Tribute to the City of Lake Elsinore on Its 125Th Anniversaryby Representative Ken Calvert
Posted on 2013-03-14
in the house of representatives
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Mr. CALVERT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the City of Lake
Elsinore, the second oldest city in Riverside County. On April 9, 2013,
the City will celebrate its 125th anniversary. Lake Elsinore has a rich
and colorful past, and will continue to contribute to the landscape,
diversity and history of our county and the state of California.
Settlers came to Lake Elsinore in the early 1800s for the natural springs which were said to have healing qualities. Rich and fertile farm lands and natural resources such as clay, coal, sand and gravel, kept the early settlers here. The birth of these industries brought the Butterfield stagecoach line through town. In 1858 a stop was established at the Juan Machado Adobe along Grand Avenue, part of which can still be seen today. In 1882 a rail line was extended through town and soon the Santa Fe train station was constructed one block off Main Street. Today, that station serves as the home of the Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce.
These early settlers established a town site around the lake, which they named Elsinore, after the town of Elsinore in Denmark immortalized by Shakespeare in his play Hamlet. On April 9, 1888 the town was incorporated, five years before the County of Riverside even existed.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Lake Elsinore was a weekend getaway for some of Hollywood's best-known stars. Famous residents included actor Bela Lugosi and founder of the Foursquare Church and radio personality Aimee Semple McPherson. According to local legend, some of the grand homes on the hills surrounding Lake Elsinore were also allegedly used as speakeasies and gambling dens during Prohibition. Their high perch above the valley floor afforded the occupants the opportunity to see the headlights of the County Sheriff from miles away.
In 1971, the Elsinore Grand Prix launched Lake Elsinore into the national spotlight when Bruce Brown released his movie ``On Any Sunday'' featuring Baja Champion Malcolm Smith and Steve McQueen. Today, the last race of the Grand Prix is called the Harvey Mushman, an alias McQueen often used when riding.
In 1972, citizens approved Lake Elsinore as a new name for the city to promote it as a prime destination for tourists. The city offers venues for professional baseball, Motocross, skydiving, sail planes, bowling, golf, water skiing, jet boats, fishing and even bow fishing. I encourage tourists from all over to come and enjoy southern California's only natural lake and the recreational paradise that is Lake Elsinore. I am honored to represent Lake Elsinore once again in the House and look forward to serving its residents as the Member of Congress for the 42nd District of California.
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