About Lake Elsinore History

The Luiseno Indians were the earliest known inhabitants of the Lake Elsinore area, and called the lake Entengvo Wumoma, which means Hot Springs by the Little Sea.  Native American pictographs can be found on rocks on the Ortega Mountains and samples can be seen at the Historical Society Museum.
When the Spanish settlers arrived, they called the lake Laguna Grande, which was part of the Mexican land grant, Rancho La Laguna.
In the early 1800’s, more settlers were drawn to the Lake Elsinore area and to the natural springs that many believed had healing qualities.  In 1858, a regular stop was established in Lake Elsinore for the Butterfield stagecoach line.  In 1882, a rail line was extended through town, and the Santa Fe train station was constructed one block off Main Street, which serves today as the home of the Chamber of Commerce.
The town of Elsinore sprung up around the lake.  With a population of about 1,000, on April 9, 1888, the city of Lake Elsinore incorporated.
In the 1920’s & 30’s, Hollywood turned Elsinore into a weekend getaway for the rich and famous.  It is rumored that some of the majestic homes on the hills surrounding Lake Elsinore served as speakeasies and gambling dens.  The homes’ hilltop vantage points allowed ample warning of the approach of Sheriff’s headlights.
In 1971, Hollywood brought Lake Elsinore into the national forefront when Bruce Brown’s iconic off-road racing movie “On Any Sunday” became an international hit.  The movie starred Steve McQueen and Baja Champion Malcome Smith, and launched the traditional Lake Elsinore Grand Prix that cuts through Lake Elsinore, and starts and ends at The Diamond.
Skylark Airport, located in the floodplain south of the lake, emerged as a world class sky diving drop zone.
The Lake Elsinore Outlet Center opened in 1991, with over 100 factory outlets.  In 1994, Professional baseball comes to town with the opening of the Lake Elsinore Diamond, home of the Lake Elsinore Storm, affiliate of the Anaheim Angels and later, with the San Diego Padres.  The stadium has a capacity of over 8,000 people with 6,066 permanent seats.
Lately, the City Lake Elsinore, CA has focused on its many natural features and emphasized the many extreme sports such as skydiving, hang-gliding, and motocross that fit right in.  With a new emphasis on growth, this second oldest city in Riverside is setting itself up for the future.

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