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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lee Vining in Mono County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Mono Lake

 
 
Mono Lake Markers image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
1. Mono Lake Markers
Inscription.
These Plaques Featuring Little Known
and Forgotten Facts About Mono Lake

E Clampus Vitus
Bodie Chapter No. 64
Dedicated
September 13, 2013

Mono Lake - Land of Many Uses
Except for fishing, this "inland sea" has been a lake of many uses over the years. (commercial, industrial, recreational, military, medicinal, etc.) starting in the 1800s and by the 1910s, in and around this body of water, oil drilling and mineral extraction activities took place. By the 1900s it became the venue for: bathing beauty pageants, boat races, swimming competitions and water skiing contests. During the 1930s, a boat tour of the lake and islands was offered, advertised as a visit to the "Tahiti of the Sierras" due to the existence of hot springs on the islands. A Tahitian spa was planned, but never built. In the late 1950s, a public boat dock and marina was built along the west shoreline and operated for several years. And, during the Cold War a secret military test site was located along the south shoreline. Although, today, only remnants can be seen of those activities, they made a lasting contributions to the development of Mono County and the Eastern Sierras.

Mono Lake...?
First appearing on official maps in 1854. It is the predominant geological feature of this region
Mono Lake - Lake of Many Uses image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
2. Mono Lake - Lake of Many Uses
and source of many myths, legends and controversies. One unresolved issue - who was the first to document this unique body of water? was it Jedediah Smith during his trek through the region in 1827? or was it Joseph Walker in 1833? Perhaps, it was Lt. Treadwell Moore in 1852? Coincidentally, each reported finding a lake with similar features. Another debate is the origin of its name. Some sources report it was named for the Monache Indians, early inhabitants of the area. Other accounts note "Mono" was a Spanish word and cite the majority of California county names were of Spanish origin. Others refer to the Greek word "monos" meaning - solitary or deserted. Each is a plausible explanation. In the late 1800's, this intimidating lake gained international notoriety through the writings of Mark Twain's newspaper articles and his book "Roughing It". What is not in question - Mono Lake was the namesake of the 47th county created by act of California State Legislature (SB-199) in 1861.

Mono Lake & Hollywood
This body of water has been the backdrop of many Hollywood and television productions. Two of the first movies filmed here were "Kilowatt, the Conqueror" (1921) and "The Huntress" (1923) staring Colleen Moore. "White Magic" (1930) was one of the first "Talkies" to feature Mono Lake. "The Bride Wore Red" (1937) staring Joan Crawford; "Kim" (1950) staring Errol Flynn;
Mono Lake...? image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
3. Mono Lake...?
"Fair Wind to Java" (1953) staring Fred MacMurray; and, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" (1973) had second unit photography (background scenes) taken here. Numerous nature films, produced and directed by major studios and independent filmmakers, have told various stories of Mono Lake - its ecology, geography, chronology, etc. Also, may "Commercials" and music videos have been filmed here. However, the most recognized and successful movie shot on location here was "High Plains Drifter" (1973) staring Clint Eastwood and served as the stark setting of the fictional western town of Lago. Today, remnants of the volcano set built for the 1953 film can still be seen above the waves of this inland sea. As long as Hollywood has need of breathtaking vistas and clear blue skies, Mono Lake will have a continuing role in the film and video industry.
 
Erected 2013 by Bodie Chapter No. 64, E Clampus Vitus.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 37° 56.877′ N, 119° 6.61′ W. Marker is near Lee Vining, California, in Mono County. Marker is on Vista Point Drive. Click for map. Markers are located at the overlook north of Vista Point Drive. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22 Vista Point Drive, Lee Vining CA 93541, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Mono Lake & Hollywood image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
4. Mono Lake & Hollywood
At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lee Vining (approx. mile away); Upside-Down House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Sheriff James P. Dolan (approx. 2.4 miles away); Grave of the Unknown Prospector (approx. 4.4 miles away); Grave of Adeline Carson Stilts (approx. 4.9 miles away); Navy Beach (approx. 5 miles away); Would-Be Miners and Occasional Tourists (approx. 6.5 miles away); The Tioga Pass Road (approx. 6.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Lee Vining.
 
Also see . . .
1. Kilowatt The Conqueror. Huntington Digital Library footage of Southern California Edison Motion Picture Film (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.) 

2. The Huntress (1923). (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
3. The Bride Wore Red (1937). (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
4. Kim (1950). (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
5. Fair Wind to Java (1953). (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
6. Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1973). (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
7. High Plains Drifter (1973). (Submitted on March 27, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California.)
 
Categories. EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
 
Mono Lake Markers image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
5. Mono Lake Markers
"a" image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
6. "a"
"k" image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
7. "k"
Bodie Chapter No. 64 image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
8. Bodie Chapter No. 64
View of Mono Lake from Vista Point image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, September 15, 2013
9. View of Mono Lake from Vista Point
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 524 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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