25 June 2016

The Battle of Chino as told by José del Carmen Lugo

One of the sons of Antonio María Lugo, the original grantee of Rancho Santa Ana del Chino in 1841, José del Carmen Lugo was a co-owner of the Rancho San Bernardino, where the present county seat is located.  José del Carmen was born in Los Angeles in 1813 and was raised there, remaining in the pueblo until about 1839 when he moved to San Bernardino.

José del Carmen, in fall 1877, conducted an interview with Thomas Savage, who with a few others, traveled throughout California on behalf of historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, collecting material from Spanish-speaking Californios and Americans and Europeans with the express purpose of recording the history of California before and up through the American conquest of 1846-47.  Many of these interviews, which were recast in narrative form by Bancroft's associates, were published.  Lugo's was not, however, until the San Bernardino County Museum Association reprinted it in 1961.

Rancho San Bernardino was formally transferred on 21 June 1842 by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado to his granduncle, Antonio María Lugo, who acquired the 35,000-acre property for his three sons, José María, Vicente and José del Carmen, and for his nephew, Diego Sepulveda.  All built or remodeled adobe houses on the property--José del María in what is now Redlands, Vicente in today's San Bernardino, and Sepulveda in Yucaipa, where his home still stands as a state historic landmark.

As for José del Carmen, he took possession of structures built by the Mission San Gabriel as its furthest eastern outpost, or estancia, for cattle grazing, but which had been abandoned when the missions were secularized in the mid-1830s.  Remodeling the buildings, he established his home at what has been erroneously called the "Asistencia".   A 1930s re-creation of the property was built about a mile from the originals and is located in Redlands.

In 1846, when American forces invaded and seized Los Angeles, a garrison of troops were left behind and its young commander, Archibald Gillespie, imposed curfews, ordered arrests and otherwise alienated many Spanish-speaking Californios, though, notably, José del Carmen indicated that Gillespie "was a good friend of my father."


In any case, a revolt was instigated by Californios chafing at Gillespie's ham-fisted control and, though Lugo stated that "in truth, thee were only a few youths, practically unarmed", the word of the uprising was brought to him at San Bernardino.  Similarly, Benjamin D. Wilson, a prominent American who came to Los Angeles in late 1841 with a group often known as the Rowland-Workman Expedition, was summoned from the San Bernardino Mountains, where he was on a trip, to assist in the defense of the newly-conquered area.

Lugo recalled that Wilson sent a messenger to "advise me to enlist what force I could, because he was coming to my home to take me prisoner," which came as a surprise, Lugo said, because"I had done no harm to anyone, directly or indirectly."  He also said that one of his brothers told him "he was uneasy over the threat Señor Wilson had made toward me."  In his reply to Wilson, Lugo stated "it would be best for him to come alone to take me and not compromise others" and that he would not be "calling anyone to my assistance."

Wilson replied that he and others were on their way to Lugo's house, to which Lugo began gathering some twenty one men and weaponry to meet Wilson at his ranch at Jurupa near modern Riverside.  When arriving, however, Lugo found that Wilson had gone to the home of Isaac Williams at Chino, this being on what is now the grounds of Boys Republic here in Chino Hills, and he followed.

A scouting party of sorts sent ahead and approaching the Williams home at Chino met a man named Evan Callahan, who tried to fire upon them, but his pistol jammed, and Diego Sepulveda, Lugo's cousin and owner of the Yucaipa adobe mentioned above, knocked Callahan down with a blow to the head, but the American managed to make it to the house.  Two Latinos with Callahan were seized and both swore to assist Lugo.

Lugo then said that "an officer came to me ordering me to the Commanding General, Don José María Flores, in Los Angeles to join him with the force I had."  With this, Lugo sent a request to Flores for aid, being told that Wilson was joined by some fifty men at the Chino adobe, though he and his men surrounded the house and were positioned "on the road to Los Angeles," which was almost certainly what is now the 71 Freeway now runs north to south just east of Boys Republic.

When one of his young sons went to retrieve a hat blown towards the house by a strong wind, gunfire erupted, but Lugo stated that he waited overnight for help from Flores, which came in the form of thirty men led by Serbulo Varela and Ramon Carrillo.   A mixup over how to deal with a messenger who hurried from the house led to a movement of Lugo's men towards the structure, which had some kind of moat around it.  As a group of men attempted to breach the moat, one, Carlos Ballesteros, fell from his hourse and, upon climbing back on his horse, "was struck in the right temple by a bullet and fell dead."

At this, as some of his men gathered some grass in the area, Lugo "ordered the grass thrown on the roof of the house and set on fire."  Notably, his men went to "an Indian village near at hand, and they had a fire outside it."  He went on to say that
I went at full speed amid the bullets that were coming from all directions.  I rode hugging the sides of the hourse and crouching low to keep a bullet from hitting me.  During this onrush of the horse, stretched alongside as I was, I reached down and seized a blazing stick with which I returned at full speed to the house.  I set fire to a corner of it and ordered that the same be done to the others.  I then went at full gallop to make the circuit of the house and enter it by the main door.
While this was transpiring, Lugo reported that he heard the cries of three of his nieces and nephews, children of his deceased sister and Williams, crying for him, so he had his men rescue them and two female servants.  Diego Sepulveda entered the home from a back entranc and the Americans and Europeans surrendered, including Williams, Wilson, John Rowland of Rancho La Puente, and many others.

Lugo stated that he had his men extinguish the flames, searched the home and found some men hiding, and then had the three children delivered over to Williams, telling his brother-in-law, "he should thanks me for saving his children, but neither he nor they gave any sign of thanks afterward."
Interestingly, while the boy died shortly after, "the girls are still living and care nothing about their uncle."  These were Francisca, who later married Robert Carlisle and owned Chino, and Merced, who was the wife of John Rains and owned Rancho Cucamonga.  Carlisle and Rains were Southerners who had grisly ends, as has been discussed here before.

After the fire was put out and the home's contents, which had been removed, returned, Lugo started for Los Angeles, but stopped at La Puente to allow the prisoners to rest at the adobe home of William Workman, which still stands at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in the City of Industry.   There Lugo was loaned a horse by Workman, who said "that Ramon Carrillo and Serbulo Varela were not willing that John Rowland should be permitted to talk there with his wife."  So,
Don Julian and I betook ourselves to where the prisoners were and called Mr. Rowland out so that he could talk with his wife.  He conversed as long as he wished, and we then continued the journey to Los Angeles.
At a place called Paredon Blanco (White Bluffs), where Flores maintained a camp--this now the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, where the bluffs overlook the Los Angeles River.  Lugo stated that "in the affair at Chino we took forty or fifty prisoners and a great many firearms with ammunition."

Later, after providing services to Flores in Indian areas from Temecula to San Diego, Lugo stated that he was ordered to "take charge of the foreign prisoners who had been left under guard and take them to the Rancho Chino, guarding them until further orders,"  These included Williams, Rowland and a few others, though, apparently, not Wilson.  Lugo then said that "my father, shortly afterward, asumed responsibility for a part of them and these were given their liberty on their word of honor to engage in no acts unfavorable to the country while the war was in progress."

Lugo then observed that "I continued in charge of the prisoners until January 8, 1847, when I was ordered to set them free and remain there with all the men of the country I could enlist, since Flores and his forces would come to Chino within a few days."  Lugo then had about forty men under his command.  According to Wilson, Workman and Ygnacio Palomares of Rancho San José, now the Pomona area, secured the freedom of the prisoners.  The following day, an American force, which had marched from San Diego, engaged the Californios in a battle along the San Gabriel River and, taking the field, went into Los Angeles.

When Flores, who had retreated east to Rancho Cucamonga and then headed to Chino on his way to Mexico, suggested Lugo join him, this was rejected.  Lugo disbanded his small force as the war was essentially over.  He assisted John C. Fremont, who commanded a volunteer force of Americans and then assumed a contested role as military governor in California, by recovering some of the horses left behind by Flores in his hurried flight.  In 1849, Lugo served as the alcalde (basically, mayor) of Los Angeles, as well as justice of the peace.

Two years later, Rancho San Bernardino was sold to Mormon colonists sent by Brigham Young to establish a community in the region.  The Mormons came very near to buying the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino from Isaac Williams, but a deal fell through, and the Lugos and Diego Sepulveda were able to complete a sale.

As to Lugo, he ended his 1877 interview by stating "up to the year 1853 I was in good circumstances . . . [but] I had the misfortune to loan my signature as bondsman for other persons in whom I had confidence . . . and I had to sacrifice my property and even the house in which I lived to meet these obligations."  His days as a prosperous member of Californio society were over.

Although some sources list his death as 1868, 1870, or after 1880, Lugo was still residing in Los Angeles in the 1880 census and his property in "Sonoratown" between the Plaza and the Elysian Hills was referred to in newspaper ads in 1882.  His wife, Rafaela Castro died in 1883, but Lugo's death date has not been established.

10 June 2016

Two Carbon Canyon Road Closures in One Day

This isn't from either of today's incidents, but was from May when this sign, frequently mangled, was partially amputated below its "right knee" when a car crashed into it at the S-curve along Carbon Canyon Road on the Chino Hills side of the canyon.
There were two separate complete closures of Carbon Canyon Road this morning, which even for the long history of serious crashes and shutdowns of the state highway is unusual.

The first incident was this morning in a familiar location for accidents on the Brea side between Olinda Village and Carbon Canyon Regional Park.  The driver and passenger in a pickup were taken to a hospital for evaluation, while the driver and passenger of a sedan were examined by paramedics on scene, but not transported to a hospital.

More on this incident can be viewed here.

Then, in the late morning, a wreck near the intersection of Carbon Canyon Road and Chino Hills Parkway took place, shutting down the highway for about fifteen minutes, until the scene was cleared and the road reopened.  There were no details about the accident on the City of Chino Hills website's Major Road Closure notification system.

Three Possible Futures for Tres Hermanos Ranch?

As reported yesterday in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Tres Hermanos Ranch, long owned by the City of Industry, is now the subject of a dispute between the city and an Orange County developer about its future.

According to the paper, the state-run oversight board to the former Industry redevelopment agency has ordered the city to submit its proposal for what to do with the 2,500-acre ranch by 31 August.  Industry had put the property up for sale and then pulled it off the market when there was a change in the city council majority and a new staff  in 2015.  The question now is whether the city can afford to buy the ranch given its high market value as the last large undeveloped property in the area.

Meantime, G.H. America, Inc. and Irvine-based South Coast Communities are angling to buy Tres Hermanos for a development of 1,881 houses that would bring approximately 7,500 residents and offered $101 million for what could be a $1.1 billion project.  The developer is accusing the city of violating the conditions under which former redevelopment property is to be sold and the funds used for fire districts, schools and other entities.

Tres Hermanos Ranch could become the location of a preserved recreation area, a solar farm, or nearly 2,000 homes for almost 8,000 residents, according to an article in yesterday's San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The ranch had long been said to be valued by Industry as a location for a reservoir that could generate hydro-electric power.  An attorney for G.H. America, however, claims that there is a behind-the-scenes manuever to direct the land towards a 1,000-acre solar farm and trying to skirt the terms of the law that deals with former redevelopment agency holdings.  All that city officials would say of late was that the ranch was desirable for repurchase "for open space and recreation."

One of the owners of the development company stated that there would be 600-800 affordable housing units, an additional 336 built in areas allowing only 1 home per five acres, 18 acres for commercial purposes, and a mixed-use zone of 20 acres.  He stated that "about 40 percent would be open space, leaving a good portion for trails."

Fomer Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley, who now works for land developers, weighed in on the issue, claiming there was no reason for the city to try to buy the ranch and thwart what he called a "high quality" development.

Meanwhile, local preservationist Claire Schlotterbeck was quoted as saying that she and others in the Save Tres Hermanos organization are looking to have a conservation group buy the land to preserve it from development and devote it to recreation.

To read more, click here.

02 June 2016

Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council Wildfire Awareness Fair This Sunday

This Sunday the 5th from 1 to 3 p.m. at Chino Valley Fire District Station 64 is a Wildfire Awareness Fair, hosted by the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council.

Representatives from the fire departments of the Chino Valley and Brea, and the state agency CalFire will be there and station tours and self-guided tours of the Firewise garden that runs between the station and Carbon Canyon Road will also be available.

It is also a chance to meet with and talk to your Canyon neighbors, so the Council hopes to see you there!


24 May 2016

The Buzz on the History of the Binder Beekeeping Ranch of Soquel Canyon

Soquel Canyon, Carbon Canyon's southern neighbor, is, compared to others in the area, relatively undisturbed.  There are remnants of structures in Hidden Valley, the area where the Chino Ranch Ride (covered here in a recent post) took place for decades from the late 1930s.  On the eastern end, the Aerojet munitions testing facility has certainly left a mark below ground level, though much of the physical presence above ground is absent.  Much of the canyon is held as private property, but development of any kind is going to be problematic given the difficulty of access.

This situation is not for a lack of trying, however.  As early as the mid-1920s, a proposal, noted here previously, to build a road through Soquel from Brea to Chino was floated and the idea remained in the minds of regional and local planners and others (and may still for some).  In the late 1960s, traffic studies, noting that the 91, 60 and soon-to-be opened 57 freeways and Carbon Canyon Road (Grand Avenue was years from being pushed through to Chino Hills) were the only east-west corridors between the Inland Empire and Orange County, advocated fora 6-lane highway through Soquel that would have destroyed it.  Finally, not that many years ago, the highway concept was dropped, though no one should be surprised if an attempt to reintroduce the idea will come once again.

In its early days, uses of Soquel Canyon were few.  The eastern portion falls within the boundaries of the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino and was used for grazing cattle and other animals on the property.  To the west, a section of Soquel was within public lands that were common areas for owners of ranchos, such as Chino, to use when their properties were over-grazed or threatened to become so.

With the gradual demise of the rancho system, though, public lands were made available for sale, starting in the later 1860s.  It appears that one of the first persons to take the opportunity to acquire property in the public portion of Soquel Canyon was Charles Binder.

Binder was born in 1840 in Copenhagen, Denmark and immigrated to the United States, where he worked as a carpenter and then joined the Army at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in June 1872.  By the end of the year, though, Binder decided the military wasn't for him and, in what was a common act at the time, deserted his unit.  It appears that, not long after, he drifted westward.

Charles Binder's voter registration record from 1879, showing his naturalization the previous fall in Los Angeles and identifying him as a beekeeper in the Anaheim township--specifically at Soquel Canyon.
By the late 1870s, he was in the Los Angeles area, where he was naturalized in November 1878.  The following summer, in July 1879, he registered to vote as a resident of Anaheim Township and was listed as a 39-year old bee rancher.  Though it was not stated, Binder had established himself in Soquel Canyon to do his work, though it appears that he did not keep his residence at the ranch, but lived elsewhere in the area.

At the end of June 1880, enumerator J.W. Anderson made his way through the Orange-Santa Ana Township of Los Angeles County as part of the undertaking of the federal census.  After leaving Santa Ana Canyon and the home of Marcos Yorba, son of prominent ranchero Bernardo Yorba, in what is now Yorba Linda, Anderson headed northwest.

Charles Binder's 1880 census listing showing him as an apiarist in Soquel Canyon within the Orange Santa Ana Township.  He also appears to have been bee-keeping near modern Claremont at the same time.
He came across two 40-year old Danes, Christian Christensen and Binder, both of whom were listed as being an "apariast," the proprietor of a bee-keeping enterprise.  Binder had a German-Mexican employee, Anton Smith, as an employee.  Two households down was Alfred Patten, a 26-year old native of Arkansas, who also was practicing the apiary trade.  Then, the next two households featured Claus Grim, a 35-year old German, and 27-year old Frank M. Davis, also from Arkansas, both of whom were listed as working with "Cattle & Bees."

This stereoscopic photograph of a San Gabriel Valley apiary, or bee keeping ranch, was taken by A. C. Varela about 1878, which is roughly when Charles Binder began his bee-keeping work at Soquel Canyon.  Photo courtesy of the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry.
There was, in fact, in the 1870s and 1880s, a bit of a bee-keeping craze in the greater Los Angeles area, with apiarists setting up their facilities in the San Gabriel Valley and, apparently, in what later became northeastern Orange County.

On the same 1880 census, but in the San Jose township, north of Pomona, there was a listing by census taker Frank Ellis, for 40-year old Charles Binder, "apiarian" and a 30-year old man, known only as "John Doe."  Though Binder was listed here as hailing from Germany, it seems certain that he had two separate bee-keeping facilities--one at Soquel Canyon and the other probably in the vicinity of San Antonio Canyon near what is now Claremont, given that his near neighbor was the Reverend Charles F. Loop, co-owner of the Loop and Meserve Tract that encompased the area.

Charles Binder's listing as an apiarian in the San Jose & Azusa township, specifically near San Antonio Canyon in modern Claremont, 1880 Federal Census.
In 1882, Binder was listed in a newspaper public notice as having "possession, interest and claim to 160 acres, being southeast quarter of section 31 township 2 south range 9 west."  This looks to be an area up near Brea Canyon, which might be an indication of his trying to expand his land-holding interests. Two years later, Binder was listed as a bee-keeper in the Anaheim section of the Los Angeles City and County Directory.

On 20 August 1888, two notable events happened for Binder. First, he re-registered to vote, once again listing himself as a beekeeper in Anaheim.  The second is that the 48-year old was married in East Los Angeles (now the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles) to Celia Clarkston, also of Anaheim and also 48-years old.

From the Los Angeles Herald of 28 July 1889 is a brief description of a wildfire that burned Charles Binder's apiary--this may be the first documented Carbon Canyon area wildfire.
Tragedy struck just under a year later.  In what may be the earliest documented wildfire in the Carbon Canyon area, the Los Angeles Herald of 27 July 1889 had a brief article reporting that,
Fire on the Olinda Ranch, north of Anaheim, last evening swept over a vast amount of territory, destroying Charles Binder's bee ranch, windmill, barn and other property.  The fire started from brush burning, which got beyond control.  Loss several thousand dollars.
As chronicled here before, the Shanklin Ranch, which covered several thousand acres of the area, mainly became the property of W.H. Bailey, a native of Maui, Hawaii, who renamed his property Olinda after his family's plantation on the Hawaiian island.  Whether Binder's ranch was actually on the ranch and had been purchased or leased by him is not clear.

Another major issue was the state of the local economy.  The well-known "Boom of the Eighties" which peaked in 1887-88 and which, at Olinda Ranch, led to grand plans like the town of Carlton and a proposed railroad from Chino, went bust about the time of the fire that destroyed Binder's apiary.

The 1890s was a decade in which the Los Angeles region was frequently in drought conditions and the nation was hit by a debilitating depression in 1893.  Still, Binder persevered with his bee-keeping enterprise.  In the 5 November 1893 issue of the Herald it was reported that "Charles Binder of Anaheim has purchased the cottage of W.T. Smith and moved his family out to Mr. Binder's foothill ranch."  This "foothill ranch" is almost certainly his apiary at Soquel Canyon.

Binder's stay at the "foothill ranch" appears to have been limited, however.  Whereas in 1892 he registered to vote out of the Yorba precinct with an Anaheim post office address, four years later, he registered out of Fullerton and gave his occupation as a farmer.

This appears to correspond with his purchase of three lots in the town in March 1895 from the Pacific Land Improvement Company, which was a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, the line of which passed along the south edge of the town and whose president was George H. Fullerton, its namesake.  Pacific Land was also the founder of Claremont, another town along a Santa Fe line and owned the land on behalf of the Santa Fe in the Olinda oil field, where the railroad's Petroleum Development Company operated the earliest wells.

The "Death Record" listings from the Los Angeles Times, 22 May 1899, including one for the death of Charles Binder the prior day at his Fullerton home.
On 21 May 1899, Binder died at his Fullerton home at the age of 59 or 60 and his widow, Celia, continued to reside there.  In 1900, she leased out the Binder Ranch to the newly formed Soquel Canyon Oil Company.  A July 1900 issue of the Los Angeles-based magazine The Capital featured an article on local oil companies, including the Carbon Canyon Oil Company (covered here previously) and Soquel Canyon Oil, described as having 190 acres under its ownership just east of Olinda.

While it would be expected that articles like this would play up the potential of oil-bearing lands like that of Soquel Canyon oil, it is also not surprising that, far more often than not, small players like the firm quickly revealed the risky nature of the business.

The first well proved to be dry of oil, if not of water and, as reported in the Herald twice in mid-March 1901, it was abandoned.  Another well was sited, but proved to be problematic, as well.  A year later, the company pulled out its rigging and transferred to a well it was working on in the Los Angeles field near downtown.

A Herald piece from 1 May also observed that there were many rumors of gold in the Soquel Canyon area, with one canyon going by the name of "Robbers' Roost Canyon."  While stating that there were indications of quartz and iron in the hills, there was also reference to the allegations that "a few years ago there was some excitement over the alleged discovery of coal on the Binder ranch, but this fund did not prove profitable.  As early as 1877, maps showed a number of coal mining claims in the area, which is almost certainly how Carbon Canyon got its name.

Speaking of maps, the Soquel Canyon Oil Company had its two wells in the area where Soquel and Carbon canyons meet, right at the location of today's Olinda Village and Hollydale Mobile Home Estates.  It may be that the Binder ranch was situated on land that later was partially or completely purchased by Edward Gaines and which became the "Flying Cow Ranch".

Several years ago, apiaries were noticed at the west end of the La Vida Mineral Springs property, though that material was soon removed.  Other boxes for bee keeping have been spotted on hilltops between Carbon and Soquel canyons and some are still there, though inactive.  It is almost certainly unlikely that these modern apiarians were aware of the history of bee keeping in our local canyons dating back to the 1870s.  Given the severe threat to bees now, apparently due to pesticides, it may be that a new era of apiaries is long overdue. 

08 May 2016

Carbon Canyon Historic Artifact #51: Joseph Bridger Adobe at Los Serranos Country Club

In 1865, when Robert Carlisle, the hot-headed husband of Francisca Williams, who inherited Rancho Santa Ana del Chino from her father, Isaac Williams, upon his death in 1856, was killed in a famous shootout at the Bella Union Hotel in Los Angeles, the ranch became supervised by trustees, principally Los Angeles banker Isaias W. Hellman (as recently covered here in this blog) on behalf of Francisca and her children with Carlisle.

Hired to manage the ranch was Joseph Bridger, born in Tenneessee in 1830, and who married one of Isaac Williams' daughters from an Indan wife, the daughter of Chief Pablo Apis of Temecula.  While some sources state that Bridger bought the Chino Ranch from Francisca Williams Carlisle, that is not the case.

For example, journalist Benjamin C. Truman's 1874 book Semi-Tropical California, states very clearly that
The property of the heirs of Robert Carlisle deceased it is managed and supervised by Mr Joseph Bridger and it was from his hospitable residence that I sallied out upon the several tours which I made through its broad acres
Francisca Carlisle married Frederick A. MacDougall, a mayor of Los Angeles in the late 1870s, and moved to Los Angeles with her children, leaving Chino in the very capable hands of her half brother-in-law Bridger.

A real photo postcard, dated 1 February 1927, of the "Home Ranch" adobe house on the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, built by Joseph Bridger after 1865, used by Richard Gird after 1881 and then, from 1924, serving as the clubhouse for Los Serranos Country Club, until it was razed.  The site is now the current clubhouse, opened in 1995.  
Note that Truman stated that he toured the massive ranch with Bridger "from his hospitable residence."  Eventually, this became known as the "Home Ranch" and another confusion about the history of the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino is that this was also the original ranch home of Antonio María Lugo, grantee of the ranch in 1841, as well as Isaac Williams, who was given control of the domain.

Yet, in 1938, Bridger's son Andrew and the Carlisle's two surviving daughters, Mary and Laura, provided a statement clarifying the situation, observing that the original Chino ranch house was:
upon the site of the former main building (pink house, as its color designated) at what is now known as the George Junior Republic dairy—an adobe, the headquarters of Mr. H. J. Stewart, 1874—since then destroyed, we understand, by fire and demolition.
This "former main building" of the "George Junior Republic dairy" is the site of today's Boys Republic facility in Chino Hills, a couple of miles north of the "Home Ranch" adobe house Bridger built after 1865.  It should be noted that a California State Historic Landmark plaque commemorating the 1846 Battle of Chino, which took place at the original adobe of Lugo and Williams, stands at the Chino Valley Independent Fire District training building (a former fire station) just outside the Boys Republic complex on Eucalyptus Avenue, just northwest of the intersection of Pipeline Avenue.

Traveling south on Pipeline today gets you to the western boundary of Los Serranos Country Club.  After Joseph Bridger's sudden death on 23 September 1880, it was decided to sell the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, the buyer being Tombstone, Arizona mining magnate Richard Gird.

Gird moved into the Bridger adobe and significantly added and improved it, turning the structure into a showplace for his magnificent domain.  After Gird lost control of the ranch and it moved through several owners, eventually falling into the hands of oilman E.J. Marshall, the adobe stayed intact.

Finally, in 1924, the Campbell-Joralmon real estate firm, working with the Marshall Estate, sold the Bridger-Gird "Home Ranch" adobe and surrounding land to a syndicate of Long Beach investors who established the Los Serranos Country Club and Los Serranos subdivision.

The connection to Carbon Canyon is that the owners of the new country club actively promoted improvements to Carbon Canyon Road, because it provided a shorter route to the facility from Los Angeles.  A complete paving of the road was completed by the end of 1920s, a few years before it became part of the California state highway system.

The real photo postcard shown here is of the adobe and is titled "Los Serranos C. Club / Club House."  On the back of the unused card, is a pencil inscription with the date 1 February 1927, less than two years after the golf club opened to the public.

The image shows much of the two-story structure, with a broad balcony along its length, largely obscured by palm and other trees, as well as tall hedges.  In the foreground is a large open lawn with wood chairs scattered about it.

The old adobe and clubhouse are long gone now and the site is the location of the current clubhouse, which opened in 1995.

04 May 2016

Another Carbon Canyon Road Closure

UPDATE, 4:48 p.m.:  Well, there was a change in plans, as posted by the City of Chino Hills:
Wed., 5/4, 4:40 pm - Carbon Canyon Road is now open. AT&T did a temporary fix. Additional repairs will be done at a later time
UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.:  The latest from the City of Chino Hills also estimates an 8 p.m. reopening:

Wed., May 4th - Carbon Canyon Road is Closed Through Evening Commute Hours

Wednesday, May 4th; 4:30 pm - Carbon Canyon Road is completely closed in both directions between Olinda Village and Sleepy Hollow due to downed phone lines. Motorists should plan an alternate route as repairs will continue through the evening commute hours. Chino Hills residents can get to their homes from the Chino Hills side; and Brea residents can get home from the Brea side. Estimated completion of repairs is 8:00 pm. Once word is received that Carbon Canyon has reopened, this message will be updated. 
UPDATE, 4 p.m.:  It looks like Carbon Canyon Road may be open by 8 p.m. tonight, according to the Orange County Register:
A downed telephone line prompted authorities to close off a portion of Carbon Canyon Road in Brea Wednesday afternoon.
Brea police were called around 12 p.m. about an AT&T line in the road, said Lt. Bill Smyser.
Authorities closed the road from Olinda Village to the San Bernardino County line. Residents can still access their homes, Symser said.
No one was reported injured.
Crews are working to repair the line, and the road is expected to reopened by 8 p.m.
It's become a common occurrence over the years--Carbon Canyon Road has been closed, for about the last 45 minutes, because of a car accident leading to downed power lines on the Brea side of the canyon.

Here is the information from the City of Chino Hills:

Carbon Canyon Road is Closed Due to Downed Power Lines

Carbon Canyon Road is closed at this time due to downed power lines as a result of a traffic accident. The closure is from Olinda to the County line. Residents can get home to as far as Sleepy Hollow, but no through traffic is being allowed.

There is currently no estimated time for the reopening of the road.
This is from a post on the NextDoor Sleepy Hollow neighborhood page from 9 April.
This follows another recent closure of a couple of weeks ago due to a wreck on the S-curve in the Chino Hills portion.  Before that, there was a post on the Sleepy Hollow community page of NextDoor showing an overturned vehicle resting against an embankment along the eastbound side of the state highway just east of Old Carbon Canyon Road.

More recently, within the last several days, that poor sign on the S-curve eastbound at the first tight curve, which has been flattened, battered and beaten many times, has had a partial amputation of its left leg due to an errant driver.