Big Bear City in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Erected 1990 by State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus, Big Bear Valley Historical Society, and U.S. Forest Service. (Marker Number 619.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. 34° 15.894′ N, 116° 50.671′ W. Marker is in Big Bear City, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is on East Mountain View Boulevard west of Mount Doble Drive, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located approximately 200 feet northwest of this intersection at the entrance to the Eleanor Abbot Museum/Big Bear Valley Historical Society. Marker is at or near this postal address: 131 East Mountain View Boulevard, Big Bear City CA 92314, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Bellevill Holcomb Valley (approx. 3.5 miles away); a different marker also named Holcomb Valley (approx. 3.5 miles away but has been reported missing); Old Woman Springs Ranch (approx. 12.1 miles away); Peter Davidson (approx. 15.1 miles away); Chimney Rock (approx. 15.7 miles away); The Last Indian Fight in Southern California (approx. 15.7 miles away); Henry Harbinson Sinclair (approx. 16.5 miles away).
Regarding Holcomb Valley. Four towns grew after Billy Holcomb's gold discovery in the valley. Belleville was on the east side of the valley. The other towns near Belleville were: Union Town, 2 miles northeast; Clapboard Town, 2 miles southwest and Bloody Gulch, 2 miles northwest. Blacksmith Jed Van Dusen was hired by the miners to build a road west from Holcomb Valley, then northwest by Coxey's Ranch to Rock Springs, then west over the desert to the Mojave River and toward Cajon Pass where it met John Brown's toll road.
SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway
Also see . . . William Francis Holcomb (1831 - 1912) - Find a Grave Memorial. He was born in Tippecanoe, Iowa to Zephaniah and Mary (Collins) Holcomb and arrived in California in 1850. He struck gold and hunted bear in the San Bernardino mountain valley now bearing his name.
1. The Town of Belleville
About three miles north of Big Bear Lake lies Holcomb Valley. It's now a peaceful sheltered area, but in the 1860's it was the scene of the largest gold rush in Southern California. One of the landmarks of the area is the site of Belleville, the valley's largest town, reputed to have reached a population of 10,000 and to have been a hotbed of Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War. By 1862 Belleville was challenging San Bernardino to become the county seat. The story goes that Belleville lost in the election only because a ballot box from Belleville was "accidentally" lost in a bonfire on election night.
Source: Historic Spots in California 5th Edition.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Natural Resources • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 998 times since then. Photos: 1. submitted on December 19, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 24, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. 5. submitted on December 20, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. 6. submitted on December 29, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.