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Mojave Desert History

History of the Victor Valley

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    The Story of Victor Valley, California

    Before the White Man: 50,000 years B.P-1840 The lower half of the Mojave River Watershed was once filled with a placid fresh water lake called Manix Lake by fossil hunter (website). Fed from glacial springs and rivers in the San Bernardino Mountains, the lake ... more

    Westward Expansion: 1820 to 1850

    The President of the United States was Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans. In the 5-year-old Republic of Mexico there was great patriotic fervor, but little stability of government in Mexico City. In the quiet northern backwater of Alta California these facts were ... more

    The Road Builders: 1850-1885

    When California became a state in the year 1850, San Bernardino County and everything from Santa Barbara to San Diego was part of Los Angeles County. The second year of the Gold Rush saw a census count of only 1,610 persons (Indians excluded) living in this area of 34,000 square miles. Jeff Hunt's wagon train had increased the ... more

    Homesteaders & Hucksters: 1880 - 1920

    During the latter part of the Nineteenth Century the area then known as "Columbia Valley" quietly grew as ranchers and miners moved into and out of the area. Prospectors were making finds throughout the desert and they and the cowboys working for the several cattle outfits helped earn the little village of ... more

    Last Stop at the Bottom of the: 1920 - 1945

    Abandoned by the bustling homesteaders and the land developers for greater adventures Victor Valley languished under the desert sun for several more years. Cattle yet roamed the ranges and foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, ... more

    Starting Again: 1945 - 1972

    While the postwar exodus to California saw millions of emigrants. Passing through Victor Valley reroute to the promise of a new start on the good life, only a handful was to remain here. The goal for most was a tract home in the San Fernando Valley, or later, Lakewood - or Orange County. With comparatively little ... more

    Bright Promise: 1973

    Exactly 200 years after Teniente don Pedro Fages, caballero y comandante of His Catholic Majesty's Catalan Light Infantry, first viewed the green oasis at the foot of Cajon Pass, a new river reached the Victor Valley. One of Mankind's' greatest engineering efforts, ... more

[The document that the following history was adapted from was found in a booklet in the Victorville Library by William E. Mutschler. The author's name did not appear anywhere in the booklet. A copyright notice assigns the rights to Upland Savings & Loan (Copyright 1973). This company is no longer in business.]
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