On Saturday, October 15 from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM, the S...
09/22/2016

Historic Tour of Mt. View Cemetery
Saturday, October 15
On Saturday, October 15 from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM, the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society in conjunction with Mt. View Mortuary and Cemetery will be sponsoring the 3rd annual Historic Tour of Mt. View Cemetery. Those attending this fun event are asked to donate $10.00 per individual and $15.00 per couple if they RSVP and send in fee by October 1 and $15.00 per individual and $ 20.00 per couple after that date. For children 12 years old and under, the fee is $5.00. All proceeds will contribute as a fundraiser for the Historical Society.
Although not mandatory, everyone is encouraged to dress in "1880's through 1920’s" attire. We will have two trams that will accommodate most of the attendees.
Mt. View Mortuary and Cemetery is located at 570 E. Highland Ave. in San Bernardino.
If you are interested in joining us, address a check payable to: “The San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society” and send it to PO Box 9572, San Bernardino, Ca. 92427. If you have any questions, you may contact me via email at ([email protected]) or by phone at 909-709-3792.
Thanks,
Nick Cataldo

Mike Stubbs and I visited with two of the most renown Wyatt Earp/ Tombstone historians in late August. In this photo tak...
09/19/2016

Mike Stubbs and I visited with two of the most renown Wyatt Earp/ Tombstone historians in late August. In this photo taken in Tombstone on August 26, Mike is standing in the center flanked by Scott Dyke to his right and Ben Traywick to his left.

This an article about Cahuilla Indian Chief Juan Antonio that I wrote for the August edition of the Tombstone Epitaph.
08/08/2016

This an article about Cahuilla Indian Chief Juan Antonio that I wrote for the August edition of the Tombstone Epitaph.

Father of the Fighting Earps is an article about Nicholas Porter Earp that I wrote for the October issue of Wild West Ma...
07/28/2016

Father of the Fighting Earps is an article about Nicholas Porter Earp that I wrote for the October issue of Wild West Magazine.

Address

18600 Hinton Street
Hesperia, CA
92345

General information

To place an order feel free to either message us here on Facebook, email us at either [email protected] or [email protected] or call us at (909) 709-3792.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Back Roads Press posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Back Roads Press:

Category

Nearby museums


Other Hesperia museums

Show All

Comments

Enjoyed your article in the Press Enterprise - Landmark Names Have Intriguing Past! Where can I find more of your research?
In this article written for San Bernardino Sun that appeared on December 26, focused on the day nearly a century ago when the Mojave Desert town of Hesperia played host to a world-famous pianist.
John Clum was the focus of my article written for the Sun that appeared on March 26. Although not as well known as his good friend Wyatt Earp or some of his other contemporaries, Clum played an important role in the Old West...and San Bernardino too!
Writing this article for the San Bernardino Sun (appearing on February 26) about San Bernardino's Company K Division was inspired by James R. Valdez's excellent presentation for the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society. Jim's program was called "The Homecoming", which highlighted the 100th anniversary of our local soldiers returning home after the conclusion of World War I.
While preparing for this article that appeared in the San Bernardino Sun on January 22, I thought about how frustrating it can be getting stuck in heavy traffic, especially while also dealing with heavy rain and roads "infested" with potholes.