Harrie told the following about his father Thomas: "He was down in the Imperial Valley before the Salton sea was there. Had a gold mine in the Chocolate Mountains. There was a wooden road, across the salt flats, so the wagons wouldn't bog down. The mine didn't have much gold in it, but he printed up "gold mine stock", and would travel around the US selling it. Made a lot more money selling stock then he did digging gold. Then in 1905 when the Colorado river jumped its banks and made the Salton sea, he bought up a lot of land around it and became a developer, developed the land for farming."