Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Midget Castle (Cabazon, CA)


Record Gazette [Banning, CA]
11 July 2011

Urban legends of the Pass


[...] One of the most interesting urban legends of Cabazon is the one of the circus train that allegedly derailed in Cabazon in the 1950s or 60s. Several members of the circus chose to remain behind after the train and track were repaired. They settled in Cabazon and kept many of the circus animals.

I spoke with a retired post office worker who remembers a troupe of these circus workers who would walk to the Cabazon Post Office with several of the animals on leashes. She particularly remembered a bear on a leash walking along with the troupe. They were described as “little people” and at the time disparagingly called “Circus Midgets.”

They reportedly built a small castle out of the abundant rock in the area. After numerous attempts I finally found the rock castle on property located between Esperanza and Dolores avenues, one day after it had been destroyed by fire. It was in the middle of a scorched grove of Eucalyptus trees and all that remained was the chimney, the doorway and a few feet of the rock wall. The doorway was very low and I had to duck to get under it. Inside the still-smoldering structure were remnants of chairs and tables built to the size of children’s furniture. The caretaker of the property confirmed that it had been a rock castle built by “little people.” [...]