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Lake Elsinore Trivia

 How much do you know of your City's history? 

In celebration our 125th Anniversary, each week of 2013 we will post a new trivia question from Lake Elsinore's history.  Test your knowledge or just check in weekly to learn some interesting facts about the City you chose to call home!

Week 33

On the corners of Heald and Riley Streets stands a lovely gazebo, surrounded by a little park with beautiful trees and scrubs.  The fountain and gazebo were built by Steve Coogan in 1931 and a well was drilled by Charles Graham 200 feet below the ground to provide fresh water and shade to the citizens of Elsinore. There were four cement benches, a cement floor and a Pineapple on the top of the building signifying hospitality. The well has since been capped and the fountain removed. Who had this well drilled as well as the fountain and gazebo built?

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Lake Elsinore Gazebo
Week 32

At one point in the Lake Elsinore Valley’s history, there were at least 14 major crops prolifically grown along with other lesser crops. There was a particular fruit crop that had one of the longest tenures in the history of the City of Lake Elsinore and gave very high yields. It was typically seeded and dried in sheds for export, but by 1959 the last shed on a ranch, owned by Phil Keegan, had been abandoned. Remaining crops of this fruit were instead shipped fresh until permanently disappearing from the valley a few years later. What fruit is this?

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Week 31

Since the earliest known times in the Lake Elsinore Valley, there have been natural sulfur springs that feed the lake. This was such a part of the Valley’s identity that its Native American inhabitants called the lake "Entengvo Wumoma", which meant “Hot Springs by the Little Sea.” After the City of Elsinore’s incorporation in 1888, it became more widely known for its natural mineral waters and bathhouses like the Crescent Bathhouse brought visitors from around the world seeking cures for a variety of maladies. Old bathhouses like the Crescent Bathhouse had their own hot mineral water wells, whereas courts and motels that came later drew their mineral water from city mains. The viability of this sulfur water in city mains was threatened in the spring of 1957 by what new water source?

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Crescent Bathhouse
Week 30

Throughout most of the Lake Elsinore Valley’s history, agriculture and farming played a crucial role in the local economy. One such example of agriculture were black walnut tree groves, one of which was planted by A. L. Legaye in 1915 on a 53-acre lot. Toward the end of its existence, this walnut grove came under ownership of an individual whose primary interest was in the trees’ burls, which are rounded knotty growths either above or below ground. In the spring of 1957, the gnarled and aging trees were bulldozed and the burls were cut away from the roots and trunks. Considered to be one of the most unusual crops to be harvested in the Lake Elsinore Valley, where were these burls sent and for what purpose?

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Lake Elsinore Walnut Tree Grove 1906
Week 29

In spite of the many positive developments in the Lake Elsinore Valley during the 1950s, the lake itself was dry from 1951 to 1964. Between the clay bottom of the lake and its exposed surface is a thick layer of sediment that is as fine as powder. During the dry period, this sediment was exposed and dried into a hard crust. Paired with the natural thermals of the Lake Elsinore Valley, this created what issue that plagued residents near the lake?

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Lake Elsinore Dry 1950s
Week 28

In 1908, twenty years after Lake Elsinore’s incorporation, the Elsinore Public Library opened its doors to the public with Altha Cauch as its librarian. She was a household name in the community and managed the library from 1908 to 1923 and then again from 1938 to 1968, after which the library became part of the Riverside County Library System. On February 26th, 1954, the Elsinore Public Library moved to its present location on 600 West Graham Avenue. It is locally known today as the Altha Merrifield Memorial Library. What were the library’s two previous locations in Lake Elsinore?

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Altha Merrifield Memorial Library
Week 27

On July 27th of 1954, Lieutenant-Governor Harold J. “Butch” Powers opened the 21st Annual Soaring Contest of the Soaring Society of America at the abandoned airport at the foot of Lucerne Street. The whole event lasted 10 days and drew in enthusiastic crowds from all over the country to take part or spectate. It was highly publicized, and the Sun issued an 84-page edition to commemorate the event. What type of aircraft was the focus of this historic event in Lake Elsinore?

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Elsinore Gliders On Ground
Week 26

In 1954, about 4 years after the creation of Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD), there was another historical development in the Elsinore Valley’s water rights. Consideration had long been given to a proposal that EVMWD become a part of Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) in order to be included in that district’s annexation to Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and thus be eligible for Colorado River water. However, when torrential rains started filling the lake again in 1954, voters in portions of the county west of EMWD’s boundaries cast their ballots in favor of their own area-wide district that was eligible for supplemental water. What is the name of this district?

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WMWD Event
Week 25

By the early 1950s, the airport at the foot of Lucerne Street (near East Lakeshore Drive) had ceased to operate and had been replaced by a new airport on the west side of Corydon Street. Originally operated by a man named Gordon Hunt and bearing his name, the airport was purchased by Cy and Florence Perkins in 1953 and renamed to what name that it is known by today?

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Skylark Field Airport
Week 24

Since Lake Elsinore’s incorporation as a city, its chief concerns have been the lake itself and protecting the water rights of the community. These concerns were often at the forefront of the City’s affairs, particularly from 1888 to 1950. Many of Lake Elsinore’s water rights had slipped away by 1950 because there was no local tax-supported entity to defend them. Residents of the community wanted the City to find new sources of water and to protect their existing sources of water. This wish became a reality on December 5, 1950, with the formation of what voter-approved entity?

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EVMWD History
Week 23

In many respects, the 1950s were a decade of “out with the old, in with the new.” There were a number of existing buildings and structures that were removed or lost for various reasons during this time period. One notable landmark of Lake Elsinore history, the Aloha Pier, was dismantled by its owner in 1950. In the summer of that same year, a new structure was built on Graham Avenue that provided a modern form of entertainment which was arguably replacing the form of entertainment that the Aloha Pier had provided. This particular structure fulfilled its purpose for many years until 1990 when it was converted into a senior and community center. What was the name of this building and what is it known as today?

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Lake Theatre
Week 22

After the end of World War II, there was considerable planning, construction, and civic pride in the Elsinore Valley. There was a brighter optimism for the future, not only locally but at a national level as well. Grand Avenue, which travels along the south side of Lake Elsinore, experienced much activity in the 1940’s and residents made many positive changes within that community. The Grand Avenue Civic Association, a clubhouse constructed on a volunteer basis, was one result of civic pride in the area. Inspired by the developments along Grand Avenue, residents and businessmen offered a prize for the most acceptable name suggested for the growing community. Which name was chosen for this community?

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Lakeland Village Aerial
Week 21

Throughout World War II, the Lake Elsinore Valley contributed to the war effort in many ways that have already been highlighted. From May 1943 to September 1945, the Douglas Aircraft Corporation was a very significant employer in the area and at one point employed about 500 workers with crews rotating in three shifts. In the summer of 1945, when the war was coming to a close, the workforce at the Douglas Aircraft Corporation had dwindled to around 100 workers and soon after shut down permanently. What group of people in the Lake Elsinore Valley were employed for the first time to supplement the workforce at the Douglas Aircraft Corporation?

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WWII Women Workforce
Week 20

Lake Elsinore has long been home to extreme sports, which have evolved through the years yet remained in the area. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, which was the heyday of Lake Elsinore, there were glamorous boat racing events that drew people from all over Southern California. In spite of World War II raging overseas and the many young men that were away because of it, extreme sports persisted to be the norm in Lake Elsinore. Though lacking its former glory, boat racing remained popular even during the war, and races were again held in the summer of 1942. From the late 1930’s onward, however, the popularity of boat racing waned in favor of what newer watersport?

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Lake Elsinore Boat Racing 1920s
Week 19

World War II officially began in 1939, and though the United States of America did not enter the war until late 1941, it supported the war effort through testing and production. The war was good for the American economy and is considered to be what ended the Great Depression. Although World War II was being waged far away from the Lake Elsinore Valley, this region became popular in 1940 and 1941 as a testing ground for what aircraft?

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N-3PB Nomad
 Week 18

As the Lake Elsinore Valley entered the 1940s, the Great Depression was still in effect and an air of uncertainty remained in the minds of the people. Pleasure seekers still visited the lake and mineral baths, but they did not spend money as before. One of the first diversions to positively affect the city as it moved toward the end of the Depression came in the form of baseball. In early 1940, Lake Elsinore built a baseball field on Poe Street between Limited Street and Lakeshore Drive. It was at this new field that the Sacramento Solons decided to have their spring training in late February of 1940. This baseball field was officially completed one year later and named after Nick Matich, who was the City Mayor at the time. What was the name of this baseball field then and what is it known as today?

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Swick & Matich Park
 Week 17

Shortly after founding the community of Alberhill in 1886, C. H. Albers and J. H. Hill founded two separate companies that would soon merge into one. This company required so much manpower that it quickly became the most important industry in the Lake Elsinore Valley, to be rivaled only by the Los Angeles Brick Company. In large part due to this company, the Lake Elsinore Valley was sustained throughout the dry years, war years, and the Great Depression. What is the name of this company, and what is it known as today?

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Alberhill Mine
 Week 16

By the year 1936, the Great Depression was in full swing in the Lake Elsinore Valley and throughout the nation. Rail service through the area had been discontinued in favor of new highways and the publicity that Lake Elsinore previously enjoyed had mostly come to an end. During this year, the lake had all but dried up. Fortunately, the mining industries in Lake Elsinore experienced renewed activity at this time and olive harvesting once again became popular since importing olive oil was no longer as economically feasible. In a stroke of good fortune, the latter part of 1936 until the summer of 1937 saw unusual amounts of rain. All of this rain resulted in Lake Elsinore reaching what historically high water level mark?

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Dry Lake

Happy Birthday Lake Elsinore!

Year of Incorporation: April 9, 1888

125th Logo
 Week 15

The City of Lake Elsinore, incorporated on April 9th, 1888, is the second oldest city in Riverside County. For the first five years Elsinore was part of San Diego County.   Riverside County was not established until  1893. Two weeks after the City’s incorporation, the Elsinore Board of Trustees held its first meeting to pass ordinances and restrictions to guide the new City into a profitable future. In the months to come, ordinances would be established that outlawed slingshots, prohibited the firing of guns anywhere outside shooting galleries, and did not tolerate “tippling houses”, “dram shops” or any other social vulgarities of the time. Excessive speed was already a concern at that time and the Board passed a speed limit law. Do you know what maximum speed limit was for the City of Lake Elsinore in 1888?

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Founders Franklin Heald,
Donald Graham, William Collier
and Margaret Collier-Graham

 Week 14

In late 1933, Senator William G. McAdoo announced plans for the construction of a new City Hall. The cost of the project, covered by federally appropriated funds and voter approved bonds, came out to a sum of $15,000. Construction began immediately and on July 7, 1934, the completed City Hall was dedicated with a barbeque and a parade down Main Street. Located at 130 South Main Street, the City Hall continues to serve the citizens of Lake Elsinore to the present day. What special occasion was City Hall built to commemorate?

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City Hall 1934
 Week 13

Since the 1770's, a road has existed that connects San Juan Capistrano and Lake Elsinore. Until the late 1920's, however, the road was a tortuous and difficult journey that few traveled. Construction of a new highway connecting the two areas began on May 12, 1929, but was fraught with delays until Riverside and Orange Counties joined with the State in financing the project. The Ortega Highway was completed in August of 1933 and given its name by Rev. St. John O’Sullivan of San Juan Capistrano Mission. What historical figure is the highway named after?

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Ortega Hwy Horseback circa 1917
 Week 12

In early 1924, Clevelin Realty Corp. began construction on the Southern California Athletic and Country Club. The Club was meant to cater to the wealthy and famous personalities of the 1920s. Originally designed to contain 300 sleeping rooms, it was reduced to 40 rooms with the finest appointments money could buy. Although the facilities were completed, the Country Club never opened due to financial problems and the coming Depression. Nine years later, it was purchased by Major Glen Conklin and Captain P.A. Jones and eventually given what name as it is known by today?

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Naval Academy
 Week 11

The Elsinore Fire Department was formed in 1890 with a horse-drawn cart and 500 feet of hose. The first Fire House was a wooden building next to City Hall on Main St. In 1925 Elsinore was in need of a new fire engine. The town could not afford one on its own so residents raised the remaining $3,000 of the $8,500 needed to purchase an American La France fire engine.  How long was Elsinore Fire Engine No. 1 in service?

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Fire House


 Week 10

In the first half of the 1900’s, Elsinore was a popular hang-out for Hollywood stars and celebrities, many of whom built getaways in the hills surrounding the lake. What famous castle was built during this time that still stands today? Who was it built by?

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Aimee's Castle
 Week 9

This week the First Christian Church, on the corner of Heald Avenue and Poe Street, received historical recognition. The Valley of the Mist chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century placed a commemorative plaque to honor the structure’s long history.  Built between 1887 and 1888, the church is one of the oldest surviving structures in Lake Elsinore. What famous lawman of the time is believed to have attended the church’s dedication ceremony?

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First Christian Church
 Week 8

During the early 1900s, Elsinore hosted many Hollywood stars and popular personages, such as President Grover Cleveland, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Buffalo Bill, Andy Devine and Lillian Russell. The rich and famous came to play in Lake Elsinore, many of whom kept vacation homes and bungalows at the lake. A favorite spot to hangout was the popular Aloha Pier, which stretched out into the lake and was the site of weekend dances for more than two decades. The pier was built in 1926 by what company?

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Aloha Pier
 Week 7

In February of 1918, most of the Country’s thoughts were on World War 1; the US had declared war on Germany April 6, 1917, less than a year earlier. But on February 15th, the ”Press” headlines announced the news that Elsinore had awarded a contract for its very first pavement project. What were the first streets to be paved in Elsinore?

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1920's Main St
 Week 6

In the early days, Elsinore was known for its olives, among other crops. This was due in large to a young man named Albers, from St. Louis, Missouri. When Albers set out one hundred and thirty-five acres of his 442 acre ranch to olives, his friends pronounced the proposition a foolish one and jokingly referred his venture as what? The olive orchard proved a greater success than even Albers had anticipated and as sort of a reminder to his detractors, Mr. Albers tossed his friends’ joke back at them by successfully marketing his product under that very brand name.

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Olive Trees
 Week 5

After the Southern California Railway tracks were washed out for a third time in 1891, the tracks were abandoned. With no rail connection to the County seat in San Diego, a long journey by wagon or horseback was necessary to transact county business. Demand rose for a new county and Riverside County, almost as large as the state of Massachusetts, was carved out of San Diego and San Bernardino Counties in what year?

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Riverside County Map
 Week 4

In 1887 Franklin Heald, with professional builder Frank Ferris, began construction on the Cresent Bath House, proclaimed to be the finest in all California. The cost of the building alone was estimated at $10,000 and was constructed in what style, which was popular during the Victorian era?

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 Week 3

Armory Hall was constructed in 1887 and is located on the corner of Main St. and Franklin St. On January 29, 1992  Armory Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. What Veterans’ organization met in the Armory Hall?

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Armory Hall
 Week 2

In 1858 Rancho La Laguna, as it was now called, was purchased by Juan Machado. The “Machado Adobe”, as it is called today, was used as a stop along what famous mail route until the War Between the States put a stop to the mail service in 1861?

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Butterfield Stage Coach
 Week 1  

The Luiseno Indians are the earliest known inhabitants of Lake Elsinore.  They called the lake "Entengvo Wumoma".   How does this translate into English?

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Luiseno Indians