Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eye of God, a Little Bit of Big Bear History

The "Eye of God" is a local spot that few people are aware of.  Located in the Baldwin Lake area in the east end of Big Bear Valley, this outcropping of quartz contains quite a bit of historical lore.  Worshiped by the Serrano Indians, who populated this area in the 18th and 19th centuries, this large piece of quartz was part of their culture.  They looked on it as the eye of their "God", which watched over them and protected them. They would chip off pieces of the quartz and carry it with them in their medicine bags as a protection stone.

The gold prospectors arrived upon the scene in the late 1800's.  Prospectors know that, most of the time, whenever you see quartz, you will find a vein of gold.  There was an altercation between the Indians, the local ranchers and the miners, which culminated with the Serranos begin chased out of Big Bear Valley and off the mountain. 

The prospectors set dynamite into the rock and tried to blow it up!  They did reduce the size of the rock - originally it has been reported that the rock was the size of a 2 story office building - now it's the size of a 1 story house.  The irony of the whole episode is that they did not find gold there - the main gold strike was further north of the rock, in Holcomb valley!

The reduced quartz rock remains to this day, a sacred spot for the Serranos, as well as a local spot to visit.

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