Big Bear City in San Bernardino County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Bellevill Holcomb Valley
Erected 1979 by Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 21.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the E Clampus Vitus series list.
Location. 34° 18.085′ N, 116° 53.145′ W. Marker is in Big Bear City, California, in San Bernardino County. Marker is at the intersection of Holcomb Valley Road (Road 3N16) and Van Dusen Canyon Road (Road 3N09), on the right when traveling west on Holcomb Valley Road. Marker is located approximately 2,000 feet east of this intersection between the parking area and the replica cabin to the west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Big Bear City CA 92314, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Holcomb Valley (approx. 3˝ Old Bear Valley Dam (approx. 6.6 miles away); Peter Davidson (approx. 11.8 miles away); Old Woman Springs Ranch (approx. 12 miles away); The Last Indian Fight in Southern California (approx. 12.3 miles away); Chimney Rock (approx. 12.3 miles away).
Regarding Bellevill Holcomb Valley. The gold discovery in Holcomb Valley attracted some of the very worst characters and night was made dreadful by the drunken yells and cursing. Firearms were fired off at all hours of the night and day rendering the valley unsafe for anyone. Of the 40 or 50 men who were shot at different times, not more than three or four innocent men were killed. The rest of those shot were of the tough element, usually strangers in the valley and they rest in unmarked graves.
SOURCE: Billy Holcomb Chapter 1069 35th Anniversary Plaque Book by Phillip Holdaway
Also see . . .
1. Belleville - Ghost Town. Information and photos of the area. (Submitted on December 29, 2011.)
2. Legends of the American West. A short history of Belleville and the surrounding Holcomb Valley. (Submitted on December 29, 2011.)
3. Holcomb Valley Near Big Bear. A YouTube driving tour (Submitted on July 21, 2018.)
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.
— Submitted December 29, 2011.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2018. It was originally submitted on December 18, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 654 times since then and 37 times this year. Last updated on November 3, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. Photos: 1. submitted on December 18, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. 2. submitted on December 17, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. 3, 4, 5. submitted on December 22, 2011, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. 6. submitted on March 1, 2014, by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.