Did you know Big Bear was named Yuhaviat for thousands of years? The word Yuhaviat is a Serrano Indian word that means “Pine Place.” In Big Bear there is some major interesting history from Holcomb Valley all the way to the lake. Big Bear is rich with history throughout the valley.
In 1860, Holcomb Valley was founded. About 15 years after Big Bear Valley was discovered, prospector Bill Holcomb discovered gold in a nearby valley, that he named Holcomb Valley. After gold was found, the population of Holcomb Valley grew to over 2,000; buildings and businesses sprung up, including a general store, saloon, grocery store, and a blacksmith shop. In Holcomb Valley, there are a lot of historical places and things. First there’s Hichcock Ranch and Hichcock Cemetery. Hichcock Ranch is one of the historic ranches in Holcomb Valley. Hichcock Ranch is now a Boy Scout camp and been used in many flilms. Hichcock Cemetery is a small unkept cemetery next to Hichcock Ranch. Next, are Wilbur’s Grave and Wilbur’s Pond. Wilbur’s Grave is a grave for Charles Wilbur. He was a popular gold placer miner in the area of Holcomb Valley. He was elected to organize the miners in establishing Boundary Rocks. He said, “When I die, bury me right here beside the pond.” They did. So, the pond is called Wilbur’s Pond to honor him. Then, there is Two Gun Bill’s Saloon and Hangman’s Tree. Two Gun Bill’s Saloon was a famous saloon, dance hall, and bordello. It was large and very successful. Bill carried two pistols to keep the peace in the saloon. Hangman’s Tree was a tree to bring law and order to the valley for outlaws. Finally, there is the Holcomb Valley Dam, Split Rock, Bellville Cabin and Arrastres. The Holcomb Valley Dam was built to dam up water from the snow melt and to help process gold ore. Split Rock is a boulder that some body claimed and drilled a hole in it so they knew it was their’s. The boulder is now split nearly in two. No one knows how it happened....
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