25 April 2012

California Conservation Corps (+CalTrans) Carbon Creek Cleanup Completed: Corrections Continued

The recently-completed work conducted by the California Conservation Corps along the Orange County portion of Carbon [Canyon] Creek did not just turn out to be removal of dead arundo donax biomass or the recovery of other deceased plant material or the taking out of other debris and trash (such as the furniture and other garbage left months back at the old bridge entrance to the La Vida Mineral Springs motel.)

Comments left on the previous posts concerning this work by Jennifer Dulay of the CCC add to the scope of the work performed:

The California Conservation Corps (CCC) is working with Caltrans on a Transportation Enhancement project along Carbon Canyon. The project derived from the recent fire damage that occurred in Carbon Canyon and Chino Hills State Park. The CCC crews are planting natives to replace the hundreds of native plants that were lost due to fire damage. They are planting Willow, Mulefat, Sycamore and California Walnut.

Thank you for being a supporter of the CCC. The CCC crew is located out of the Pomona Satellite. If you have any questions regarding projects or corpsmember positions, my email is jennifer.dulay@ccc.ca.gov.
This image, taken last Sunday afternoon at the old bridge entrance to the La Vida Mineral Springs motel in the Brea portion of Carbon Canyon shows red and yellow colored flags marking where native plants were placed by crews from the California Conservation Corps, working in conjunction with CalTrans, on an enhancement program along Carbon [Canyon] Creek to mitigate damage down from the 2008 wildfires and from years of invasive arundo donax infestations.

20 April 2012

Serious Accident Closes Carbon Canyon Road!


UPDATE, 5 MAY:  A comment was left to this post earlier today by someone who was present at the time it happened.  It is repeated here in full as a reminder that this was yet another example of reckless driving on a late weekend evening and it could have been far worse.  Thanks to the person who left this information.

This was not a fatal accident. What my family and I witnessed was a driver in a white car speeding into the canyon around 10:30 pm. He actually passed us as we were entering the canyon. We guessed that he was doing in excess of 80 mph. Not a safe speed at any time on that road. Apparently as he went around the curve he lost control, went up on to the hill across from La Vida and rolled his car. When we got there he and his passenger were out of the car and appeared unhurt. I called 911 and informed them of the accident and I also volunteered information regarding his driving and his speed. Fortunately it was late enough that there were very few cars on the road and so there were no innocent victims. Don't know how the police handled the driver but I would hope that they did a sobriety test and at least cited him for excessive speed and or reckless driving.

While driving on Carbon Canyon Road from Brea to Chino Hills, we came, just before 11:30, upon a serious accident at the eastern end of where the historic La Vida Mineral Springs property is.


Paramedics, police and an ambulance or two were on scene and stretchers could be seen wheeled about.  A quick question to the officer diverting traffic back toward Brea led to the response that the road would be closed for at least an hour, meaning that it would not be open again until sometime between midnight and 12:30 a.m.



A quick few photos were taken, but don't show much except for the hazy glow of emergency lights at the scene.  No details were learned at the time, especially because we had to turn around the take the half-hour detail around via the 57 and 60 freeways.



Let's hope this isn't a fatality, but, unfortunately, it is another accident on a late weekend night on a tight curve in Carbon Canyon.


The last three photos were taken Sunday afternoon the 22nd and show some of the damage on the south side of the highway.

18 April 2012

Sleepy Hollow's Hiltscher Mineral Springs Resort

Thanks to a comment and an image provided by Sleepy Hollow resident Ray Byworth after he read the post two weeks back on the 1940 federal census in the community, there is new information about a second mineral springs resort in Carbon Canyon.  The far better known La Vida Mineral Springs opened sometime in the early 1910s or so and operated for many decades, but there was another resort just over the San Bernardino County line and Mr. Byworth provided the image below, which he received from Doug Dale, the local realtor who sold him his house and who annotated the image at the top with "PICTURE OF YOUR PROPERTY."  The view comes from a ca. 1960s publication that looks like a community newsletter and shows the Hiltscher Springs property.

This photocopy of a ca. 1960 newsletter from the Carbon Canyon community of Sleepy Hollow shows a photo of the Hiltscher Mineral Springs resort, which operated in the 1930s and perhaps beyond near the southwest corner of Carbon Canyon Road and Rosemary Lane.  The image, which can be viewed in a larger format by clicking on it, was provided by community resident Ray Byworth.

As noted in an earlier post concerning a 1920s map that showed the Olinda oil field and surrounding areas, there was a J.M. Hiltscher who owned a parcel in the general area that became Sleepy Hollow.  It was speculated in that post that this was Joseph Hiltscher, who was from a Fullerton ranching and farming family.  In the 1930 census, as also covered in this blog, there was a Fred Hiltscher shown as residing in Sleepy Hollow. 

A little further research reveals that Joseph and Fred (Frederick) were brothers.  Their parents were August Hiltscher and Frederike Bockisch.  August, born in June 1843, and Frederike, born in September 1850, were from German-speaking families who had Prussian and Austrian birthplaces.  The couple married in 1868 and raised five sons: Frederick, August, Jr., Joseph, Maximilian, and John.  August was a manufacturer of fine linen tablecloths in Austria and, because he had markets in the United States, decided to come to this country.  In April 1886, the Hiltscher family sailed from Hamburg, Germany and landed in New York City within eleven days.

Almost immediately, the family came west and found property west of Fullerton along Orangethorpe Avenue at Nicolas Avenue, what is today Euclid Street.  On twenty acres, the family tried wine grapes (after all, nearby Anaheim was founded by German immigrants looking to establish a wine-making colony), but then moved to walnuts and apricots after a disease wiped out the majority of the area's vineyards.  Later, the ranch was converted to raising oranges, which became the signature crop of its namesake county.

After only five years in the area, however, August Hiltscher died at age 48 and his widow assumed management of the ranch, successfully operating it with the help of some of her sons until her death in August 1919.

Shortly after his father's death, Frederick moved to Butte County in northern California, where he worked as a cooper (who made casks, barrels, tubs, buckets, butter churns and other vessels) in the town of Bangor, southeast of Oroville.  After a couple of years there, he returned to Fullerton for another brief tenure and worked as a farmer.  By 1900, however, he and his younger brother, Maximilian, five years Frederick's junior, were living in Chino where the two were farming.  It is not entirely clear where in Chino they were and it is possible they were in Carbon Canyon.  One of their neighbors, a French Basque named John Bidart (there was a La Puente family by that name) was a shepherd, and another was Andrew Friend, a farmer, and a family named Friend has been raising cattle in the Canyon for many decades.

By 1904, though, Frederick and Maximilian had left California for Arizona, where in that year the former and three partners incorporated the White Dog and Fullerton Mining Company in Prescott, a copper mining town northwest of Phoenix (incidentally, fifteen or so miles north of Prescott is Chino Valley!)  Fred served as the company's vice-president, while Max was a director.

However, after a few years at Prescott, the two brothers lit out for the copper mining town of Faulkner, New Mexico, north of Las Cruces and near what is now called Truth or Consequences, after a popular 1950s game show of all things.  In 1910, Fred worked as a mine assayer, someone who tests ores and minerals and figures out their type and what they are worth, while his brother was a machinist in a mine.  The brothers, who never married, were in the same community a decade later and, while, Maximilian continued to work as a machinist, Fred was listed as a civil engineer, though undoubtedly connected to mining.

Sometime during the 1920s, though, Fred came back to California and settled in Sleepy Hollow, while Maximilian remained in Faulkner associated with mining and was listed as owning his own copper mine in his World War I registration form.

The image provided by Mr. Byworth clearly shows the structure, located on the south side of Carbon Canyon Road between Rosemary Lane and the San Bernardino/Orange counties line to be the "Hiltscher Springs."  The question is: which member of that family.  The Joseph guessed at earlier as the "J.M. Hiltscher" on the 1924 oil map, was actually Joseph P. Hiltscher, not that map-makers don't make mistakes.  On the other hand, the middle initial might stand for "Maximilian," except that the 1900 census shows him as "Max H. Hiltscher."  It certainly wouldn't seem that "J.M." would have been Frederick.

Another minor issue is that 1937 and 1938 articles in the Los Angeles Times about regional mineral springs stated that Hiltscher, along with Silverado (in the Santa Ana Mountains east of Orange) and La Vida, was in Orange County, though the 1940 census clearly enumerates the spa as in San Bernardino County, which the photo above also indicates.

In any case, this is a great find.  Mr. Byworth, as indicated in his comment to the 1940 census post, also unearthed the remains of six concrete and tile hot tubs on his property that were from the Hiltscher Springs resort.  If someone out there has any information on which Hiltschers were owners of the springs, how long it operated, and any other material, it would be great to hear from you.

16 April 2012

Carbon Canyon Apiary Mystery

A fellow resident of Sleepy Hollow, who works in rescuing bee hives (the phenomenon of bee hive collapse, which recently was linked to certain pesticides, is a significant one these days) has expressed concern about bee hive frames and boxes that have been at the historic La Vida Mineral Springs site for a couple of years now but appear to have been left there without any maintenance. 

Consequently, wild bees have taken up residence there and my neighbor is concerned that someone, possibly during the ongoing construction project conducted by the City of Brea regarding water mains, pipes and vaults along Carbon Canyon Road or some other agency, might seek to destroy the wild hives to "protect" anyone working in the area. 

It does not appear that anything has been done while the California Conservation Corps crews have been doing their cleanup operations along Carbon [Canyon] Creek in recent weeks.  Still, if anyone knows who owns the bee-keeping equipment at La Vida, please leave a comment for this post.  Thanks!

09 April 2012

Carbon Canyon Land to be Sold by Chino Hills

As reported in the 17 March issue of the Chino Hills Champion, a 3.2 acre parcel in the Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon is being potentially readied for disposition by the City of Chino Hills.

The article noted that the city's Planning Commission was deliberatng over the prospect of selling or transfetting the city-owned tract, which is off Ginseng Road and Carbon Canyon Road, across the state highway from Western Hills Golf Course.  Currently, Ginseng, which is an old section of Carbon Canyon Road, has a horse stable and access to a couple of houses on it, but the undeveloped land would appear to be adjacent to the highway.  A man who is said to live next to the parcel has expressed an interest in acquiring it.

According to the paper, the acreage must first be offered to another governmental agency or a non-profit organization before being made available for private ownership, though it seems unlikely that any former entity, given the economy, will be interested and it is tought to envision a non-profit use for the land.  While fair market value would be the standard for the first scenario, a private sale would be held at a closed auction.

The property is said to be described as "irregular and hilly," which, actually, would more likely describe land to the south of Ginseng, rather than north, because the area next to the state highway is fairly flat, but the area to the south leading up and toward the open space between the Carriage Hills and Western Hills Oaks subdivisions is far steeper and is on hillside.

In any case, it will be interesting to see what comes of this property once the city has gone through the requirements for its disposition.


07 April 2012

Carbon Canyon's Latest Retail Business Opens

Doggie-Dos is a new pet grooming business that has recently opened in a suite next to the Circle K market at the corner of Carbon Canyon Road and Canyon Hills Road in the Chino Hills section of Carbon Canyon.


Within the last few weeks, a new retail business has opened in Carbon Canyon.  This is Doggie-Dos, a pet grooming service located in the suite next to the Circle K at the corner of Carbon Canyon Road and Canyon Hills Road.

The facility, located in 900 square feet (according to a short recent article in the Chino Hills Champion), is advertised by a small banner hanging over the doorway to the business, which is the first tenant other than the convenience store in the building.

There has been a very slow uptick in the economy, with other new businesses opening in Chino Hills in recent months and there may be enough of a clientele in the area for a grooming business, so it will be interesting to see whether Doggie-Dos will find a viable niche for its services.

05 April 2012

Sleepy Hollow and the 1940 Federal Census

Yesterday, the 1940 federal census was released for public access (statutes mandate that the decennial censuses cannot be made available until 72 years after the enumeration) and there has plenty of press about overwhelming demand forcing a shutdown of the National Archives Web pages for the census.

Meantime, the recent post covering the 1930 count in the Sleepy Hollow area can now be compared to what took place a decade later,  Between the two was the long-running Great Depression, which led, among many other things, to a major migration to California from such places as the "Dust Bowl" states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the like, which suffered from horrible drought and resulting dust storms.

As to Sleepy Hollow and its environs, there was little population change between 1930 and 1940, although most of those who lived in the community, founded in 1923, had left and newcomers established themselves.

The 1940 census also included a very different format than that of ten years earlier.  For example, all previous censuses back to 1880 had recorded the birthplaces of the parents of the enumerated person (which could be very useful in doing genealogical research,) but only the individual's place of birth is in this count.  However, an interesting addition was the recording of where persons had lived as of 1 April 1935.  This may have been a reflection of the major migrations of people during the Great Depression and it is helpful to know whether people were living in the same place or where they had been five years before.  Finally, again perhaps of the economic turbulence of the previous decade, there are fifteen columns capturing employment information beyond the usual recording of occupation.  These included how many weeks had been worked the prior year, how many hours had been worked in a given week just prior to the censuses and what a worker's 1939 income was.

Another notable aspect to the census when it came to Sleepy Hollow is that the census taker, Evelyn Banwell, in many cases, actually listed the lot and block number of many of the residents, presumably because there weren't identifiable house numbers.  On 18 April 1940, detailed on page ten of enumeration district 36-19 in the Chino township, the enumerator stopped at a farm, identified as "3/4 mile from the county line," this being the residence of Edwin Young, a 58-year old California native, his 41-year old wife Laura, originally from Wisconsin, and their three children, ages 6 to 18.  Five years previously, the Youngs had resided in Orange County, though in a rural area rather than a town or city.

The next stop was at the Workmen's Circle camp, Camp Kinder Ring, now the stables behind the Circle K at the corner of Carbon Canyon Road and Canyon  Hills Road.  There were found Russian natives Sam and Sarah Cutler, 57 and 55 years old, respectively, and both of whom having lived in Los Angeles in 1935.  Sam Cutler was paid $355 a year to be caretaker of the "children's summer camp," as expressed on the return.

The next two households were for ranches described as the "Davis-Fuller Ranch" and the "Weisel Ranch," these evidently being quite near the Workmen's Circle camp.  One or the other may have been to the north where the Oak Tree Estates subdivision is now or south of Carbon Canyon Road.  In any case, the residents were foremen Marion Hitt at the Geisel and his son Don at the Davis-Fuller.  The elder Hitt, born in Nebraska, was with his 45-year old wife and two other children, ages 19 and 17, as well as his wife's mother, 82-year old Emma Pickens.  Don lived with his 20-year old wife and year-old son.  While all the Hitts had lived in Wyoming five years before, Emma Pickens had been in Chino and would likely have been the impetus for her daughter's family to come to California.

Within what was labeled as "Sleepy Hollow Village," were twenty households encompassing a grand total of 46 persons.  Of these, only a few had been there in the last census in 1930. Among those were David Tidwell, his wife Velma and their son David, Jr.  David, Sr. operated a grocery store and filling station at the east end of the community on the south side, where apartments now exist in some of the original structures.  Notably, Tidwell self-declared his property to be worth $20,000, eight times than anyone else in Sleepy Hollow.

Also, remaining from a decade prior was Hungarian native Margaret Marolda, age 61, whose Italian-born husband Antonio had lived with her in 1930, but died during the decade.  Notably, her residence was described as "at county boundary--Sunnybrook."  This place name will be mentioned later.  Then, there was 62-year old Dixon Cecil and his wife Fanny, who'd remained from ten years prior and were listed as living on Francis Drive.  Cecil, who had been a carpenter was, in 1940, working for a water company as a pump attendant making $360 a year.

The only other Sleepy Hollowites (?) who had a connection to the previous census were Reuben and Bertha Mead, but not because they had been there in 1930.  Instead their son and daughter-in-law, Mitford and Della, had been.  Evidently, the latter had left for San Diego and the former moved into the house, described as being on Lot 31, Block 6.  This was a property on Oak Way Lane, on the north side (or hill side) of the road, a little east from the Canyon Market.

Concerning the newer residents of the community, there was Elton Neal, a 42-year old native of Arkansas, who lived "near the county line" and was listed as "proprietor and manager of a cafe and cabin sites."  Perhaps this location was the forerunner of what is now Canyon Market.  Regardless, Neal had been at the same place in 1935. 

The next household was that of Arthur and Mabel Long, who came from Fullerton within the last several years.  Arthur, born in Ohio, worked as a automobile salesman, while his Kentucky-born wife was a housewife.

Then there was Lisle Morehous and his wife, Clara.  Morehous, 63, was from Nebraska but was working, or at least had for a third of the year, as a newspaper linotype operator.  Perhaps he was employed by the Chino Champion, which is still publishing after 125 years.  Clara, also 63, was a native of Iowa.

Following was G. Frederic Schlendering, a 74-year old German, who had come from Fullerton within the previous five years, and was a retired dry goods merchant.  His Maine-born wife, Berniece, was nearly thirty years younger.

The enumeration continued with Madison Boyer, a 77-year old Iowa who had lived elsewhere in San Bernardino County in 1935, and who was listed as a farmer (more likely a cattle rancher?)  His California-born 66-year old wife was Lottie, and the two lived on Oak Way Lane, five lots east of what is now Canyon Market, on the south side of that road and backing up to Carbon [Canyon] Creek.

Across Oak Way Lane and a couple of lots to the west of the Boyers was widow Ida Deraman, 58, who hailed from Ohio, and who had been in the same house five years earlier.  Deraman's neighbors were Reuben and Bertha Mead, mentioned above.

The next household was identified as "in house on hiway" and was that of Jesse and Mary Mull.  Notably, the 62-year old Jesse, from Illinois, was listed as an "investigator, private."  His wife, age 56, was from Maryland.  The Mulls were also in this residence in 1935.

Then, there is another widow, 60-year old Emma Ayers, who hailed from Minnesota and had move down from Madera County, up in the San Joaquin Valley north of Fresno. 

The household following was that of M. Dream (yes, Dream) Hickler, a 66-year old from Michigan, who did not have an occupation and who had been at this location in 1935.

Then, there was George Eischen,a 51-year old native of Minnesota, who came within the last five years with his 50-year old Tennessee-born wife, Gertrude, from Montebello.  He was a wholesale flower grower and, presumably, did not grow his flowers in Sleepy Hollow!
This is a page from the 1940 Federal Census in the Chino Township covering part of Sleepy Hollow as counted by Evelyn Banwell on 20 April.  In the middle of the sheet are listings for persons associated with a mineral springs resort within Sleepy Hollow, as well as the cafe owner at the La Vida Mineral Springs in Brea.  Click on the image to get a larger view in a separate window.  From the National Archives via Ancestry.com.


Census taker Banwell returned to Sleepy Hollow on 20 April and, on Rosemary Lane, the only such identified household on that road parallelling Carbon Canyon Road on the south side of the community in Block 5, was Marie Jameson, age 43, from Kansas and her two sons, Homer, 15, born in Colorado, and Allen, 13, born in Oregon.  The three had been in the same residence in 1935.

Also appearing to be on Rosemary Lane, though listed by lot and block, was widow Sophronia Closson, 73, who hailed from Maine originally and who had moved within the previous five years from Fullerton.

On Francis Drive was C. Terry Dick, 43, and his 40-year old wife, Violet.  Terry, an auto salesman like near neighbor Arthur Long, was from Kansas, while his wife, was from Nebraska.  She also had a job, namely as "masseuse, medicinal baths."

This leads to an interesting aspect to the census, which was a separate count under the heading of "Carbon Canyon Road -- Mineral Bath Establishment."  While the La Vida Mineral Springs resort, a couple of miles to the west in Brea on the Orange County side of the canyon, is well known, there appears to have been a mineral springs resort in Sleepy Hollow, as well.  In fact, some maps refer to the existence of springs on the north side of Carbon Canyon Road, along the creek and east of Canyon Market, though it is not known whether this resort was there or closer to the county line, as seen below.

In one household, number 114, is Victor Baden, 41 and his wife, Katherine, also the same age and their two sons, Vernon, 17, and Leon, 13.  The parents were from Kansas originally and their sons born in California with the family relocating from Garden Grove in the preceding half-decade.  Also in the household was Baden's 67-year old German-born mother, Katherine, who had previously lived in Orange County.  Victor's occupation was "Mineral Bath Manager."  Further listed were Galen Phipps, 32, and his 30-year old wife, Deva, both from Missouri and from where they had come after 1935 from Worth City.  He was listed as "attendant, mineral baths," while his wife was "managing housekeeper."  Then, there were two others, Ormsby Burgess, 41 from Montana and Dora Blodgett, born in Missouri and age 32.  Burgess, who was in Chicago five years before, was a masseur and Blodgett, an attendant at the baths, came from Santa Ana.

Then, there is another interesting reference to the "Sunnybrook Subdivision," which was further descrived as on an "unamed side road west of baths."  This could mean the mineral springs resort was closer to where Rosemary Lane and Hillside Drive meet Carbon Canyon Road and where the creek runs along the south side of the highway. 

In any case, there is the household of Jason Robinson, a 44-year old merchant of "second hand machinery" from Kansas, his Oklahoma-born wife, Edith, age 29, and their two children, Elizabeth, age 3, and Jason, 1, both born in California.  The family had moved from Orange within the preceding five years.  Living with the Robinsons was Horton Moore, 40, who was born in New Mexico and had lived in Wilmington, near Los Angeles Harbor, and was Robinson's business partner.

Then, listed as "at county boundary--Sunnybrook" was Margaret Marolda, mentioned earlier as one of the few residents who had been in Sleepy Hollow in 1930, and Archie and Abbie Rosenbaum.  What is surprising about the latter couple is that they had moved, after 1935, from Orange County, but, specifically, from La Vida Mineral Springs, where Archie, a 58-year old native of Russia, was the owner of the cafe there.  Within a few years, they would move back to the Florence neighborhood of Los Angeles, where they lived for years before he took over the restaurant at La Vida, but, for at least a few years, the Rosenbaums lived in Sleepy Hollow, just over the county line.

It is worth noting that there were six residents counted at "Mountain View Park," the subdivision to the east of Sleepy Hollow built around Canon Lane as it climbs the hills south of Carbon Canyon Road.  Nearby were four men living and working at the "Brown Oil Wells" off Carbon Canyon Road.  Also, off the road was a Basque family, the Chilibolosts, who may have been sheep ranchers.  Two other farming or ranching households were also counted along the road, one being specifically identified as a "stock ranch," meaning cattle or, possibly, sheep.

As for Sleepy Hollow, there were undoubtedly many cabins there that were not occupied full time and so would have been empty when the census taker came around.  Of the 46 persons who were permanent residents, there were only five children.  Many of the adults were elderly and retired and a few were widows.  Only a few had been there in 1930 and almost half arrived within the last five years, quite a few of those coming from various locales in Orange County.