Desert Rat Scrap Book archive

Friends Of Old Fort Oliver, Org.
The Old Dream Merchant!
Desert Rat Scrap Books - Etc.


Welcome to the Harry Oliver archive! Below, you'll find material about the Old Mirage Salesman's architectural designs and constructions, both in Greater Hollywood and out in the Desert. Expect this to grow as more contributions arrive — but we need your contributions of memorabilia, images and texts to fill in the holes. [hint, hint...] Join the Desert Rat Scrap Book discussion group and post or upload your goodies there.   Enjoy —Ric

 Who was Harry Oliver?

Harry's Adobe & Quaint Architecture
Old Fort Oliver
Ft.Oliver by Betty Stohler: 53k

Adobe de Rancho Ballona
Rancho.Ballona by Betty Stohler: 48k
Adobe de Borrego
Borrego Springs by Betty Stohler: 40k
Gold Gulch calaboose
sorry, no blowup
In his Hollywood days and later, Harry crafted many sets, houses, villages, forts, fantasies. He also designed some notable homes and commercial structures, most famously the Willat-Spadena 'Witch' House and the Van De Kamps bakery windmill. And he build numerous adobe 'forts' and 'ranchos' both for others and for his own use, being the least expensive possible lodging. Borego Adobe Under Const.
Borego Adobe Under Construction: 240k

Van De Kamp Bakery windmill
VDK Windmill by Betty Stohler: 46k
Original Van De Kamp windmill
VDK Windmill original image: 97k
Tam O'Shanter
Tam O'Shanter by Betty Stohler: 28k
FLASH: Last VanDeCamps on Route 66 has been SAVED! Click here for brief. (page down)

witch house photo "The Spadena house in Beverly Hills is perhaps the ultimate example of Storybook Style, as well as its most literal link to the film industry. The house was designed by Harry Oliver in 1921 and constructed in Culver City to provide offices and dressing rooms for a movie studio. With its serpentine fascia boards and cartoonishly lopsided walls and roofs, the entire design is a cleverly-wrought caricature of dilapidated antiquity. The house appeared in a number of silent films of the era before being moved to Beverly Hills in 1934 and converted into a residence."

Witch House - Willat Studios
Witch House by Betty Stohler: 40k
1989: Betty Stohler at
witchhouse: 123k

witchhouse: 14k

From Kate Danley's journal::
January 19, 2002: But what was truly the highlight of the whole trip and a place I recommend to everyone was "Witch's House". From the tour book "Designed in 1921 by Harry Oliver, this "Hansel and Gretel" style house was originally built in Culver City as offices for the Irwin C. Willat movie stuidio. Moved here in the early 1930's, it is now a private residence. 516 Walden Drive". It is a home straight out of a dream. It has a moat in front, a rickety bridge going to the teeny front door. The shingles are all catiwampus. Absolutley the most adorable home I have ever seen.


home: 61k Just browsed across your sight (sic) on a whim. Thought you might be interested in a photo of Harry's first home. He was born in this home in Hastings, MN in 1888, and lived there for several years before he headed to California.

My wife and I currently own and live in the home which we purchased in 1998 for it's historical value, appearance, and location.

Interesting sight you have here. We will add it to our own archives. Thanks for your time.

John and Judy Bowles

bus stop at Varner Road and
Harry Oliver Trail, 1000 Palms CA

the bus stops here

OK, so as architecture it's pretty damn minimal, but at least Harry got a street and bus stop named after him. That's more recognition that YOU probably ever got, eh?

The Hollywood / Cinema sections are now here

Southwest Humor, South West Humor, Southwest, South, West, Humor, Folk, Lore, Folklore, Lost Treasure, Lost Treasures, Lost, Treasure, Treasures, Harry Oliver, Harry, Oliver, Desert Rat, Desert, Rat, DesertRat, Scrap, Book, ScrapBook, Desert Rat Scrap Book, DesertRat ScrapBook, Peg Leg Smith, PegLeg Smith, Peg, Leg, PegLeg, Smith, Lost Dutchman Mine, Lost, Dutchman, Mine, Ghost Town, Ghost Towns, Ghost, Town, Towns, Lost Gold Mines, Gold, DRSB, HOFC, Harry Oliver, Harry, Oliver

DRSB ! Bisbee ! Elvis !!

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Ric Carter,,