Cecile Page Vargo and Roger W. Vargo specialize in researching and visiting old
mining towns in California and Nevada and learning about the historical personalities
that made these locations unique. Those explorations led them to Cerro Gordo more
than thirty years ago. They became friends with (then) owner Jody Stewart and her
manager (and later her husband), Mike Patterson.
They researched and learned, in depth, Cerro Gordo’s history, and its connection
to Los Angeles. They lead others to Eastern California through their four-wheel drive
tour business. After Jody’s death, they helped Mike with historical research, internet
technology and spent weekends at Cerro Gordo with Mike and watching the town and
giving tours to visitors while Mike was off the mountain.
An introduction by Mike to Doug Gordon, grandson of L. D. Gordon, Cerro
Gordo’s owner in the early 1900’s, led Cecile and Roger to become acquainted with
Doug’s collection of L. D.’s historical photographs. After Doug’s passing, per his wishes, the Gordon Photo Collection was given to them. These images, along with more recent images of Cerro Gordo, form the foundation of the Arcadia book. Years of historical research and a friendship with Robert C. Likes who wrote From This Mountain, the original book on Cerro Gordo, and research from public, personal and private archives, provided the factual narrative to accompany the images.
The book contains 192 images and covers a time span from the 1870’s through
the twenty first century.
The Vargos, along with the Friends of Cerro Gordo, a 501(c)(3) organization they
helped establish, are the historical consultants and archivists for Cerro Gordo. They
provide a connection between Cerro Gordo’s past and present owners as well as being
a resource for maintaining the town’s historic legacy and conducting ongoing research into Cerro Gordo’s past.