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Chimney Rock (Lucerne Valley, California) facts for kids

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Chimney Rock, Lucerne Valley California
Blackhawk Slide CA.jpg
Lucerne Valley, California
Location Lucerne Valley, California
Built 1867
Designated June 6, 1960
Reference no. 577

The Chimney Rock was designated a California Historic Landmark (No.737) on June 6, 1960. Chimney Rock is located near Lucerne Valley, California in the mountains north of the Rabbit Springs Dry Lake and of California State Route 18 near the Rabbit Springs Road junction. It is the site of the last battle between immigrant settlers and a Native American tribe in the Mojave Desert. Conflicts between Indians and white settlers over the rich lands of the San Bernardino Mountains ended in the battle at Chimney Rock on February 16, 1867. The Indians defended themselves against the settlers. But in the end they retreat into the desert. This ended the mountain food gathering of the Indians. A historical marker is beside Highway 18, next to the welcome sign on the town's western border.

Background

As settlers entered the area of Lucerne Valley and the San Bernardino Mountains. Conflict started. Polito Spanish settlers was killed in 1863 in an Indians attack at Little Sand Canyon. As they departed they took Sam Pine's mule. In 1863 W. F. Holcolmb and Pete Smith horse and mule were killed in an attack. In Cajon Pass in 1863 Doctor Smith was shot in an attack. In 1866 Ed Parrish, Pratt Whiteside and Nephi Bemis were killed while watching Mojave River Dunlap ranch's cattle by Chemehuevi Indians. In 1867 Bill Kane house was burnt down and his horse taken. Bill Kane and his posse had a shoot out the next day. See this large number of Indians, 100 to 200 a larger posse was made. The larger posse including: W.F. Holcomb, Bill Kane, Jack Martin, John St. John, Samuel Bemis, Edwin Bemis, Bill Bemis, Harrison Bemis, Bart Smithson, John McGarr, Johnathan Richardson, Frank Blair, George Armstrong, George Birdwell, Joseph Mecham, Jack Ayres, George Miller, David Wixom, ‘Noisy’ Tom Enrufty, Sam Button, a preacher named Stout, Stout's son and his son-in-law, Griffith. Johnathan Richardson was shot in the shoot out on February 16, 1867, but survived. Griffith broke his arm, but survived. In all there were 32 days of tracking and fighting.

Markers

Marker at the site reads:

  • Conflicts between Indians and white settlers over the rich lands of the San Bernardino Mountains culminated in The Battle at Chimney Rock on February 16, 1867. Although the Indians defended themselves fiercely, they were forced to retreat into the desert. In the years following, the Indians' traditional mountain food-gathering areas were lost to white encroachment. Erected 1986 by State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Billy Holcomb Chapter No. 1069, E Clampus Vitus, Lucerne Valley Museum Association, and Lucerne Valley Chamber of Commerce. (Marker Number 737.)
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