From what I understand these houses were build in the 1950's to steak their claim on a piece of land. The government was giving away land (which actually belonged to American Indians) to promote growth in the Hi-Desert. To steak your claim, you had to build a house on the land that was at least the minimum required size. People built the houses as small as was allowd, with cheap materials, and only used them as vacation houses and land markers. There are many of these houses scattered through the desert.