Some books have stated that Mrs. Arlene Barker was Cappy's grandmother, which of course, is not true... no relation whatsoever. The Myer's Ranch (about 1/4 of a mile East of Barker Ranch) belonged to Cappy's grandparents, the Myers...
Mrs. Barker was born Ima Arlene Kirklen in Oklahoma in 1921. She married James Henry Barker (Born in 1916) in 1942 in Oklahoma. They moved to California, had three children, and resided in the Los Angeles area.
Mr. Barker passed away in 1967. Mrs. Barker passed away May 12, 1989. Below is a picture of Mrs. Barker at the Indian Ranch, land they leased near Ballarat.
Merrill Curtis arrested Charles Manson and the Manson
Barker Ranch is infamous as the last hideout of Charles Manson and his "family" after the gruesome Los Angeles murder spree. It is located inside Death Valley National Park in eastern California.
The Inyo County sheriff department, California Highway Patrol, and National Park Service law enforcement captured the group in raids on October 10 and October 12, 1969. Manson was caught hiding under the bathroom vanity. At the time of his arrest they were unaware of the magnitude of their find. They wanted to prosecute the persons responsible for vandalism within Death Valley National Monument (the unit was upgraded to National Park status and expanded 1994) further north, unaware that they had a mass murder suspect and his followers.
Barker Ranch is located in a rock and boulder filled valley in the Panamint Range. It is only accessible by sandy, primitive and rugged roads. Streams feed this little valley and provide much vegetation. There is a small one room guest house located to the side of the main house. There is also a makeshift swimming pool (this was probably a cistern to store water from the spring) made from cement and rock boulders towards the back of the property.
Today the remnants of the ranch belong to National Park Service. Due to a fire in May 2009, most of the structure has been destroyed with only the cement and rock portion of the cabin still standing. The bathroom vanity where Manson hid is gone.
Barker Ranch was built by "recreational ranchers" who moved to the desert to enjoy the solitude and simplicity of living far from civilization.
Butch and Helen Thomason moved to the area in the 1930's to try their hand at gold mining. Around 1940 they constructed a small cabin and out building, with electricity provided by a windmill and generator, and drinking water from a nearby spring.
In 1955 the ranch was sold to Jim and Arlene Barker, who moved to the desert from Oklahoma. To accommodate their family gatherings, the Barkers enlarged the house and constructed more out buildings.
Merrill Curtis was one of the deputies who set upon the Manson Family and supervised their custody at the Inyo County Jail. He tells of Manson climbing up through a 12" vent in the ceiling of his cell and was captured in
the crawl space attempting to break a hole in the wall with a piece of re-bar.
Merrill Helm Curtis (1908-1992)