California State Historical Landmarks in Imperial County
Properties of historical importance in California are currently designated as significant resources in three state registration programs: State Historical Landmarks, Points of Historical Interest, and the California Register of Historic Places. Below is a list of the State Historical Landmarks for Imperial County. This data is provided by the Office of Historic Preservation - California Department of Parks and Recreation and is also available in the California Historical Landmarks Book.
NO. 1008 YUHA WELL - Known as Santa Rosa de Las Lajas (Flat Rocks), this site was used on March 8, 1774 by the Anza Exploring Expedition, opening the land route from Sonora, Mexico, to Alta California. On December 11 to 15, 1775, the three divisions of Anza's colonizing expedition used this first good watering spot beyond the Colorado River on the way from Sonora to San Francisco.
Location: Eastbound Sunbeam Roadside Rest Area, between Drew and Forrester Rds (P.M. R31.3), on I-8 near Seeley NO. 182 TUMCO MINES - Pete Walters of Ogilby discovered the first gold vein at Gold Rock on January 6, 1884. From his Little Mary Claim began a gold camp which reached its peak development between 1893 and 1899 as Hedges, with 3,200 residents. Nearly closed, 1900-10, it was reopened as Tumco, 1910-13, and worked intermittently until 1941. Tumco has long been a California ghost town.
Location: On Gold Rack Ranch Rd, 1.0 mi E of County Hwy 834, 9.0 mi N of I-8, 4.5 mi NE of Ogilby
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: OGILBY 15 NO. 193 PICACHO MINES - Opened by placer miners after 1852, the gold mines expanded into hard rock quarrying by 1872. Picacho employed 700 miners at its peak from 1895 to 1900. Mill accidents, low ore quality, and the loss of cheap river transport with the building of Laguna Dam led to numerous periods of inactivity. With ores far from worked out, the Picacho Mines, using modern techniques, again resumed operations in 1984.
Location: On Picacho Rd, 18.2 mi N of Winterhaven NO. 194 MOUNTAIN SPRINGS STATION - In 1862-70, about a mile north of here Peter Larkin and Joe Stancliff used a stone house as a store from which ox teams pulled wagons up a 30% grade. The San Diego and Fort Yuma Turnpike Co. used the site as a toll road station until 1876. The crumbling house was replaced in 1917 by another still visible to its east. But road changes, beginning in 1878 and culminating in today's highway, have left the older stone house ruins inaccessible.
Location: Site is 200 ft W of westbound lane, I-8 (P.M. 2.3), just N of Mountain Springs Rd, 2.3 mi E of county line, Mountain Springs. Plaque is located adjacent to Desert View Tower, approximately 100 yards distant from the Desert View Tower landmark plaque. NO. 350 MISSION LA PURÍSIMA CONCEPCIÓN (SITE OF) - In October 1780, Father Francisco Garcés and companions began Mission La Purísima Concepción. The mission/pueblo site was inadequately supported. Colonists ignored Indian rights, usurped the best lands, and destroyed Indian crops. Completely frustrated and disappointed, the Quechans (Yumas) and their allies destroyed Concepción on July 17-19, 1781.
Location: St. Thomas Indian Mission, Indian Hill on Picacho Rd, Fort Yuma, 1 mi S of Winterhaven NO. 569 MORMON ISLAND - Early in March 1848, W. Sidney, S. Willis, and Wilford Hudson, members of the Mormon Battalion, set out from Sutter's Fort to hunt deer. Stopping on the south fork of the American River, they found gold. They told their story on returning to the fort, and soon about 150 Mormons and other miners flocked to the site, which was named Mormon Island. This was the first major gold strike in California after James W. Marshall's discovery at Coloma. The population of the town in 1853 was more than 2,500. It had four hotels, three dry-goods stores, five general merchandise stores, an express office, and many small shops. The first ball in Sacramento County was held here on December 25, 1849. A fire destroyed the town in 1856, and it was never rebuilt. Its site was inundated by Folsom Lake in 1955.
Location: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, N side, Dyke 8 picnic area, 3 mi NE of Folsom NO. 806 FORT YUMA - Originally called Camp Calhoun, the site was first used as a U.S. military post in 1849. A fire destroyed the original buildings. By 1855 the barracks had been rebuilt. Called Camp Yuma in 1852, it became Fort Yuma after reconstruction. Transferred to the Department of the Interior and the Quechan Indian Tribe in 1884, it became a boarding school operated by the Catholic Church until 1900.
Location: On bank of Colorado River, 350 Picacho Rd, Winterhaven
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: YUMA EAST NO. 808 CAMP SALVATION - Here, on September 23, 1849, Lieut. Cave J. Couts, Escort Commander, International Boundary Commission, established Camp Salvation. From September till the first of December 1849, it served as a refugee center for distressed emigrants attempting to reach the gold fields over the Southern Emigrant Trail.
Location: Rockwood Plaza, Sixth St E at Heber Ave, Calexico
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: CALEXICO NO. 845 PLANK ROAD - This unique plank road, seven miles long, was the only means early motorists had of crossing the treacherous Imperial sand dunes. The 8-by-12-foot sections were moved with a team of horses whenever the shifting sands covered portions of the road. Double sections were placed at intervals to permit vehicles to pass.
Location: Algodones Sand Dunes County Rest Area, S side of I-8 (P.M. 77.4), 18 mi W of Winterhaven
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: GLAMIS 15 NO. 921 SITE OF MISSION SAN PEDRO Y SAN PABLO DE BICUNER - To protect the Anza Trail where it forded the Colorado River, the Spanish founded a pueblo and mission nearby on January 7, 1781. Threatened with the loss of their land, the Quechans (Yumas) attacked this strategic settlement on July 17, 1781. The Quechan victory closed this crossing and seriously crippled future communications between upper California and Mexico.
Location: On County Rd 524, 0.2 mi W of intersection of Levee and Mehring Rds, 4.4 mi NE of Bard NO. 939 Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments (Thematic) -CHARLEY'S WORLD OF LOST ART - Charles Kasling began sculpturing near Andrade in 1967, and his creations now fill a site of approximately two and a half acres. His style, best described as eclectic, was inspired partly by his world travels with the U.S. Navy and partly by the desert terrain.
Location: On dirt rd, 0.5 mi NW of Andrade, 7 mi SW of Winterhaven
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: YUMA WEST NO. 944 SITE OF FORT ROMUALDO PACHECO - In 1774, Spain opened an overland route from Sonora to California but it was closed by Yuma Indians in 1781. In 1822, Mexico attempted to reopen this route. Lt. Romualdo Pacheco and soldiers built an adobe fort at this site in 1825-26, the only Mexican fort in Alta California. On April 26, 1826, Kumeyaay Indians attacked the fort, killing three soldiers and wounding three others. Pacheco abandoned the fort, removing soldiers to San Diego.
Location: W bank of New River, S of Worthington Rd, 6-1/2 mi due W of City of Imperial NO. 985 DESERT TRAINING CENTER, CALIFORNIA-ARIZONA MANEUVER AREA (ESTABLISHED BY MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON, JR.) - CAMP CLIPPER - Camp Clipper was established at a site that reached from Essex Road to this location in the Spring of 1942. It was one of twelve such camps built in the southwestern deserts to harden and train United States troops for service on the battlefields of World War II. The Desert Training Center was a simulated theater of operations that included portions of California, Arizona, and Nevada. The other camps were Young, Coxcomb, Iron Mountain, Ibis, Granite, Pilot Knob, Laguna, Horn, Ryder, Bouse and Rice. A total of 13 infantry divisions and 7 armored divisions plus numerous smaller units were trained in this harsh environment. The Training Center was in operation for almost two years and was closed early in 1944 when the last units were shipped overseas. During the brief period of operation over one million American soldiers were trained for combat. The 33rd and 93rd Infantry Divisions were trained here.
Location: 37 mi W of Needles on I-40 and 115 mi E of Barstow at Fenner Rest Area eastbound
See Also: Statewide Historical Landmarks listed by County
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This file last modified on: Friday, October 15, 2004.
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