Monday, October 10, 2011

Some Big Bear History

Today, Big Bear Lake is Southern California's most popular mountain resort, providing all season recreation for millions of people annually. Surrounded by a vast pine forest, this spectacular mountain top valley is often called an Island in the Sky, and many have chosen to make their permanent homes in this special place.

The wonder of this high country has been known for ages, as the Serrano Indians came here some 2,500 yrs. ago. Serrano's are the Shoshone tribe and are thought to have come from Wind River area of Wyoming. Their original name for Big Bear was Yuhaviat, meaning "pine place".

The Spanish called these Shoshone, "Serrano's", meaning mountaineer. For centuries, Bear Valley was a favorite hunting and food gathering source for these peace loving people.

After the Indians, there have been trappers, prospectors, miners, road contractors, cattlemen, lumbermen, dam builders, resort developers, fox farmers, movie makers, sub-dividers, and ski area creators.

Modern History began on a warm day in mid-July of 1845, when Benjamen D. Wilson led a party of 22 hard riding Californians down through the pines into a lush meadow ringed by mountains. They were the first civilized men to ever visit this beautiful valley which seemed alive with bear. Wilson was quick to name it and a nearby lake after the giant Grizzlies that were so profuse.

Hope you enjoyed some of the history on Big Bear.

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