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December 12, 2007

George Patton Memorial Museum

Today I visited the George Patton Memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit for the first time. It's an interesting place with more stuff to see than I expected, but they could certainly use more space and more explanatory tags on items. The most stunning exhibit they have is the thing appropriately called "The Big Map." The Big Map is a huge 5-ton relief map built like a jigsaw puzzle from fiberboard by the LADWP (or the Metropolitan Water District, or people who just wanted to create the MWD) in the 1920s. It covers the area from north of what would become Lake Mead to the Mexico border, from deep inside Arizona to the Pacific at a scale of 5,000 feet to the inch. It was taken to Washington for the congressional hearings prior to the passage of the Boulder Canyon Act of 1928, which brought about the construction of Hoover Dam. The map displays not just the Colorado River and proposed Lake Mead, but other dams on the Colorado, the All-America Canal and, most importantly, the Colorado River Aqueduct that carried water from Parker Dam to the MWD. The MWD gave the map to Patton because it nicely covered the entire area of his Desert Training Center. Patton added his camps and airfields to the map. In 1988 the MWD gave the map to the Patton Museum.

The map is unphotographable without a tripod as the lighting in the museum is so dim, so you'll have to visit to see it. But, hey, I've got other photos and here are some samples.
Camp Young

Mein Kampf (8116)

Order of Desert Rats (8114)

Accessory Packet (8118)

George Prentice (8117)

Victory Human Hair Net (8113)

Dodge Truck (8149)

Patton Museum Chapel (8134)

Pershing M26 Heavy Tank (8139)

Sherman M4 HVSS Medium Tank Damage (8148)

Filed under California,Photography | permalink | December 12, 2007 at 09:35 PM


I have my fathers signed "Desert Rats" certificate dated 26 of August 1955. One of my favorite keepsakes.

Posted by: L J Shaver at Jul 29, 2010 7:12:29 AM

I didn't see it at the museum, but I've seen it elsewhere.

Posted by: Ron's Log at Dec 13, 2007 6:57:50 PM

Did you see the photo of him pissing in the Rhine?

Posted by: Richard at Dec 13, 2007 6:36:57 PM

My mother used to babysit General Patton's kids in South Hamilton, Mass. (where he lived) during the war.

Posted by: Chris at Dec 12, 2007 10:32:00 PM

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