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Dana and Ginger Lamb Papers
2008_03  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection consists of the personal papers of the adventurers and explorers Dana and Ginger Lamb. The collection contains an extensive amount of material which meticulously documents their travels, personal lives, and family history.
Background
Dana Upton Lamb was born in Tustin, California, on January 18, 1901 to John Charles Lamb and Emma Mary Holderman Lamb. J. C. Lamb served as the Orange County Tax Collector for thirty-three years and also raised groves of oranges, lemons and avocados. A 1923 graduate of Santa Ana High School, Dana joined the crews of the steamer W. M. Irish and the S. S. Carenco, traveling to the Eastern United States and Morocco, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Syria in 1924-1925. Active in the Boy Scouts at an early age, Dana Lamb served as field executive for the Orange County Council and as assistant scout executive, Greater Providence Council, Rhode Island, from 1926-1927. He also served as chief of the Laguna Beach lifeguard service, which likely provided him with the training and expertise to begin the Orange County Coast Patrol in the late 1930s. Virginia Marshall Bishop (later Ginger Lamb) was born in Santa Ana, CA, to watchmaker-optometrist Vernon M. Bishop and Nancy Cutler Bishop on September 22, 1912. The family moved to El Centro, California, shortly following Ginger’s birth but returned to Santa Ana sometime around 1921. She graduated from Santa Ana High School in 1930. Dana and Ginger married February 19, 1933. In August, they embarked on what became a three year, 16,000 mile voyage in their homemade, sixteen-foot canoe, the Vagabunda, from Southern California down the Pacific coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, and culminated in their crossing of the Panama Canal in September 1936. They chronicled their adventures in a book, Enchanted Vagabonds (1938), and went on the lecture circuit to capitalize on the great public interest in their journey and lives as adventurers. They continued their travels in Mexico and Central America during the 1940s, during which time they did some research for the Federal Government as special agents and produced a substantial report titled Report on Mexico in 1943. Their second book, Quest for the Lost City (1951), detailed their continued adventures in the 1940s and was the basis for a feature length film of the same name produced by Sol Lesser in 1954. Having made the seaside village of Corona del Mar their home base during their years of adventure travel, the growing population explosion in Orange County in the postwar era prompted the Lambs to move to the former mining town of Hillsboro, in the southwestern mountains of New Mexico, in 1962. The Lambs continued to camp and explore Baja California and deliver the occasional lecture, until Ginger Lamb passed away on February 25, 1967. The ensuing years for Dana Lamb were not idle, as he had to deal with the ramifications of a disastrous flood in Hillsboro in September 1972 and traveled to Micronesia in 1975-1976 before his death on June 11, 1979.
Extent
118 document boxes.10 flat boxes.7 cartons.2 oversize flat file drawers.41 oversize bound volumes.312 reels of film.19 oversize rolled items.
Restrictions
Availability
Collection is open for research.