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Author Archive for Robert Smith

Before Our Time: From lumber to recreation …

Although you won’t find them memorialized in a street name, there are three Idyllwild pioneers I regard most highly: George Hannahs, Claudius Emerson, and Ernest Maxwell. After profiling Hannahs and Maxwell recently, it’s time for me to focus on Emerson. A recent arrival in San Jacinto from California’s Central Valley, Claudius at 28 married Zelma […]

Before Our Time: From lumber to recreation …

As this past summer’s well-deserved centennial celebration for Ernie Maxwell fades into memory, I’d like to focus attention on an equally fascinating Idyllwild pioneer: George B. Hannahs, Jr. His father was prominent in Michigan banking and lumber industries, eventually serving as state senator there before retiring to San Diego in 1887. Although George, Jr, was […]

Before Our Times: Horsepower …

“Getting there is half the fun.” With summer vacation season well behind us, it may be easier to assess the validity of that old adage. In the case of Idyllwild, and with a suitably elastic definition of “fun,” I think it rings true. Let’s return this month to Florence Casebeer’s “Logbook,” where accounts recorded by […]

11th Annual Idyllwild Home Tour Saturday

11th Annual Idyllwild Home Tour Saturday

Each year, the Idyllwild Area Historical Society (IAHS) showcases five dwellings …

Before Our Time: How communities evolve

The current ferment about where and how to manage public recreation in Idyllwild calls to mind a place where Hill folk gathered for amusement in earlier times. I speak of the land now occupied by “The Center of Idyllwild,” better know locally as The Fort. If we go back to 1904, the site was little […]

Before Our Time: Paradise, roads, traffic, then serenity …

One of the joys of living in Idyllwild is our freedom from the usual trend of modern resort towns toward suburban sprawl and congestion. I take special pleasure in discovering spots that have reverted to an earlier, more primitive condition. One such place is the recently dedicated Roe Memorial Grove on the Idyllwild Arts campus. […]

The Hill at the time of the Lemon Lily

The Hill at the time of the Lemon Lily

As the end of the 19th century approached, Strawberry Valley (“Idyllwild” didn’t officially exist until 1901) was a far different place from anything we can readily picture today.

Before Our Time: 1946: The beginning …

Before Our Time: 1946: The beginning …

The time has come to speak of Ernest Maxwell. In my reading of Idyllwild’s history, he stands among three visionaries from successive generations, each a new arrival here, who emerge as shapers of the village we know today. In 1889, observing the horde of summer campers attracted to Strawberry Valley after the road from Hemet […]

Our trail system: A priceless legacy

Our trail system: A priceless legacy

The San Jacinto Mountains are a hiker’s paradise, with more than 200 miles of trail to explore. We owe a debt to many for pioneering and developing such a superb resource …

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