Copyright 2014
John Huddleston

Photographer's Statement

The town of Eagle Mountain existed in the Mojave Desert of Southern California from 1942 to 1982. Five thousand people lived in this classically American small community. It was a company town, producing iron ore for Kaiser Steel. Only 35% of the iron deposits had been extracted at the time of the closing. The demise of the town and mine speaks to a variety of problems in American, or capitalist society, and has resulted in an eerie scene of devastation.

From a series of forty 16" x 20" Ektacolor prints, made from 4" x 5" negatives, 1989-1991.

1. Oleander Drive

2. Sage Street

3. Juniper Drive

4. Backyard

5. Front Door

6. Living Room Wall

7. Bedrooms

8. Child's Room

9. Bathroom

10. Swimming Pool

11. Classroom

12. Beauty Shop

13. Cafe

The videotape :


by John Huddleston and Jeff Lipschutz. 1989.

B/W and Color

Running Time: 30 minutes

This poetic documentary describes a modern ghost town in southern California in a "home-made" style. Eagle Mountain was a Kaiser Steel company town of 5,000 inhabitants which closed in 1982. Since that time, the empty houses, stores, industrial buildings, and strip mine have steadily deteriorated through exposure to the harsh elements of the Mojave Desert. With a novel mix of reminiscence, anger, and humor, Eagle Mountain explores this evocative and surreal landscape, addressing a variety of social and economic problems in our country. The town's artifacts are discovered, examined, and re-animated in an attempt to ritually free the spirits of the departed residents. One of the video artists grew up in Eagle Mountain. The tape is a powerful elegy for the American hometown.