The Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive contains copies of letters that Pancho Barnes wrote to her friend, actor Duncan Renaldo (later of motion picture and TV fame as ‘The Cisco Kid’) discussing her ideas regarding the naming of her new desert ranch that she had recently purchased in February 1935.

In a letter dated February 5, 1935 Pancho Barnes writes, “Dear Duncan, I have been trying to think of a name to call the ranch. As it is surrounded to the South by dry lakes, the name ‘Rancho Lago Seco’ might be good. It’s euphonious, and whether or not a person knew Spanish, he would still be able to pronounce it. The name, of course, means ‘Dry Lake Ranch.’ Maybe you can think of a better name? If you can, do write and tell me what it is.”

In a subsequent letter dated June 6, 1935, Pancho writes, “Dear Duncan, We have gotten quite a bit of good hay off the place and I have succeeded in selling some of it at a fair price. If things keep going I expect the ranch will pay all expenses this year and within the next year or so be really earning money. Anyway, it is the most interesting work to me that I have ever done and is a gorgeously healthy existence.”

“Enclosed please find a money order for $10. I note in your postscript from your last letter that you say you do not need money. However, as you have had only about a total of $60.00 that I know of since you have been there, I am sure that you must want to get a few little things, especially now that you are in the hospital. This is alfalfa hay money, and that brings me to what I have decided would be a good name for the ranch. Let me know what you think of it – ‘RANCHO ORO VERDE.’ Personally, I think the name not only euphonious and pretty and easily pronounced, but of a rather nice romantic conception. You know they call oil ‘Black Gold.”

In a letter to Duncan Renaldo dated October 21, 1935 we see Pancho’s first attempt, in her own handwriting, at creating letterhead for her Rancho Oro Verde.