21 January 2010

The Carbon Canyon Area on an 1877 Map



The several images reproduced here are from a copy of an 1877 map of southern California. The area representing Carbon Canyon includes some of the nine parcels marked as "Coal Mining Claim," which almost certainly gave the Canyon its name. The ones within the Canyon would appear to be the three further east, including the area that is the burned-out "Manely Friends" stable and house and then the three lower parcels closer to the old La Vida Mineral Springs and Olinda Village.

The dotted line coming from the lower right on an angle, then moving straight vertically, a jog to the left, a short vertical and then an angle off to the right, before making two more jogs to the limits of the new town of Pomona is the boundary between Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.



Note that Orange County was not created until 1889 with the northern boundary running on a direct horizontal (east-west) line from the intersection of that county line where it meets the upper junction of two sections marked "1" and "2" and continuing westward to the property of "M. L. Barrows."

On the county line, the point at which the border goes from a straight vertical line to an angle moving to the southeast is where the boundary of Rancho Santa Ana del Chino comes in from the east.

To the west of the county line is today's Firestone Boy Scout Reservation. This is where the map shows the property of W. H. Swan. William H. Swan was a native of Canada, born there about 1830, who settled in Los Angeles in 1872 and appears to have purchased this land three years later. In the 1880 census, Swan is living there with his wife Harriet and children Clara, Lillie and William, Jr. In September 1895 Swan died, leaving his wife and a daughter living on the ranch. By 1910, however, Harriet Swan had moved into Los Angeles and died two years later at the home of her daughter Lillie St. Clair in what was then called the community of Lemon, now the City of Walnut.



Among the Swan neighbors were members of the Lugo family, owners at various times of the Rancho San Antonio (Bell Gardens area), Rancho San Bernardino, and the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, and the Ybarras who owned the Rancho Rincon de la Brea, in present-day Rowland Heights and portions of City of Industry. The Ybarra name can be seen on some of the details, including Luis and Jesus Ybarra.

Also nearby were Wilson Beach and George Butler, owners of most of today's Diamond Bar, which was public land under the Spanish and Mexican rancho system. These public area were for common grazing of the cattle from surrounding ranchos.



To the north and west of the Beach and Butler holdings are the lands of Alvin T. Currier. His property, bought in the 1870s, were from the Rancho Los Nogales, granted in 1840 to José Linares, then passed on to his widow, Maria de Jesus Garcia, and then sold to Ricardo Vejar, who built an adobe house on the ranch. It was from the Vejar family that Currier, a native of Maine who was a Los Angeles County Sheriff and California state senator, bought his property. This is now mainly in the City of Industry, north and west of the 57 and 60 Freeways and east of Valley Boulevard, but also including part of Diamond Bar as far west as near today's Lemon Avenue. The former Currier Ranch house was moved a few years ago to the grounds of the Phillips Mansion, a City of Pomona historic landmark, while the land has been largely converted to industrial uses. Real estate developer Ed Roski of Majestic Realty is planning to build a football stadium for an NFL team on a portion of the Currier Ranch. Currier's nephew Edward Hunter, who managed the ranch, married Clara Swan.

Also of note is the furthest north section of land marked "W. Rowland." William Rowland (1846-1926) was the son of John Rowland, original owner with William Workman of the massive 48,790-acre Rancho La Puente, stretching from roughly the 57 Freeway to Interstate 605 east to west and from Interstate 10 and the 60 Freeway from north to south. Rowland was a two-time Los Angeles County Sheriff, best known for capturing bandido Tiburcio Vasquez in 1874 and for forming the Puente Oil Company with William Lacy of Los Angeles about a decade later. Rowland built an adobe on this property for employees running cattle and this dwelling is a City of Walnut historic landkark in Lemon Creek Bicentennial Park.

Closer to Carbon Canyon to the west, there are two parcels, one appearing to be "Lambrachs" and the other "M. L. Barrows" that appear to be just west of today's Valencia Avenue and heading west toward where the 57 Freeway is. Between those sections and a grouping of five coal mining parcels are two sections that have names that are unreadable. These would seem to be located in today's Olinda Ranch area at the western mouth of Carbon Canyon.

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