Friends, the time is at hand! The California State Land Commission is pressing for the sale of Section 36 of Slab City. This parcel encompasses Leonard’s “Love” Mountain and part of historic unincorporated, Slab City.
Five new industrial developments have been approved throughout Imperial Valley. Mining, industrial and solar facilities are becoming more prevalent in the area! It only makes sense that someone will want to do something similar or even develop housing for the many employees it will take to build and staff these facilities.
It’s now time to preserve the history of Camp Dunlap, Salvation Mountain and Slab City!
Make your tax-deductible donation today!
We want to raise a minimum of $40,000 total in hopeful expectations that our offer will be appealing and acceptable to the State. We have already made a good faith deposit of $5,000. We need to increase that amount to $25,000 as soon as possible. We will submit this deposit with our official Letter of Intent to the State as soon as we have fulfilled this goal.
Time is of the essence. Please give today! Those who know Salvation Mountain and Leonard’s work, know how impactful it is to communities around the world.
In 1986, Leonard Knight came to Bombay Beach to attempt to fly his hot air balloon. Two weeks later he was asked to move on from the beach area. He was told by people he met there that there was a place in the desert he could stay as long as he wanted. That place was Slab City! Slab City was a development of squatters made up of traveling laborers in the farm and construction industry, struggling artists and musicians, retirees, and pretty much anyone who couldn’t afford to live in more conventional settings.
In 1956, the U.S Marines dismantled Camp Dunlap and left only the concrete slabs that the buildings were on. The Department of Defense released the land back to the state of California in 1961. The first to stay at this place were laborers sent by pharmaceutical companies in LA to harvest several plants used in pharmaceuticals. Later, laborers building chemical and other facilities, were known to stay in the area. Temporary camps were built and when the laborers moved on, others would move in.
Over time, survivalists, writers, scientists, recreational users and other wandering geniuses made it their home. “Snow birds” found the location and made up a tremendous part of the population through the winter months. Those who lived there year-round out of necessity began to develop a swap meet and stage entertainment to raise funds.
This became an icon in the area attracting many visitors to shop the artworks and creations of those residents. The word about Salvation Mountain became known through word of mouth and film, which grew the area into a international tourist attraction.
During the 21st century, the introduction of East Jesus, another tremendous art installation among many smaller outdoor exhibits, gave Slab City a more predominate artist environment.
The land (610 acres), has continued to be owned by the State of California. The State will not officially declare this a community of any kind and simply wants to sell the land. In order to support this community and its history, we intend to purchase this property as a Community Land Trust.
The Imperial County Supervisors voted unanimously in 2021 to see Salvation Mountain purchase these lands and have encouraged us to obtain a Historic Landmark designation. This designation will allow us to be exempt from zoning requirement on private property. We wish to purchase the complete parcel and place it into a Community Land Trust. The Community Land Trust will support affordable housing, exempt property taxes, and allow us to protect this land for recurring 99 year periods.
We are working with several art foundations to develop a long term plan for the art community, envisioning a museum/visitor center to offer climate controlled facilities. This facility would display Leonard’s life, works and history, as well as other artists from Slab City. We will continue to cooperate with the State and County to see this preservation be a great benefit to local businesses and other County services.
It takes a community to help with our mission and maintain the work and legacy of Salvation Mountain. Whatever your level of interest, availability, skillset, or resources, we can use your help!
Reach out to us to help preserve this unique landmark.
Every dollar we raise go directly towards the maintenance of the site.
Contribute to the mountain while enjoying unique gifts and merch.
Join one of our painting parties or apply to become a docent.
Help with the land purchase of Salvation Mountain & Slab City.
Know the site rules before visiting to help preserve the mountain.
A 3-storey tall, 100-foot across monument to the love of God in the edge of Slab City. Read about the history and creation of this storied California landmark.
Created by a dedicated man so enamored with spreading the idea that “God is Love”. Read about the visionary artist who dedicated 28 years of his life to build a mountain in the middle of the desert.