Author Topic: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake  (Read 17515 times)

trouter

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Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« on: April 15, 2012, 11:18:49 PM »
Does anyone have any old photos (or stories) of the Rock Creek area? Here are some I shot in the mid 1970's of the cabin that used to be above the lake. The last shot with my now 33 year old son was maybe 1988 or so.








Here is what it looks like now. Notice the burned trees as a result of blowing up the cabin. Maybe we could get someone to share that story again............


wshawkins

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 10:30:25 PM »
Lots of stories to tell, as Rock Creek Canyon has a colorful history.  Just depends on what people want to hear about.  Have many pictures too.  I'll share a few....


Studebaker Wagon near the Resort about 1975



DFG Fish Truck at Rock Creek about 1960



Rock Creek Lake Store 1938.  Pie anybody?



Fisherman at Rock Creek Lake 1930
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 04:04:12 PM by wshawkins »
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Corey Baer

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 08:57:29 AM »
Those are Wonderful !!
The Creek is Waiting...

Topwater Terry

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 03:21:22 PM »
Here is one of some little kid ;) and his Grandfather at French Camp back in 1975...
Once I arrive at Tom's Place...well,  you know...nothing else matters...

Topwater Terry

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 03:22:31 PM »
and another one of the old man (back then a young man)  with a stringer of trout during the same camping trip...
Once I arrive at Tom's Place...well,  you know...nothing else matters...

bstolton

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 07:22:54 PM »
Wow, I am loving these vintage photos.
Lets here and see more of the history of this area.
gone fishn, hope to be catchn soon !

Claremont Dude

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 11:39:24 AM »
My son in 1994 standing on the old bridge at East Fork. The bridge is now cement with rails. We happened to be there a few years later on the day they replaced it and watched them drop the cement slabs in place. Liked the old one better!

« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 11:52:19 AM by Claremont Dude »
"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."- Henry David Thoreau

Topwater Terry

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 12:56:11 PM »
Those lil wooden bridges were awesome places to fish around!  They got washed out a couple of times,  in fact the remains of one was sitting downstream in the creek for a few years.
Once I arrive at Tom's Place...well,  you know...nothing else matters...

incrediblehuck

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2012, 10:53:03 PM »
Another blast from the past.  Paradise Camp taken in 1932


Wow! Bet the fishing was great back then too!

trouter

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 01:23:19 PM »
Here is one of some little kid ;) and his Grandfather at French Camp back in 1975...

That "little kid" looks suspiciously like a young Top Water!  :D

Little Hardrock

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 03:19:56 PM »
ok BJ... you probably guessed this would be coming:


here is our very own BJ.....   


Hardrock, may his spirit live on in all of us.....

flyGirl

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 04:19:00 PM »
bj is Huckleberry Finn?   :)

Sierraslam

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 04:23:35 PM »
What a great picture. That's a keeper for sure.

bstolton

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 06:33:55 PM »
Huck Finn, thats too funny.

very cool pic.
gone fishn, hope to be catchn soon !

bj

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 09:53:50 PM »
A little ways from Rock Creek Lake but definitely vintage. Hardrock thought I should sail it up the coast to one of those early RCL SoCal get togethers
" Rock on..........Rock the Creek"
Hardrock

Topwater Terry

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 10:47:49 PM »
You got it right Jon!
Once I arrive at Tom's Place...well,  you know...nothing else matters...

whitepup

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2012, 08:22:36 AM »
Why was the cabin blown up?

I'd like to know the history of that place.  What a view!

Topwater Terry

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2012, 02:04:05 PM »
Somebody on one of the old boards even said something,  I am sure an urban legend,  about there being some kind of a tennis court up above the lake at one time,  where Andre Agassi used to practice :lol2:
Once I arrive at Tom's Place...well,  you know...nothing else matters...

WiseTioga

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2012, 09:20:00 PM »
Where was Pardise Camp Located?
Thanks, W.T.

Creek Dude

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2012, 09:48:26 PM »
Why was the cabin blown up?

I'd like to know the history of that place.  What a view!
The cabin was blown up because it became a hazard according to the forest service.  The stairway was falling apart and there were many opportunities to get injured I guess.  It was such an incredible piece of history though.  Too bad...

I heard a few different accounts about what it was used for...one was a brothel for the loggers when a mill was present on the lake.  I also heard that it was used by Hollywood types as a getaway back in the day.  Who really know the true story.  Scout could probably add quite a bit to this story.  Before they blew it up I think they let people go in and take stuff out.  There was an old Servel fridge that ran on propane that I remember.  I can't remember if that one ended up at the resort or not.  The resort has used those old fridges forever.  I killed one of them.

Anyhow, I was there when they blew it up.  I think Scout was too.  Maybe two weeks before they were going to do it, the forest service came into the resort to let us know when it was going to happen.  Then we forgot all about it.  So the afternoon they blew the thing up I was in my trailer hanging out and a boom rocked my otherwise tranquil day.  I initially thought a propane tank exploded at the cabins or something.  A picture was knocked off the wall and my heart probably skipped 3-4 beats before it started again...I ran outside and the smoke looked really close.  I ran inside and was quickly informed of what happened.  Then I headed to the lake.

The forest service informed us that they were going to "implode" the cabin by placing charges at the corners of the building and dropping it straight down pretty much.  So I was a little shocked to see the lake littered with green siding from the cabin.  There was no implosion...the thing was blown half way into the lake.  And what was even more shocking or funny was that a big part of it was still standing!  They would have to set more charges and do it again to finish the job.  This I had to see...

So I sat there at the outlet of the lake for probably 1.5 hours or so hanging out and watching nothing really.  I heard some dudes on their radios talking, and a guy I was with heard them say something to the effect of, "Let's just set it all," meaning the rest of the explosive material.  This was getting good, and the anticipation was building.

On top of the fact that they were about to detonate 3 million tons of explosives just above the lake, was the additional fact that winds were probably gusting to around 30-40 MPH at times...a perfect day for fireworks.  These were professionals though, so I really wasn't concerned...
:campfire:

When the explosion finally came, it was amazing.  The cabin literally was blown 3/4 of the way across the lake, with siding and other materials landing as far away as the Windy Point area.  Minutes later, smoke began to rise from the location, and a fire had started, although it never really spread.  It might have burned about an acre, including a few lodgepole pines that are still standing today.  Of course they had to bring in the fire crew from the Owens Valley to keep a line around the fire.  The thing smoldered all night.  We sat there watching it burn that night from the east side of the lake.  They're lucky it didn't take off with the winds.

One of the private cabin owners videotaped the whole thing, and I'll have to see if I can get a copy of it from his grandson.  I doubt he has it though.  That was one memorable experience I had at Rock Creek.  I think that was in 1994, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2012, 12:31:58 PM by Creek Dude »
"Rock the Creek." - Hardrock

Sierraslam

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2012, 09:15:39 AM »
Great story! I wonder how blowing the cabin up became option number 1? I have a lot of friends in construction, and I've never known them to use explosives for tear downs.

Scout

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2012, 12:12:39 PM »
We all heard various stories as to what that cabin was. Creek Dude covered most of them, the only addition involves Chevron having something to do with it, as a "retreat", dates unknown.
As far as what was in the cabin, the first thing you have to realize is that there was no road to it, unless all traces had disappeared by the time I started looking at it, which is possible....I looked, but couldn't find anything. There was a pulley system from the lake shore to the cabin that they used to get stuff up there. As far as furnishings, it's a mystery as to how they got all of it up there. As well as the Servel, there was a real ice box in there, a wood burning cook stove, at least 6 burners and a water jacket for hot H2O, bed frames ( I have one), tables, chairs, all kinds of cool stuff. The last owners came in to the resort and told us to go ahead and take what we wanted, I made quite a few trips.
The Feds had a crew go up there before they blew it up to clean it out. All they did was throw the stuff down the hill toward the parking lot. I walked up there later and found the Servel (sorry Tim), the ice box, the wood stove, and all sorts of other things in a heap in the parking lot. All of it was broken and unusable, broke my heart....at least I got some of it.
I wasn't there when they blew it up...even if I'd known when they were going to do it, I wouldn't have gone to watch them destroy a piece of Rock Creek history. Bill Johnston, patriarch of the Johnston clan, took video that I hear is pretty spectacular. Maybe we could find it somewhere?
I remember when they removed some cabins on Lower Rock Creek (now Tuff Camp) in the 60's ( cabins stretched all the way past the bottom of what is now the campground when I was a kid), they hired an old timer that I knew to go down and disassemble them instead of just blowing them up...some got reassembled in Pine Glade. This guy had been here so long that I have a hunch that he built some of them in the 20's. Too bad they couldn't do that with the cabin at the Lake. I would have volunteered.

wshawkins

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2012, 05:01:09 PM »
Where was Pardise Camp Located?
Thanks, W.T.

The Paradise Lodge (Restaurant & Bar) as itís called today, is a real piece of history. This resort has been in continuous operation since 1916.  Itís located near Swall Meadow and this lodge sits on a bend of Lower Rock Creek Rd, The Old Sherman Grade Rd before the 395 .  As a matter of fact, the dining room stretches across Rock Creek, and its deck sits right next to the creek.  Pretty cool place to have a drink.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Creek Dude

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2012, 07:28:47 PM »
The resort used to have its end-of-the-season dinner at Paradise Lodge...we'd sit right over the creek...what a spot.

Unfortunately the place has been closed for quite a few years now.  Five or so years ago, there was talk about developing the site for residences and knocking the entire place down.  I'm not sure what has come of it.  Here's an overview of the plan from 2007...

I haven't been down there for quite a few years.  I'm sure many on the board have though.  I don't think the development of the area has gone forward at all.  There was a pretty good uproar about it from the locals, and maybe that shut 'er down.  If anyone else knows more please post...

"Rock the Creek." - Hardrock

Trev Dog

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2012, 07:56:00 PM »
Tim & Scout; Nice story!