60 years ago - 1951
The crew drilling well no. 2 for the Fern Valley Mutual Water Co. were experiencing their toughest assignment in years. The drill had to pass through 70 feet of solid granite down to 130 feet.
55 years ago - 1956
Nearly 400 county educators, administrators and groups concerned with education held an all-day meeting on the campus of the Arts Foundation (now Idyllwild Arts).
50 years ago - 1961
Idyllwild’s reputation as a creative center got a boost from a new art factory. Idyllwild resident and artist Jon Gnagy, with the help of local artists and technicians, produced art kits for Visual Art Industries, Inc., New York. For many years, “Learn to Draw With Jon Gnagy” was a trade name across the country.
45 years ago - 1966
Paving Saunders Meadow Road started in preparation for developing the cut-and-fill dump to replace the open pit being used to dispose of trash.
40 years ago - 1971
Flags were at half staff in town to honor Robert Miller, a 21-year-old Forest Service foreman, who died as a result of burns received while fighting a 589-acre brush fire near the Idyllwild-Banning Highway (now called Highway 243). Officials suspected an arsonist ignited the fire.
35 years ago - 1976
Another heavy thunderstorm made for a very wet September. The Sept. 30 issue of the Town Crier featured a photo of Strawberry Creek near ISOMATA (Idyllwild Arts), which had swollen to a 50-foot wide stream.
30 years ago - 1981
There was a wall-to-wall crowd at the Idyllwild County Park Visitor Center when a new book, “The San Jacintos: A History and Natural History,” written by 12 local authors, was unveiled.
25 years ago - 1986
Then Town Hall Recreation Program Director Shirley Root died in a traffic collision on Highway 243 south of Banning. She had been director for four years.
20 years ago - 1991
A dedication ceremony was held at the Idyllwild Visitor Center (Nature Center) addition. The new structure, a twin to the original Visitor Center building, added a 1,500-square-foot multipurpose room, offices and room for new exhibits.
15 years ago - 1996
The U.S. Forest Service announced that the Hill’s national forest lands would be part of a pilot project to start charging the public vehicle fees to use its lands. Thus, the Adventure Pass was born.
10 years ago - 2001
Three weeks after the Idyllwild Water District’s new filtration plant began operations, then General Manager Tom Lovejoy reported, “The plant is performing beautifully.
5 years ago - 2006
A party was held at Café Aroma to celebrate the 95th birthday of Herb Jeffries, famous jazz singer and actor known as “Bronze Buckaroo.” He was the first black man to star as a cowboy in early movie westerns. Some sources claim that Jeffries is actually of Sicilian-Irish ancestry and that he was born in 1913, rather than 1911.
1 year ago - 2010
A piece of Idyllwild history was lost in an early morning blaze that destroyed a Pine Cove log cabin. Charles “Selden” Belden, the creator of the now highly collectible pinecraft furniture, had built and lived in the cabin.