Did you know Big Bear was named Yuhaviat for thousands of years? The word Yuhaviat is a Serrano Indian word that means “Pine Place. ” In Big Bear there is some major interesting history from Holcomb Valley all the way to the lake. Big Bear is rich with history throughout the valley. In 1860, Holcomb Valley was founded. About 15 years after Big Bear Valley was discovered, prospector Bill Holcomb discovered gold in a nearby valley, that he named Holcomb Valley.
After gold was found, the population of Holcomb Valley grew to over 2,000; buildings and businesses sprung up, including a general store, saloon, grocery store, and a blacksmith shop. In Holcomb Valley, there are a lot of historical places and things. First there’s Hichcock Ranch and Hichcock Cemetery. Hichcock Ranch is one of the historic ranches in Holcomb Valley. Hichcock Ranch is now a Boy Scout camp and been used in many flilms. Hichcock Cemetery is a small unkept cemetery next to Hichcock Ranch.Order now
Next, are Wilbur’s Grave and Wilbur’s Pond. Wilbur’s Grave is a grave for Charles Wilbur. He was a popular gold placer miner in the area of Holcomb Valley. He was elected to organize the miners in establishing Boundary Rocks. He said, “When I die, bury me right here beside the pond. ” They did. So, the pond is called Wilbur’s Pond to honor him. Then, there is Two Gun Bill’s Saloon and Hangman’s Tree. Two Gun Bill’s Saloon was a famous saloon, dance hall, and bordello. It was large and very successful.
Bill carried two pistols to keep the peace in the saloon. Hangman’s Tree was a tree to bring law and order to the valley for outlaws. Finally, there is the Holcomb Valley Dam, Split Rock, Bellville Cabin and Arrastres. The Holcomb Valley Dam was built to dam up water from the snow melt and to help process gold ore. Split Rock is a boulder that some body claimed and drilled a hole in it so they knew it was their’s. The boulder is now split nearly in two. No one knows how it happened.
Bellville came within two votes of becoming the country seat for San Bernardino. Lastly, Arrastres was a mine that crushed rock to look for gold, and controlled by a donkey or mule. Holcomb Valley is filled with history! From the lake to the ski slopes there’s lots of history. Big Bear’s first dam, completed in 1884, was soon followed by the Valley’s first hotel in 1888. In 1949 the first ski resort opened and Big Bear Lake soon became Southern California’s favorite mountain getaway. In 1969, Snow summit was able to add a second chair lift.
On the outskirts or Holcomb Valley there’s the Gold Mountain Mine. It was a mine they used to crush rock to look for gold. Big Bear has lots and lots of history. There is Castle Rock, Iron Door Mine, Eye of God, Peace Rock, Iron Door Mine, Spanish Smelter, Rose Mine, The Big Bear Museum, and plenty more. Holcomb Valley is filled with history also. If you ever have time, check out some of these amazing places! Big Bear is an awesome place to live, and the history around it is also awesome!