November 10, 2009

Historical marker restored to former glory

Chimney Rock historical marker prior to being vandalized in 2008.

Lucerne Valley Leader

LUCERNE VALLEY - Thanks to the efforts of anonymous good Samaritans, the historical maker signifying the Battle of Chimney Rock has been restored to its former glory.

Ravaged by vandals nearly a year ago, the site has sat in ruins as local organizations tried to come up with the means to replace the stolen metal.
Since it was never established which group was the site’s “caretaker” it became difficult to proceed.

Chamber of Commerce representatives Lorane Abercrombie and Susan Waldron were interested in doing what they could in order to replicate the plaque, until they found out it had been taken care of for them.

“I got a call and they said it was done,” Abercrombie said. “I thought they meant they had gotten the plaque polished, but they said ‘no, it’s completely finished.’”

She said that the donation was meant to be a gift to the community of Lucerne Valley, and that the people who gave it wished to remain anonymous.

And while more than 10,000 people pass by the monument each day, few know the significance behind it.

“In the early days, natural springs in what is now Lucerne Valley provided good camping grounds for Indians on their way into the San Bernardino Mountains to gather pinon nuts. The Indians resented white pioneers settling in the territory and committed some violent acts against them. Instead of discouraging the settlers, it caused them to marshall forces and attack the Indians. (On) Feb. 1 1867, a decisive battle at Chimney Rock caused the Indians to retreat and leave the territory to the white pioneers,” according to