Lake Elsinore Historical Society

Lake Elsinore Historical Society The Society was founded to collect, protect, preserve, display, and further the preservation of items and documents of historical value and significance from the Lake Elsinore Valley.

Operating as usual


The City of Lake Elsinore is excited to announce that The Anchor, the City's new crisis stabilization housing, is nearing completion. We will be hosting a safe, curbside drive-thru event on December 18th called The Anchor Drop in preparation of move in day on Dec. 30. We need your help to spread the word to your volunteers and members for support.

The Anchor, located at 215 W. Graham Avenue, will serve as the first step for many chronic homeless residents from Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and surrounding County areas to end their homelessness through the support of the City and our non-profit partner, SWAG. The facility is currently in the midst of improvements and rehabilitation funded by a $3.1 million State grant from Project Homekey.

In preparation for this housing facility, the City is seeking the community’s help to prepare units and provide donations for the incoming clients. The City needs leaders such as yourself to assist those less fortunate in our City, especially after the difficulties many of our community members have faced this year. So, please consider taking advantage of our volunteer opportunities and spread the word to other leaders in the community!

Below are three ways to sign up for volunteer opportunities, we hope you take advantage of and share these links and the attached flyer with your friends, coworkers, and family members to spread the word of the City's efforts to reduce homelessness through community action and involvement.

LE Gives Clean Extreme Move-In Ready Day: Sign up to clean, decorate, and furnish an individual housing unit, at The Anchor, for the incoming cohort of clients. You will be able to sign up for any date between 12/21 to 12/28 and for times between 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Bring your family and loved ones to help give back! All check in times have been staggered and units will be for only those in a household or individuals that sign up together.
The Anchor Drop Curbside Donation on December 18th: The Link will allow you to choose specific item(s) to purchase and drop off during the grand opening. Items range from housing supplies, furnishings, and gift cards. Stop by and drop off to aid those in need in our community! We also welcome any FOOD products as well.
LE Gives Sign Up Form: To find out more and sign up for ways to volunteer and give a hand up in a variety of ways through our LE Gives campaign at

Please spread the word and sign up for these opportunities to help reduce homelessness in our city by giving a hand up rather than a handout! We welcome other specific ideas or donation drives you or your organization would like to coordinate for the 18th or another time.

Thank you!

Nicole Dailey
Assistant to the City Manager
Cell: (951) 833-5497
Email: [email protected]

Menifee Valley Historical Association
Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Here is a memory written by Rosamond (Brown) Morrison in 1992 about her early years growing up in Menifee, when life seemed a lot simpler. #MenifeeHistory

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

In 1890 Charles Roberts bought this house known as the Emmalita Villa. At the age of 43, he married Callie Walker in 1915 and they lived there.

Charles farmed with seven horses. He grew grain, raised cattle, goats, pigs, chickens and turkeys. He planted a large orchard and vineyard. There was a wonderful spring that supplied water for the house and irrigation for the orchard. There were two other springs - one hot and one cold on the property.
Their two children (Alice Emmalita and Lerner) learned how to herd horses, cattle and goats before they were old enough to go to school. They attended the one room schoolhouse in Antelope and were driven to school everyday except when it rained - they had to walk in the adobe mud for 3 1/2 miles round trip! Their shoes dried by the wood stove until it was time to go home.
The home was located on the west side of Briggs Road just south of Scott Road. Lerner and his mother lived and farmed on the property until 1950 when it was sold. They moved nearby to Hemet and bought an apricot orchard.
The family farm was bought by the Anheuser-Busch Company, where they operated their Western States Headquarters and raised Clydesdale horses to show in parades and fairs.



The Ercole family - as in the family behind the restaurant/bar on Manhattan Ave - in Manhattan Beach in 1922. @historyofercoles with @get_repost
In celebration of #ItalianAmericanHeritageMonth, a look at members of the Ercole family in Manhattan Beach, CA, in 1922. The Ercoles originally hailed from Quattordio, Alessandria, Italy, and many of them immigrated to America — specifically the Los Angeles area — in the early 1900s. The eponymous owner of the restaurant-bar, Joe Ercole, is in the back row on the right. He moved to Manhattan Beach from L.A. around 1918 with his wife, Martha, and two boys, Al and Pete, who look like the youngsters in front of Joe, to his right. Their daughter, Marguerite, was born in 1921, and she might be the little one in the front row, but it’s not clear. (Martha had passed away in April, 1921, so she’s not pictured here.) Joe would open Ercole’s as an ice cream & sandwich shop in 1929 with a friend, and though they’ve swapped ice cream for beer, Erc’s continues to be a Manhattan Beach mainstay. Joe married his second wife, Blanche, in 1933. All three Ercole children would become business owners in Manhattan Beach and raise their families there.
The others in the photo: (from the left) John Dentis and his wife Gina who’s in front of him; Stephano and Lena Ercole (Joe’s aunt and uncle); possibly Joe’s brother-in-law who’s also named Joe Ercole. The woman in the front on the far right is unidentified as are the rest of the kids. Thanks to members of the Ercole family who shared this picture and its history.
#Ercoles #ErcolesCafe #ErcolesManhattanCafe #HistoryOfErcs #vintage #classic #manhattanbeach #vintageManhattanBeach #VintageLosAngeles #Ercoles #historic #ManhattanBeachBars #historical #divebar #EvolutionOfErcoles #HistoryofManhattanBeach #oldbars #ManhattanBeachHistory #SouthBay #SouthBayDiveBars #archives #archivesofinstagram #LostAngeles #LegacyBars #SaveFamilyPhotos

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

The two Walker sisters shown here are Callie (Walker) Roberts on the left and Zona (Walker) Drake on the right. They are the daughters of Samuel and Alice (Wickerd) Walker.
Samuel Walker called their daughter Callie, his California ruby because she was born in California. Her sister was his Arizona diamond and called her Zona since she was born in Arizona, or so the family story goes.

The girls came with their parents to the Menifee Valley in 1889 and settled on what is now Haun Road, just south of Holland Road.

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Zora (McGrath) and Hans Christensen Jr. are sitting under the trees at their first home on Antelope Road. She is holding her poodle.

Zora was the daughter of John and Maude McGrath who came to the valley in 1912. Hans Jr. is the youngest child of Hans Christensen Sr. and Rosetta Holland.

When Hans Sr. arrived in Menifee in about 1882 there were only a few families in the area. He met Rosetta the same year and soon after they had four children. Hans Sr. grew wheat and barley on his land and eventually became one of the largest landowners in the valley. He died in 1922 at the age of 70. His son Hans Jr. lived his entire life in Menifee and farmed with his four sons when they became of age.

Hans Christensen Jr (1894-1975) Zora (McGrath) Christensen (1896-1995). The next photo is the two of them at a younger age.

Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce

Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce

#TVCCNewsFlash Pechanga Pu'eska Mountain Day
Each year the City of Temecula and the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians recognize Pechanga Pu'eska Mountain Day as a local holiday. This holiday celebrates the culture of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Pechanga Creative Studios produced a powerful documentary titled, "The Mountain That Weeps" which is being featured online at the American Indian Film Festival through November 14th. View the documentary at:


Welcome . . .

The Lake Elsinore Historical Society does not know
when the restrictions will be eliminated/reduced and
when we can open our Museum. Therefore, this
post will have to do for our regular September meeting.

Here is the latest news about LEHS and the community . . .

New Developments

USS Lake Elsinore
The replica of our namesake ship has been received and is ready for viewing. It will be exciting to share her history since her service of more than 100 years ago
during World War I..

Membership Dues
The Executive Committee has unanimously voted that existing memberships will be extended at no cost for one additional year, i.e., dues will now be payable in June 2021.
If you have already paid your dues, the next due date for your dues will be June 2022. The extension is due to COVID-19 and being on lockdown.

Lake Elsinore has a large number of new projects in progress.
A few are listed:

1. Alberhill Elementary School opened in August 2020. It is the Lake Elsinore Unified School District’s first new school since 2007. It is a state-of-the-art facility with a new campus for 21st Century learning.
2. Walmart Super Store - The concrete block walls are up and appear to be finished. The store is scheduled to open in October 2020. Grading around the perimeter of the property is underway for new businesses coming to the Walmart Center.
3. I-15 Railroad Canyon Road Interchange is underway with work presently being done during daytime and nighttime hours. Anticipated completion - 2022.
4. North Main Street & Camino del Norte - Work will begin soon to install traffic signals on both sides of I-15 offramps. A new way to avoid Railroad Canyon offramps.
5. New Circle K is being built at Riverside Drive & Joy Street with new signal lights.
6. Butterfield Overland Trail will connect with the new Murrieta Creek Multi-Use Trail. When complete, the trail will connect with the existing Levee Trail near Diamond Stadium providing a link between where you live, work, and play.

We will keep you informed about our future activities.

Executive Committee
Lake Elsinore Historical Society

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Ya all seem to love the Rock House, so here is a story we know you will enjoy.

This photo shows Paul Wright as a young boy sitting on his donkey "old Joe". His father Edward is on the left and his mother Christine is second from the right.
“The rock house was built using Rose Quartz mined from nearby Crowfoot Mountain. The walls of the house were 2-3 feet thick and kept the house cool in the summertime. Kerosene lamps and candles were used for light. In the kitchen was a Majestic Wood Range on which all the cooking, baking and ironing was done” writes Christine in her 1973 Biography.
Christine utilized everything and nothing went to waste in her household. The photo is dated 1936.
#menifeehistory #murrietahistory

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

The Bouris brothers had orange groves, peach and fig orchards, and a 100 acre vineyard at their ranch off Scenic View Drive, south of Keller Road.
Many people came up the driveway to buy fruit and vegetables at their produce stand.
The home was a gathering place for family and friends from San Diego to Los Angeles. Their hospitality knew no bounds. They entertained and fed guests for days and weeks, and in some cases, months. They were Aunt Mary, Uncle George, and Uncle Sam to many children who spent their summer working and living here.
#menifeehistory #murrietahistory

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Menifee Valley Historical Association

Luther Menifee Wilson was born in Mount Sterling, Kentucky in 1842. At the age of 18 he worked for the railroad. Civil War Records and several Riverside County newspaper articles referred to him as Colonel Luther Wilson, suggesting that he was a Civil War veteran.

He made his way to California before 1870 and found work as a miner in Kern County. In 1872, Wilson married Mary Jane Clark, whose father operated several stagecoach lines, express wagons carrying gold bullion and 20-mule team ore wagons in San Bernardino. In 1879, records show Wilson was a hotelkeeper in Ivanpah, a small silver mining town located in the Mojave Desert. He was employed at the local mines in the area, and it was there he improved his skills at prospecting.

In the early 1880’s there were gold mining districts being formed in nearby Perris and Hemet. Wilson had separated from his wife, and his prospecting ventures led him to our area. In 1883, after initial discovery of a gold near present day Holland and Murrieta roads, Wilson filed a claim with the San Diego County Recorder’s office for his “Menifee” mine. Government Survey maps of the time included labels depicting the Menifee Mining District and the area was then referred to as the Menifee Valley.

Wilson’s gold bearing quartz vein was approximately three feet wide. There were four shafts on the vein, one reaching 125 feet deep. The main shaft had a 5’ x 11’ double compartment, which allowed two kibbles containing men, ore or water to traverse the shaft at the same time. Wilson sold his claim for $10,000 in 1884 and was one of the few miners who profited from the mines in the area. A steam-powered 5-stamp mill was erected at the mine site that could crush 5 to 10 tons of ore per day. The sound of the stamp mill could be heard many miles away.

In 1893 the County of Riverside had been formed. Wilson and some partners were working new mining claims at the “King Wilson” or “Alice” mine, which was located just south of present-day Scott and Lindenberger roads. It was 2,800 feet on the surface and the shaft was 80 feet deep. A few years later the mine played out, and the equipment was sold to a company in Mexico.

Luther died in 1899. He was destitute, had a number of outstanding debts, and buried in an unmarked grave in the Riverside Olivewood Memorial Cemetery.

Although named for the area’s first gold miner, the Menifee Valley was actually settled by grain farmers seeking land and a place to raise their families.

Written by Bill Zimmerman, Vice President - Menifee Valley Historical Association



Shown here is the 100-year-old barn at the Pinto Ranch. Members of the Loping Lads and Lassies 4-H members are practicing vaulting.
Dorothy McElhinney helped introduce vaulting into the United States, setting up rules of competition. Each summer she held a horse camp for young people at the Pinto Ranch. She was a charter member of the Palomino Horse Breeders Association and a member of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
#menifeehistory #murrietahistory

Chico Women's Club

Chico Women's Club

Biddy Bridget Mason (1815-1891) was born into slavery and given as a wedding gift to a Mormon couple in Mississippi named Robert and Rebecca Smith. In 1847 at age 32, Biddy Mason was forced to walk from Mississippi to Utah tending cattle behind her master’s 300-wagon caravan.

After four years in Salt Lake City, Smith took the group to a new Mormon settlement in San Bernardino, California in search of gold. Biddy Mason soon discovered that the California State Constitution made slavery illegal, and that her master planned to move them all to Texas to avoid freeing them. With the help of some free blacks she had befriended, she and the other slaves attempted to run away to Los Angeles, but they were intercepted by Smith and brought back. However, when he tried to leave the state with his family and slaves, a local posse prevented his flight. Biddy had Robert Smith brought into court on a writ of habeas corpus. She, her daughters, and the ten other slaves were held in jail for their own safety until the judge heard the case and granted their freedom.

Now free, Mason and her three daughters moved to Los Angeles where they worked and saved enough money to buy a house at 331 Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. Biddy was employed as a nurse, midwife, and domestic servant. She was one of the first black women to own land in the city of Los Angeles. She had the gumption to use part of her land as a temporary resting place for horses and carriages, and people visiting town paid money in exchange for the space. This can be considered the first "parking lot" in Los Angeles!

Knowing what it meant to be oppressed and friendless, Biddy Mason immediately began a philanthropic career by opening her home to the poor, hungry, and homeless. Through hard work, saving, and investing carefully, she was able to purchase large amounts of real estate including a commercial building, which provided her with enough income to help build schools, hospitals, and churches. Her financial fortunes continued to increase until she accumulated a fortune of almost $300,000. In today's money, that would be $6M. Her most noted accomplishment is the founding of the First AME Church in California. #BiddyMason #BlackHistory


183 N Main St
Lake Elsinore, CA

General information

OFFICERS: Ruth Atkins--President Barbara Middlebrook--First Vice President Nancy Hunzeker--Second Vice President Patricia Starr--Third Vice President Joyce Hohenadl--Secretary Hermann Dreier--Treasurer

Opening Hours

Wednesday 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 11:00 - 15:00
Saturday 11:00 - 15:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00


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ARE YOU A WYATT EARP FAN? Earp Family researcher and author Nick Cataldo will be the guest speaker at the kick-off of the Temescal Heritage Foundation's annual membership drive. Nick will speak about the Earp Family in Southern California (and Tombstone, too), and in Temescal, circa 1878. The event, featuring a spaghetti / lasagna dinner, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22 at Trilogy’s Lake Center. The cost is $25 per person, but no charge for Heritage Foundation members. Send an email to [email protected] with the number of people attending. The Heritage Foundation will send you a membership application -- Individual memberships are $20; Family memberships (husband and wife) are $30. Seating for this event is limited – please make your reservations as soon as possible. The Temescal Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization that each year sponsors the Temescal Valley Community Faire. Membership fees benefit the Temescal Valley Museum Building Fund.
From long ago...our property across the hwy from my grandmother's home Whispering Oaks..
Share on Post of the day!!! The San Bernardino County Sun, Sunday June 8, 1930: Olympic Diver "Mickey" Riley films a motion picture! dive at the Aloha Pier! post card - The Southern California Athletic and Country Club
Southern California Athletic and Country Club at the base of Ortega Highway.
Share on the day: " From Murrieta, the historic alignment of the Butterfield Overland Stage route moves northwest along the Murrieta Creek corridor before meeting up with Grand Avenue... into Lake Elsinore on a direct course to the Machado Adobe site situated at the northwest corner of the lake... Remains of this station ... adobe’s foundation may still be preserved onsite." Old Butterfield Stage Overland route: coach route -
In late April, the Menifee Valley Historical Association will have their official Grand Opening of their new museum... It's on Garboni Road, east of Murrieta Road, on the campus of Menifee Elementary School...check out their website for details... Just thought you should know about this...
I have a question...My grandmother, Pearl Brown lived on Ortega Hwy, ele. 2,485 and her home was called Whispering Oaks. I remember that she worked at a bath house in Elsinore, I have a memory of a big room with sunken cement tubs. Probably early '50's. Could this be a correct memory? Thanks for any info.
Hello, my name is Steve and I used to live in Elsinore back in the 70’s I have these two pictures of me and my classmates that was taken by the teacher. I'm pretty sure it's at one of the schools in the area and I'm guessing the pic was taken in 1977 or 1978 I was hoping maybe someone might be able to identify the kids in the picture and also confirm that it was taken at a Lake Elsinore school. I'm the kid in the orange sweater. Thanks
Some news coverage by The Valley News about the centennial anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Lake Elsinore during World War I ... #USSLakeElsinore #LakeElsinoreHistory #USN #WWI
An online photo album of the World War I era US Navy cargo ship the USS Lake Elsinore, ID #3675B A 1020 design Class A "Laker" ship named after the Riverside County California lake, the USS Lake Elsinore was commissioned on September 13, 1918 and conducted coal and cargo runs from the British Isles to various ports in France. She was de-commissioned in Brooklyn, New York on October 4, 1919. The ship was awarded the World War I Victory Medal. #WorldWarI #TheGreatWar #USNavy #USNavyWorldWarI #LakeElsinore #USSLakeElsinore