San Bernardino Tourism Blog
4 Historical Sites in San Bernardino County You Should Visit
September 06, 2017
Global Administrator
San Bernardino County has a rich history and thankfully, many sites from as early as the 1800’s have been designated California Historical Landmarks so visitors can still experience them today.  Here are a four under-the-radar historic sites and landmarks in the vast San Bernardino County to explore:
 
Yucaipa Adobe Museum, Yucaipa Valley
First occupied by Serrano Indians, the land was to become a key piece in the developing of the San Bernardino Rancho, and later the Yucaipa Valley. In the 1850’s, hunter and mountaineer James Waters bought a piece of the valley to start his own ranch and built the Yucaipa Adobe. In 1869, The Dunlap Family purchased the ranch and maintained the land until the1950’s. In 1954, the adobe was saved by the Yucaipa Women’s Club and later donated to the San Bernardino County Museum System as it stands now. Visitors can tour the adobe, exhibiting nineteenth century furnishings and examples of historic farm hand tools.
 
Yucaipa Adobe Museum
Photo Credit: Don Graham

 
Old Bear Valley Dam, Big Bear
The Old Bear Valley Dam is a keystone in Big Bear history. Originally constructed by Redlands farmer Frank Brown in 1884, its purpose was to create a reservoir for downstream irrigation to Redlands. The single-arch granite dam resulted in creating the famous Big Bear Lake we know today. Past engineers thought it would not hold, but later called it the “Eighth Wonder of The World.” The old dam is currently 20 feet underwater and about 200 feet upstream from the current dam you see today. On occasion during times with lower lake levels, the old bridge can still be seen holding strong.

Old Bear Valley Dam
Photo Credit: WaterArchives.org

 
San Bernardino Asistencia, Redlands
Constructed in the 1830’s, the asistencia has served many purposes. From cattle grazing to a polling place, it has been a revolving pillar to the area. During the 1850’s, it was a school taught by Bishop Tenney’s wife, who was then a resident. Considered a ruin by 1925, restoration of the historic site began. Completed in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration and assisted by the San Bernardino County Historical Society, the newly restored “Asistencia” was open to the public and was dedicated California Historical Landmark #42 in 1960. It offers mission tours to visitors.

San Bernardino Asistencia
Photo Credit: Don Graham

 
Garces - Smith Monument, Mojave
California Historical Landmark #618, Garces-Smith Monument marks a part of the Mojave Trail, historically used by trading Native Americans. The monument is named after Father Francisco Garces, a missionary who traveled from Needles to San Gabriel in 1776, and Jedediah Smith,the first American to travel the path in 1826. It lies at the summit of Monument Peak on Forest Road 2N49 as a beacon to travelers and adventurers alike.

Garces - Smith Monument
Photo Credit: California Historical Landmarks
 
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