Idyllwild Homes and Land Improvement 2012
Post on 26-Mar-2016
DESCRIPTIONIdyllwild area resources for home improvement and land management. Published annually by the Idyllwild Town Crier.
Homes & Land ImprovementI D Y L L W I L D 2 0 1 2
Our town: A tradition of community involvementThe building of
Town HallResidents have historically stepped up to join in the effort to improve our town. As the community plans for and works toward building a new community center and playground, we look back on the history of such projects in Idyllwild. Construction of the playground is slated to begin in June, when local builders and organizers will coordinate a workforce of residents who are asked to volunteer their time to build something lasting for the benet of our town. In 1946, Idyllwild residents set the foundation for this level of community involvement when they gathered to build Town Hall.
By Ernie MaxwellPublished in the EMax Almanac, 1984
Although not entirely completed, the Idyllwild Community Building (now Town Hall) was ofcially dedicated July 10, 1947, with dancing
to the music of the Mounted Music Makers. Gene Kincaid, chamber president, was master of cer-emonies. Harold Sanborn, chair-man of the build-ing committee, was given a present and a long list of con-tributors to the project was read. A community building was cho-sen as a project late in 1945 after a committee picked to develop an annual Tahquitz Pageant decided a meeting place, rehearsal facility and place for storing costumes came rst. The Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce was
incorporated on February 6, 1946, when plans for the building were already underway. At rst, it was thought another structure now Silver
See Town Hall, page 6
Above, Locals worked to nish up the forms for the Town Hall foun-dation in December, 1946.At left, mixing con-crete for the Town Hall foundation (fore-ground, from left), Rol-lin Humber, Chuck Roberts, Vic Poates, Bill Hirsh and Jim Patton.
All photos courtesy of Idyllwild Area Histori-cal Society Museum
INSIDE: Interim Fire Chief Sherman on re safety and abatement, pg. 4; Winter, where are you? Preparing for a drought, pg. 5; Ask an Expert, pg. 7; and a short history of the Mountains and the community we love, pg. 8
Page 2 - Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012
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By Grace ReedIdyllwild Town Crier Publisher
With plans to begin construc-tion of the Idyllwild Community Center on everyones minds, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the building of Town Hall and the tradition of community involvement and volunteerism in building community resources that last for generations to come. Just as Town Hall, of cially dedicated in 1947, remains a gathering place for locals today, the creation of a community center in Idyllwild will serve the town for generations, when most of us are long gone. With such a milestone on the horizon, we thoguht it appropriate to not only revisit the building of Town Hall, but the history of our mountains and their occupants. We hope youll enjoy the historical articles (on the cover and continued on page 8) that weve resurrected here, written by Town Crier founder Ernie Maxwell, and nd common threads linking our efforts today with the tradition of involvement that spans our communitys history. Were proud to be part of a community that can organize the energy and work power needed to execute projects that bene t us all. In this edition were also looking forward at the prospect a potentially volatile re season. As we near a dry winters end, IFPD Interim Fire Chief Michael Sherman urges the community to use common sense in the forest. Sherman shares helpful hints for abatement for private residents, commercial businesses and vacant lots. See page 4. Pine Cove Water Disrict conservation specialist Vicki Jakubac reminds us that conserving water should be a daily habit and reviews water conservation stages 1 through 3. For that story, see page 5. Weve added a new feature to this years Homes and Land Improvement guide. This year, we asked readers to send us their questions about home improvement and we took them to the experts. You can nd those helpful questions and answers on page 7. Id like to thank our contributors and advertisers that make special publications like this possible, and of course, the entire Town Crier staff for always producing quality publications. Remember, when in doubt hire a professional.
Greetings from Grace
From the archives: Article and photo published in the Town Crier on Sept. 22, 1967
INSIDEThe building of Town Hall, pg. 1Tips from Chief Sherman, pg. 4
Water conservation after a dry winter, pg. 5
Ask an Expert, pg. 7Plants for your local garden, pg. 7
The history of our mountains;Settling these Hills & Stories from olden times, pgs. 8-11
Special thanks to our advertisers:Vicki Streeter (2), Idyllwild Glass Company (2), Kintz Construction (2); Pearson Wood Service
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(10); Chaneys Plumbing (10); Idyllwild Garden Club (11); Padgett Design (11); Mike Reno (11); Mountains Edge Landscaping (11); Acorn Pest
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Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012 - Page 3
Page 4 - Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012
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Common Sense in the Forest We are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful environ-ment. As Americans we have the freedom to move about this great country and choose to live wherever it suits us best. Many of us choose to either live full-time or part-time in the beautiful mountains that exist in Southern California. I know, as the interim re chief, I will only be in Idyllwild for a short time, but my beautiful wife Betty and I lived our last 5-1/2 years in a mountain environ-ment very similar to Idyllwild. This brings me to the efforts of this writing, common sense. In my more than 37 years in the re service, 26 years as a re chief, I have noticed that people tend to get along better and have happier lives when common sense prevails. This is true both in interactions with each other and especially with government where many times common sense cant be found. My specic topic is common sense in the forest. Heres how this applies to the forests that we live in. We have the great privilege of living here and one of our respon-sibilities is to maintain a safe environment where we live. If someone moved in next to you and was storing open 100-gallon containers of gasoline, you would probably object. One of your concerns would be safety. The regu-lators would agree with you because of the greater good for the community. I nd it interesting that re departments are forced to use wildland abatement laws like Public Resource Code 4291 because a few people dont get it. To me, it is just basic common sense. Since we live in one of the most hazardous wildland re areas in the world, you would think individuals would want to ensure a re safe envi-ronment. It is denitely for the communitys greater good that each of us maintain a re safe environment on the property we own, whether it is a commercial business, a
Sitting around the campre by Michael B. Sherman, Interim Fire Chief
vacant lot or a residence. So, what might common sense look like in our for-est? If you are admiring your beautiful piece of property, look up, look down and look all around. If you look up, check your rain gutters and roof for pine needles and debris. While still looking up, check the condition of your chimney screen. Are tree limbs hanging onto the roof or into the reach of embers from your re place? When was the last time your chimney was cleaned? Is your roof constructed of ammable material? If your eaves have openings, are they screened? What is the condition of the paint on the siding and eaves? When you look down, are you standing in light ashy fuels (grass and light vegetation)? Does that fuel run con-tiguously to larger ammable materials such as woodpiles, the siding of outbuildings, under wood decks or to the house walls? Are other stacked or piled ammable materi-als close to outbuildings or the sides of the house? When you look all around, can you see through the forest near your home? If you cant, why not? Is it the tremendous density of the trees and bushes? If so, do you know that extremely dense forested areas are often less healthy and are overly subject to stress and dying than a properly thinned forest? Is your view restricted because of low hanging branches from large trees that intertwine with lower vegetation to create what are called ladder fuels? Is your access to your property just barely wide enough for your small car to get to the property? How about a re engine or ambulance? Is your address posted in a highly visible area? If many of the above conditions apply to your prop-erty, consider both the effect those things could have on your safety as well as the safety of the community and its residents. If common sense prevails and individuals take
necessary steps to mitigate the above conditions we will all live a happier life in the forest. If not, those charged with enforcement, the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE and Idyllwild Fire will nd it necessary to be the mediator for the good of the community. I personally have always favored using the carrot instead of the stick, so please use some common sense and help our mountain forest remain healthy for all to enjoy. If you need help in being re safe, please contact the above agencies, Forest Care or the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council. They really are available to help make this community a safer place. Also, remember your neighbors. Sometimes individuals for one reason or another (disabled, elderly, or nances) cant help themselves as easily as many of us can. When possible, lend a hand or let others know of the need. We truly are blessed to live or visit our mountain forest, so lets extend that blessing to others by doing our part to be a re safe community. If a catastrophic re consumes our forest, the ora, fauna, wild critters, our pets, the community, and we will all suffer loss. That loss will be the loss of the pleasure of living in this beautiful environ-ment. And by the way, campres in Idyllwild are restricted to campgrounds and during high re danger season, re-stricted entirely. Check with the re department for more information. Its time to put out the dog and douse the re.
Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012 - Page 5
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By Vicki JakubacOf ce Assistant/Conservation SpecialistPine Cove Water District
With spring just around the corner, one might wonder,what has become of winter? While the limited snow shoveling and mild temperatures have been enjoyable, the reality is that we have not received a lot of moisture this winter. This summer, we will see the results of a dry winter. When water is abundant and we leave the water conservation stages, it is easy to become complacent and fall back into old water use habits. The best way to insure we have adequate amounts of potable water, however, is to conserve year-round, regardless of the conservation stage we may or may not be in. While we are not currently in a formal water conservation stage, conserving water should be a daily habit that everyone adopts. There are many simple steps you can take to reduce water usage indoors. Using low ow toilets, shower heads and faucets can help save water on a daily basis. Fixing leaky plumbing, washing only full loads in the dishwasher and using water-saving appliances, such as front-loading washing machines and hot water recycling systems, also help to keep water usage at a minimum. Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth. Try taking a navy shower: wet down, turn off the water while you scrub, then turn on again for a quick rinse. When waiting for the water from a tap to get hot, remember to collect and use it for your pets, watering plants, cooking or cleaning. Do not just let it run down the drain. There are also many ways we can save water outside. The addition of a rain water harvesting system virtu-ally can provide irrigation water for free. An average
Winter, where are you? Water Conservation StagesStage I is voluntary compliance. Customers are asked
to conserve, when possible, the amount of water used for domestic and business purposes. Fix leaky plumbing, prevent irrigation runoff, refrain from washing down sidewalks, driveways and parking areas and avoid sprinkling unplanted areas for dust control. The Pine Cove Water District encour-ages customers to add mulch to their trees and garden to minimize outside watering. The district also provides bark mulch to all Hill residents at no charge.
Stage II is mandatory compliance. Customers are re-quired to limit irrigation of outdoor plants and gardens between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. daily and stop all water runoff. Customers cannot ll or re ll swimming pools except the small amount needed to replace evaporation in already lled pools. Vehicles can only be washed using a bucket and a hose with a shut-off nozzle. Immediate repairs must be made to any and all leaking water lines and faucets in household plumbing and yard piping. Customers must also cease watering native vegetation and unplanted areas for dust control. Restaurants shall only provide drinking water to patrons upon speci c request.
Stage III is mandatory emergency restrictions. No water shall be used to irrigate outdoor plants, trees or landscap-ing of any kind, at any time. No water shall be added to swimming pools, hot tubs or spas to replace evaporation loss or for any other purpose. No water shall be taken from re hydrants for any reason except for re emergencies or for the maintenance of system water quality. Water use for construction purposes shall be minimized and no water will be used for dust control, washing structures, sidewalks, driveways or parking areas. Washing motor vehicles and equipment is not allowed except from a bucket using a hose with a shut-off nozzle. In addition, water users shall make immediate repairs to any leaking line or faucet in household plumbing or yard piping.
1,000-square-foot roof will yield over 600 gallons of water for each 1 inch of rain received. Adding compost to the soil in your yard and putting a layer of mulch around trees and plants will help retain water and improve soil quality. Group plants with similar water needs together and dig basins around individual plants and trees to prevent run off while watering. Do not plant new plants in the heat of summer. Wait until fall when the cool weather and winter rains can help plants became established. A container garden, using self-watering containers such as EarthBOXes, helps reduce the amount of ir-rigation needed. Consider installing a drip irrigation system or soaker hoses and do outside watering in the early morning or late evening in order to minimize water evaporation. You can also plant native plants that have low water requirements once established and reduce your outside water use even more. Conserving water today helps to assure we will have an adequate water supply for tomorrow and for many years to come.
Page 6 - Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012
Town HallContinued from page 1
Pines could be remodeled and upgraded. However, during the early part of 1946 a major-ity of those present at a meeting of the chamber in the Idyllwild Inn voted to start with a new structure. The site was donated by the Idyllwild All Year Resort
Company. On Dec. 5, 1946, the town closed down so that everyone could help pour concrete for the basement and foundation. A group of women prepared lunch and dinner for the scores of men and one woman Vi Taylor who mixed and poured concrete for five mixers. Later, the name Town Hall became the official title for the building.
In 1954 there was a big Burn-The-Mortgage dinner at Town Hall to clear the last debt on the community building. The ISOMATA band provided music.
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Cedar Street was bustling with activity during Town Hall construction in 1946. All photos courtesy of Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum
One of the volunteer crews that poured the foundation and basement oor of Town Hall on Dec. 5.
Women preparing lunch for Town Hall foundation crew of 100 workers. The tables are set up in front of the original Rustic Theatre (now the Silver Pines Lodge). Notation on back of photo, 1. Betty Maxwell, 4. Vi Taylor. If anyone can identify more of the women, please contact the Town Crier.
Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012 - Page 7
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Question: We have two heaters (one for water) that date back decades. However, they continue to work, no thanks to me. How often should we have these items checked? Whats the average lifespan for these devices?
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Question: We are weekenders with a property in lower Pine Cove. There is a well on the prop-erty we would use for irrigation purposes but
the motor went bad. We called a company about replacing the pump. The only problem is that the well is now surrounded by structures and he couldnt get his truck to the well to pull it out. So my question is would it be possible to put in an above-ground tank and a windmill pump or solar pump or some kind of pump above ground to fill the storage tank without messing with the existing pump?
Answer: No above ground pump, windmill pump, solar pump or any other pump can be used on this well, until the old pump is removed.Jerry Holdber
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Question: We are being charged a rental fee of $100 for a propane tank. Is it possible to buy our own tank?Mark Monroe
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Questions answeredthe motor went bad. We
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Questions answeredcalled a company about
ASK AN EXPE
Miss California IrisThe Iris is a genus of between 260-300 species of owering plants. Bearded iris, like this one, are among the most elegant and easy to grow owers of spring.
Photo courtesy Brighton Park Iris to Idyllwild Garden Club, Harold Voorheis
Purple Moun-tain Heath is
native to Califor-nias mountain ranges. It likes a rocky subal-
pine habitat. It owers June to
Yuletide Camellia is an ever-green shrub that blossoms in late fall through winter. It can grow to 8 feet tall and wide. Camellia needs regular water until established and prefers ltered sun to shade. It can cope with many different soil types, but prefers rich organic acid soil. Pruning is best done lightly in early spring before buds form.
Page 8 - Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012
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By Ernie MaxwellThe Emax Almanac (1984)
The San Jacinto Mountains are relatively young. It is estimated the range is about 100 million years old and still rising. Like the High Sierras it is created by an up-thrust. According to Dr. Michael Hamilton, [former] director of the University of California James Reserve, the oldest portion of the range is revealed at Red Tahquitz. This coloration indicates the remains of an earlier geological age. Because of location, the San Jacinto Mountains play an important role in Southern California. Rising to almost 11,000 feet, they shield the desert from coastal storms. Mt. San Jacinto, elevation 10,786 feet, can be blanketed in deep snow and ice, while six airline miles to the east Palm Springs basks in warm sunshine. The drop from these peaks to the desert oor constitutes one of the sheerest escarpments on the North American continent. For this reason, several life zones are telescoped in to a small area. The zones go from the true desert to the Canadian-Hudsonian. The westerly slopes facing toward the Paci c Ocean are less steep. Much of the lower elevation is covered with a variety of rugged shrubs, referred to as chaparral by the Spanish. The Idyllwild area lies in the Transition Zone where brush mingles with pines, oaks and cedars.
A short history of the mountains we love
Trails lead into the high country. The main one is Devil Slide Trail, which enters the wilderness area at Humber Park. Improved trails and wilderness campsites are maintained by both the U.S. Forest Service and Cali-fornia Department of Parks and Recreation. At the highest level is Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness State
Park with only the upper terminal of the tramway at Long Valley to penetrate of the few truly wilderness areas left in Southern California.
Settling the land As is true of all histories, the local story contains numerous gaps and some discrepancies. Some popular notions are accepted as fact, such as the story that Robert F. Garner, Sr., obtained the Thomas Ranch in 1905 on the toss of a pair of dice or a ip of a card ... Not necessarily so. Jack Garner said his grandfather never gambled. The truth was that Garner, a San Bernardino stockman, pur-chased 1,600 acres of patented land for $30,000. He shared Thomas interest in livestock raising. Con-sequently, he allowed the Thomas family to live on the ranch until 1907 in order to dispose of valuable livestock. Included in the deal were other lands for grazing. When Charles Thomas settled in what is now known as Garner Valley shortly after the Civil War, the property was occupied by Cahuilla Indians. Their village was located at Anza. Nearby is the cemetery where both Ramona and Juan Diego are buried. Later, when the rst transconti-nental railroad was pushed through the southwest, the federal government gave the builders every other section of 11 miles on either side of the tracks. Thus, some of the Thomas property was at least temporarily listed as railroad property.
The Lake Hemet Dam, completed in 1895, was considered the highest masonry dam in the world and there was some specula-tion that it could supply domestic water for Los Angeles. Note size of hand-shaped boulders. Town Crier le
Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012 - Page 9
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The every-other-secton arrangement meant that much of the high country near Idyllwild was actually owned by the Southern Paci c. Mt. San Jacinto was railroad property, as were other peaks nearby. They were traded for lands the company considered more valuable. The U.S. Forest Service arranged for some trades, which meant consolidation of sections of the San Jacinto Mountains. As a result, the peaks, Tahquitz Valley and Mt. San Jacinto State Park are now in the public domain. Thomas is generally regarded as the rst white settler or non-Indian resident of this area. There were some settlers above Banning, and it is likely trappers were in the area years before looking for pelts. The local grizzly disappeared in the late 1880s through trapping, poisoning and the use of rearms. Mrs. Victoria Brooke, one of the last surviving Thomas
Children, said that grizzlies were a problem for livestock people in the early days. She mentioned one old bear Old Clubfoot that caused considerable damage. The California grizzly became extinct in the 1930s. There is evidence of another settler in what is now the Idyllwild basin, formerly called Strawberry Valley. Beside Tollgate where there was a golf course in the 1930s, a
stone marked the burial site of R. Garret, died, 1872, at the age of 58. It was understood that this was the man who refused to pay the freight fee for bringing a plow to the basin from the Hemet or San Jacinto area. He elected to carry the plow up the grade on his back. Stopping to drink the
See History, next page
One of the stages that transported visitors to Idyllwild at the turn of the century.
Page 10 - Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012
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HistoryContinued from previous page
cold water from Strawberry Creek, he died on the spot. There are some people who re-called seeing the headstone, but it has apparently disappeared. In 1876, a man by the name of Crawford completed his toll road to the tim-ber country in what is now known as the Idyllwild basin. A group of Los Angeles-area doctors built a large sanitarium that burned to the ground in 1904 after only a few years of operation. It was managed by Mr. and Mrs. Rutledge. The sanitarium was designed for tubercular patients, but at that time detection of the ailment came too late. Consequently, it was discovered that it took more than clean fresh air for a cure. One pioneer observed that patients came up in buck-boards and were hauled down in boxes.Nevertheless, the San Jacinto Mountains remain important for persons seeking clean, dry air. After World War II, this area began to boom as more people found it generally tucked off the beaten path. The Idyllwild area was included in 4,200 acres purchased in about 1880 by a group of San Jacinto pioneers. They acquired it from the federal government and Southern Paci c Company.
The Strong & Dickinson Realty Company of Los Ange-les purchased the property in 1912. The acreage included Pine Cove and Saunders Meadow. In 1917, C.L. Emerson, San Jacinto banker, purchased 1,000 acres from Strong & Dickenson that surrounded the Idyllwild Inn. He organized the Idyllwild Company and sold home sites.
In olden times ... One of the characteristics of old-timers is that they can remember details 50 years earlier, but have a hard time recalling where they put their glasses or keys. Fred Patton was one pioneer who could recall details of this mountain when he came here in the late 1890s
as a 15-year-old, shanghaied from his Sonoma County home to work in local mines. Before he died in 1950, Fred related some of his early experiences here. He remembered Indians telling him that their ancestors shed from rocks overlooking the desert. That mean that accounts were handed down from the time that Lake Cahuilla, a body of water extending from the Santa Rosa Mountains to the Salton Sea Sink, existed. The lake was fed for centuries by discharges from the Colorado River. It was 100 mile long, 35 miles across at its widest point and 300 feet deep. It dried up as the Colorado shifted its course, but old beach lines can still be noted in the Coachella Valley.
See Olden Times, next page
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The Idyllwild Sanitarium was erected by a group of Los Angeles area doctors 113 years ago. It burned to the ground in 1904 and was replaced by the Idyllwild Inn. The Inn then burned to the ground in 1945. The site was cleared out and made into Eleanor Park, shown at right in 1967. JoAns Res-taurant now occupies this site. Town Crier le photos
Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012 - Page 11
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Olden TimesContinued from previous page
Freds rst job here was to throw rocks at oxen carrying ore from the gold mine near Thomas Mountain. However, gold was not plentiful and Fred turned to splitting cedar logs into posts. Later, be broke horses for Charles Thomas. Thomas and Lucky Baldwin raised blooded cattle and thoroughbred horses in what is now Garner Valley. He recalled the droughts of 97-99 when cattlemen burned spines from cacti for livestock forage. Cowboys established summer camps in the high country at Lawes Camp, in Tahquitz Valley and the meadow below Wellman Cienega. Fred remembered when he lost 22 head of cattle from freezing at a point not far above Palm Springs. He could recall clearly the rst time he saw Pete Hibbert, veteran Tahquitz Peak lookout, who was an early pioneer. He was driving a team of mules, one white, one brown. Lumber in Freds early years was sold for $6 per 1,000 board feet and Sam Temple, the man who killed Ramonas husband, was a teamster hauling lumber to the valley. In his last years, Fred Patton lived in a small cabin beside the Hemet Belle Mine at the edge of Garner Valley. He was certain a vein of rich ore was yet to be discovered. An idea of what Idyllwild was like during the years fol-lowing World War I was recounted by Harry Wendeklen, local postmaster in the 1930s and 40s. Following discharge from the Signal Corps in WWI, Harry came to California for his health. He migrated to Idyllwild, which was then recognized as a good place for people with respiratory problems.
In 1921, he went to work for a small sawmill located in the center of town. The site is now the Fort, but was a large parking lot in the 1980s. A steam boiler system, established in 1889, was used to heat the existing hotel and three cabins, as well as power the saw mill next door. Logs for the mill were hauled in by horse-drawn wagons. Four horses were required to pull the empty wagon. Later, Harry advanced from mill hand to head boiler engineer. A generator was hooked up to boilers to supply electricity for the new buildings in town. In the daytime he stoked the boilers and at night he tended the lights, which were turned off at 10 p.m., when the whole operation was shut down. On Saturday nights, lights remained on until 11 p.m. After Labor Day, electricity was shut off and almost ev-eryone left the Hill. Harry dropped down to Palm Springs
for winter work at the Desert Inn (now the Fashion Plaza in the center of town). The Banning-Idyllwild highway was dedicated three times before it was paved and of cially opened for traf c in 1951. The most interesting ceremony took place on May 11, 1947, at Stone Creek amid jingling spurs, high stepping horses, Swiss music, speeches and selection of Queen-For-The-Day. To add to the event, snow fell the night before, leaving about six inches on the festival grounds, which was the site of Stone Creek Lodge, owned by Dave Frey. The highlight was the arrival of a group of Pony Ex-press riders from Banning who made the 22-mile trip in two hours. They were met by a colorful array of riders from the Mt. San Jacinto Horsemens Association.
This rooftop scene is a Richtfest which occurred in February of 1973 in Pine Cove. Observing European customs, owners Don Hart, Lynnda Hart, Wanda Alles and Col. George Alles (front row) decorated a tree on the ridgepole of their new home and threw a party for the construction crew. Pictured with the Harts and Alles are Jim Payne (far left, front row), Johnnie Mack and Chuck Clayton (middle row) and Don Price, Bob Thomas, Ben Jones and Phil Hodges (back row). In Europe its said that if you dont give a party for the workmen, they will put strange things in the walls which make funny sounds when the wind blows.Town Crier le/Norwood Hazard
Page 12 - Idyllwild Home & Land Improvement Guide 2012
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