Author Topic: Big Pines History  (Read 59187 times)

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Offline RobertW

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Big Pines History
« on: Dec 05, 14, 03:15:48 PM »

Offline RobertW

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #1 on: Dec 05, 14, 03:26:01 PM »

Offline Wrightwood

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Big Pines Rec Reports
« Reply #2 on: Dec 07, 14, 02:27:42 PM »

GRAHAM_RANCH

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #3 on: Dec 08, 14, 08:58:56 PM »
Nice work !!!! Still wondering about the holding cell at the base of the north tower...

GRAHAM_RANCH

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #4 on: Dec 08, 14, 10:15:12 PM »
Robert, I wonder if you would please call me at 928-234-8912 regarding the tower 'cell.' Thanks, man.... good job on gathering more history on Big Pines.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #5 on: Dec 09, 14, 08:23:50 AM »
I think I need to clarify my comments about there being no "jail" in the tower.  Both Barbara Van Houton and Terry Graham, both of whom are very knowledgeable historians of Wrightwood and Big Pines have questioned me about it.

Many people will look up at the tower and see the iron bars in the window and think that the tower was a "jail" that incarcerated criminals.  Big Pines never had such a "jail".  However, as both Barbara and Terry can attest to, there is a small room at the base of the tower that was used as a temporary "holding cell" that was used to detain individuals until the Sheriff's Department could get up to Big Pines and pick them up.  Individuals weren't detained there for more than a few hours at the most, thus no toilet or beds that many associate with being part of a "jail".  Today the room is full of wood that is used for the fireplaces in the Recreation Hall when it is used for meetings or events.  Here are some interesting notations about this holding cell from Terry:

"Physical evidence: Inside the place where they now stack firewood, was the holding cell. It was not used to 'house' arrestees, but only to detain them until Los Angeles County Sheriffs from Lancaster arrived to take them off their hands.  There is a small concrete bench inside the door.... and if you notice, you will see a locking latch outside the door, and LACO markings on the door below the locking latch. There is also an observer window port- that if it still worked(only the frame remains), it opened up, allowing the USFS, or County guard, to observe the detained person sitting on that small cement bench. As you enter the small room, you would notice more sitting spots to the right.

During those days, there was no 'extras' like a toilet or bunk bed, the cell was a temporary holding area only.

I am still trying to dig up old incident reports that mentioned suspect (s) being picked up from that location, and then taken to regular sheriff stations for booking. It's been hard, since back then that piece of info wasn't included in their reporting, like it was in my time as a deputy, and is now in present time. The reports are more complete. However, two sources have verified the existence of that holding cell.... or temporary detention cell: the Big Park Administrator Harry Grace, through a lengthy tape interview of the park and it's operations; and a Los Angeles county deputy sheriff, who was assigned to an inmate crew work crew. William A Hagenbaugh was the deputy's name who mentioned the cell in Big Pines, after having to detain a civilian that was unlawfully trying to communicate with one of his inmates that he was supervising. At the time of this particular incident, the deputy and his inmate work crew were finishing off the road (Later known as Big Pines Hwy, that they had extended from N4, passed Jackson Lake, and onto big Pines. It was in May of 1929."

 

Offline Mike Casey

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #6 on: Dec 09, 14, 02:46:12 PM »
If anyone has ANY old pictures of Mcclellan flats or any OLD documentation, I would greatly appreciate it. I have quite a bit of information dating back to the 40's however detailed information beyond that seems to not exist other then what is found on the net currently.

Offline RobertW

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #7 on: Dec 10, 14, 08:58:06 AM »
If anyone has ANY old pictures of Mcclellan flats or any OLD documentation, I would greatly appreciate it. I have quite a bit of information dating back to the 40's however detailed information beyond that seems to not exist other then what is found on the net currently.

It was Los Angeles County supervisor Ruben F. McClellan who encouraged the Board members to purchase the land for the purpose of building Big Pines Park. This was done in 1923, when the Board of Supervisors originally bought 760 acres of land for a reported $60,000.  The 13 cabins at McClellan Flats were built with L.A. County funds and manpower and L.A. County Board members began to inhabited them.  Apparently when it was discovered that Board members were using the cabins for their own personal use a big scandal ensured.  It is rumored that some even went to jail for misappropriation or use of taxpayer monies. 

The County turned over Big Pines Park and the surrounding acres to the Forest Service in 1942.  Perhaps you have documentation going back to then?  That would be great if you could share it.  Sadly, much of the documentation and pictures of McClellan Flats was destroyed in the fire of 1987 that burned the Big Pines Lodge (it was next door to the Big Pines Recreation Hall and Ranger Stations) to the ground.  The USFS Archeologist's office was housed in that building and many priceless treasures were destroyed.  It was arson by-the-way and the arsonist was caught and went to jail.



Here is the complete story of the fire:

http://www.wrightwoodcalif.com/forum/index.php/topic,10288.msg162221.html#msg162221

Here is an article on McClellan Flats that appeared in the June 2010 Issue of the USFS Volunteer Newsletter.  See Pg 3:

http://www.wrightwoodcalif.com/bigpines/Newsletter%20June%202010.pdf


Offline Mike Casey

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #8 on: Dec 10, 14, 09:04:45 AM »

Offline Mike Casey

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #9 on: Dec 10, 14, 09:05:35 AM »

Offline Mike Casey

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #10 on: Dec 10, 14, 09:10:10 AM »
Just verified... we have meeting minutes back to 1942 and rosters only going back into the early 80's

Offline RobertW

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #11 on: Dec 10, 14, 10:04:10 AM »
Great stuff Mike.  Thanks!

Offline RobertW

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #12 on: Dec 29, 14, 09:01:09 AM »

Offline Wrightwood

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #13 on: Jan 21, 15, 05:40:20 PM »
Los Angeles County discussion about County Parks giving Big Pines and Crystal Lake back to the US Forest Service.




The Role Of The County Of Los Angels In Parks And Recreation (9 page Pdf file)


Another big thank you to Ansley Davies, Associate Curator, County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation for sharing these historical documents  :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:

Offline Wrightwood

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #14 on: Jan 21, 15, 07:09:12 PM »

GRAHAM_RANCH

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #15 on: Jan 23, 15, 12:38:19 AM »
Just a little note about the shooting and A. Graham. I am pretty sure that A Graham is related to Earl and Rhonda Graham, of the Standing Bar Productions on Deep Creek Rd, in Apple Valley. They are 3-4 generation cattle people in the area. In regards to the shooting, this is not the same as was reported during an interview between the San Bernardino Historical Society Oral History project and Litta Belle Campbell, owner of the Kemper Campbell Ranch in Victorville: as well as the onerecorded by Verde Ranch cowboy, and long time Victorville resident, George (Tex ) Rankin. That shooting took place in Boulder Canyon, at the edge of Table Mt., perhaps one ridge to the east of Jesus Canyon. 

I heard that a reporter from the Victorville Valley Press did a write up on the shooting that Campbell and Rankin talked about about six years ago. I wonder what happened with the article. I don't recall the reporter's name.  In regards to the people who had the cabins on McClellan Flats, they were workers at the park itself, and two residents of WW, who also worked at Big Pines Park. I believed one belong to a county supervisor. I will check my list for the names. I am delighted to see all these news clippings on the forum, each time I read and study them, I am learning something new of our history. My hats off to all of ya. Great job!

Offline Mike Casey

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #16 on: Jan 23, 15, 01:22:10 PM »
thanks for that information. If you happen to have any information regarding who owned what cabin originally, that would be really cool!!     

A neat finding lately is that ONE of the cabins has a CAST iron clean out door on the fireplace with "big pines recreation camp" cast into it. Very cool piece. Wish ours had it :(

Offline Elk

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #17 on: Jan 23, 15, 05:32:05 PM »
A neat finding lately is that ONE of the cabins has a CAST iron clean out door on the fireplace with "big pines recreation camp" cast into it. Very cool piece. Wish ours had it :(
I have seen these same cast iron fireplace cleanout doors in some of the Big Pines area camps.

Offline Tall Trees

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #18 on: Jan 23, 15, 08:49:02 PM »
After reading some of the Annual reports referenced above they mention that several of the Organizational Camps from the Big Pines Lodge to Jackson Lake were developed at the same time.  Some of them were boy Scout camps, girl scout camps, church camps and school camps.  One of the largest Organizational camps was at Jackson Lake which is now the Verdugo Pines Church Camp.  At some point the original camp was taken over by the Boy Scouts and it became a church camp in 1963.  Some of the original old cabins still exist at Verdugo Pines Camp from the 1920's.

Offline Wrightwood

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Re: Big Pines History
« Reply #19 on: Jan 25, 15, 04:30:02 PM »
This was posted in the History Newspaper Articles and seemed like it should be here also.