Author Topic: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake  (Read 17623 times)

Mr. Magoo

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2012, 09:29:19 PM »

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...
Rock Creek subdivision gets a green light
http://mammothtimes.com/content/rock-creek-subdivision-gets-green-light



Creek Dude

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2012, 09:41:58 PM »
Thanks, RGM!  That's exactly what I was wondering..
"Rock the Creek." - Hardrock

High Sierra

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2012, 08:15:04 AM »
From blown up cabins to having a drink in the old Paradise Lodge Restaurant to vintage photos , this thread is real interesting!

IW

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2012, 08:08:58 PM »
Makes me wonder where my Baby Brownie pictures taken in the early to mid 1940s are.

Also at one time we had some very early Kodachrome pictures taken by a good friend who camped with us during WWII where the boat dock is now.  I imagine they have all faded anyway.   

Besides they'd show my brother and me doing our at the time illegal wading and swimming.   And boy was it COLD!

IW

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2012, 08:37:56 PM »
There used to be still some wood up in a tree or 2 around the old cabin.

My story from the 1940s and on was that it was built by a movie company that was filming at Heart Lake and that they actually had paved Crankcase hill to get their movie trucks up to the lake.   I remember during that time when we DID DRIVE up the canyon that there were traces of asphalt on the road so maybe that was true.

I was told what the supposed name of the movie where it was said that they had horses jump into the lake from a pier that they built.   However the name "Tess of the Storm Country" didn't allow me to find anything using Google of Yahoo when I tried them during the early days of the Internet.

There used to be the remnants of a generator that the cabin had down in the creek and there was wire in various places leading to the creek.

There was a car bridge across the creek not far from the lake near where there is the remnants of a gravel/sand loading area.   It was damaged and patched a couple of times before the 1950s and then sometime along the way completely destroyed.  There was also a bridge further upstream near the upper part of the parking lot that was a car bridge also.   I haven't been in that area for a long while and I think it became a walking bridge and then it too was destroyed.

The old cabin had flush toilets and electricity.   I remember going into it several times as it was virtually deserted for many years.   Never lifted anything but just to look.   It was pretty creaky and scary for me as a less than teenager.

When we were camping 2 weeks every summer at Rock Creek, we drove across the lower bridge into the area that is now mostly heavy with willows and nearly to the campsite we used on the beach below the large cabin.

So I'm sure that they could drive to just below the cabin in the 1930s and 40s.

I was told that the Forest Service had a crew there for the demolition and it was obvious that they didn't know what they were doing.   Amazing that somebody didn't get injured or worse in that fiasco.

There was also a cabin destroyed very close to the river near the base of the falls where it flattens out.   Everything was hauled away but I do remember remnants of chipped pottery in the area.

HOW ABOUT THE CABIN OVERLOOKING HEART LAKE?

You can still see where it was leveled with some remnants of the foundation.   Watch at the top of the rise before you drop down to Heart Lake as you walk up the canyon.  Off to the left you will see what's left of the "driveway" to the cabin.

I'd been in it a couple of times.  Built like the big log cabin and I suspect was a safe place for those who drove the tractors and ore down the canyon during the winter.

It was owned by a family with the last name "Blake."   They drove to it up crankcase hill and all with a 1941 White Chevrolet.  They OWNED the cabin and were NOT told that to road was going to be blasted shut and had been at the cabin not long before the road was closed.   They were lucky they weren't trapped there with their car.

They helped by towing with our Franklin pushing to get a Dodge that a couple of people had tried to drive to the top of Morgan Pass after watching us drive up in the Franklin.  When we came down early evening returning from fishing the Morgan Lakes here the car was blocking the road.  We were able to pus and pull and get them turned around.   They had stripped their ring gear knowing if that OLD CAR could get up to the top of the pass surely their much newer car could do so.   

Even though we were told NEVER to push a car with the Franklin (air cooled with an ash frame) we did so and with some slipping of the clutch in some areas we got them to Heart Lake and then cracked the pressure plate and couldn't disengage the clutch anymore.  We had Mr. Blake come down to the lake with his Chevy and with a two chain and we continued to push and he pull and starting the car with it in low we were able to continue to push.   We got the disabled car to mosquito flats and left it there.  When we drove home to the LA area we stopped for gas with the car in 3rd and with a jerk or 2 started driving.

I remember coming from the San Fernando Valley over Sepulveda and at Sunset Blvd the light was green (must have been 2 AM) and my father was afraid that he would get a red light before we got to turn onto Sunset but we made it OK and got home.   The car went to Santa Monica the next morning to the Franklin mechanic who was still doing servicing of Frankins.

More than you ever wanted to know!!!


KY-AK-ATTACK

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2012, 12:19:35 PM »
I have had that picture of BJ on the floating raft, on my office wall now for about 6 years, and everyone who see's it is just in amazement.  They always want to know who is the "kid" and where is it taken, and how long ago.  That picture is priceless!   :clap:

trouter

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2012, 09:31:57 PM »
This is great stuff. There has to some photos out there somewhere. It would be interesting to see what the cabin by Heart Lake looked like and even better to see a car up there. Drive a car up there today and they would put you in prison.

It is also really cool to hear there was a cabin up by the falls above Rock Creek Lake.

While we are on the subject I have always wondered what that thing at the bottom of the falls was and who was using it. Anyone know?


IW

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2012, 02:25:17 PM »
I suspect that the item in the picture was part of a flume to direct creek water into a generator.   Probably was in a wide branch of the creek excavated by hand or tractor years ago and now no longer visible.  Part of the early days when the big cabin was in frequent use.   I remember seeing some of the wiring and connections to the cabin coming from that area.

It could also have been part of a pumping system to send water to the big cabin.

There should also still be traces of a small side branch of the creek towards the bank where there are cabins up the hill.   It was to divert water for That branch was used by "Uncle Bill", Bill Haws I think is the correct spelling who had the first cabin as you walk up the road from the campground.   Beyond a locked gate I think.   His cabin was built in the same era as the big cabin looking very much like a typical "log cabin."   There is a second one just several 10s of feet up the road.   

"Uncle Bill" drove a Franklin automobile and was a teacher at Pasadena City College if I remember correctly.   He taught industrial arts and was a real tinkerer.   He had a generator in the side branch that I suspect he hand dug to divert some of the water from the falls and into his machinery to drive an 12 volt generator if I remember correctly.   He had a pipe with wire in it going up the hill and charged a couple of batteries that he used to power lights and a radio in his cabin.  He was able to control from the cabin a valve in the waterway to adjust the amount of charge via wires that also went down the pipe up the hill so he didn't have to go down to generator in the creek.   

He was a great fisherman and tied some wonderful flies and gave me a few fly tying lessons.   If I recall correctly he created a fly which we called a "gray ghost" which worked very well in the evening from the sandy bank that along the lake shore up to the point where all the wader fishermen often are stepping on more fish than they catch, not realizing that they are fishing too far out...

(I remember often catching a fish BEHIND the wader fishermen when I was using a fly and spinning reel from the shore.   It was always fun to horse the fish a bit and make sure that they realized that I was catching fish between them and the shore.  And I more than once in my younger years would bounce a bubble off a boat that decided to anchor where I was casting from shore and had been there before they were.)

Uncle Bill would spend most of the summer at Rock Creek.  He was a subject sometimes in a Sunday LA Times Newspaper cartoon, Joe Jinks, as the next door neighbor who was always being asked to help with a project.   He was a friend of the creator of the the strip and had an original of a strip on the wall of his cabin in which he appeared after helping with some home repair then sending a bill.

I just found the Joe Jinks   at     <http://tinyurl.com/6wggcql>




trouter

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2012, 11:19:14 PM »
Thanks IW, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your writings. Your knowledge and experiences of the Rock Creek area are priceless so please continue to tell us more. I know most of what has been done to the area are necessary to protect it but it always saddens me to see the changes. I remember the time I showed up to find a paved road and designated camp sites around the lake and then the time I received a warning form the camp host that I would be fined for leaving and ice chest unattended in camp (that was prior to bear boxes).

I also remember showing up to find no cabin above lake and never knew what happened until joining this message board. I long for the old days and sometimes wish I could have enjoyed Rock Creek and LLV a long time before big brother took it over. I got a glimpse of it but then it was gone.

Can you imagine what TR would have done if some guy in a green uniform walk up to his camp and informed him he was receiving a citation for having a campfire above 10,000 feet?

Thanks again.

Fishing Dee

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2012, 07:50:12 PM »
I have camped at Rock Creek since 1953. Regarding the old cabins up at Rock Creek, I remember there used to be several up there. Not sure which lakes they are were all located, but the one at Heart Lake sounds familiar.

I used to camp at Big Meadow campground every year for an entire month each summer. We would hike "Crankcase" almost every single day and rarely see another person.

I remember my dad knowing someone from work (at UCLA) who had a cabin up there. He did work with someone named Blake, but not sure if that is the same family mentioned in this thread.  I don't remember a road getting there - we had to hike around a lake to get to the cabin. Any ideas which lake that might be? Were there more than one cabin at Rock Creek Lake?

I also remember there were at least a couple of abandoned cars along Crankcase. I have an old photo of one of them and there was even a wooden wheel that was left at the side of the trail back in 1995... long since "removed" by someone.

I am definitely enjoying the stories posted here. I knew several families that spent the entire summer camping at Rock Creek and have been trying to locate them. I was one lucky kid to spend each summer up there. I just went back last week and it brought back so many great memories...

IW

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Re: Vintage photos of Rock Creek Lake and old tales...
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2013, 06:34:03 PM »
I've not been on the board for a long, long time....

Yes, we used to stay all summer from the time school was out until school was ready to start again.   Starting in 1948 when our cabin was built and before that we would camp for at least 2 weeks.

There were some non-cabin people who'd come each summer and some who stayed for fairly long periods of time.

Down on the sandy area overlooking the point Kenny Baker would park his trailer for often at least a month.

Kenny was a well known actor and singer and used to be on several of the radio program like Jack Benny's program.  They had a son who was close to my age and a daughter who was close in age to my middle brother and a younger boy if I remember correctly close to my youngest brother's age.  I've often wondered if I could find an old movie that he was in.

They were the FIRST people to haul a trailer (Long Airstream) into Rock Creek in the days of the narrow dirt road.   They scraped the side getting around a rock outcropping that was in the yet to be improved road between the store and the lake.  They hauled it with a probably early 1950 GMC Suburban.

I remember one family who would stay a few weeks with 2 children.   One who would play with my middle or younger brother.   We called him "Kenny Pow Pow" because he'd wake us up in the morning often playing as though he was shooting something or somebody with his sound effects from his VERY LOUD VOICE. 

Our cabin is shaded trees and by the mountain to the east from the morning sun so it wasn't unusual for us to not awaken until as late as 9 AM or so after going to bed around 10 PM and he awakened us more than once!!! :-)

The Blake cabin was a log cabin similar to the big cabin on up the hill overlooking HEAR LAKE.   It was likely built during the era when the mine wagons used Rock Creek to get the Vanadium out of the Pine Creek Mine and as a refuge for the drivers caught by the snow.

They drove a 1941 white Chevrolet and their cabin was cut off from the outside world by the blasting of the road shut by the Forest Service with no notice to anybody.

You can see the remnants and bits and pieces remaining if you watch on the old road (now the trail) near the top of the last hill before dropping down to the lake level.  Go perhaps 100 yards off the road when you see something at the left that looks as though it could have been a short road.   They had a beautiful view over Heart Lake.

I was first at Rock Creek in 1941 as a 3 year old and we camped in the campground guess it's called the East Fork Campground these days.   There was a beautiful fishing hole near the road that was destroyed with the new bridge and realignment of the road and that's were I caught my first fish...with lots of help I'm sure.   

My father had come into Rock Creek as a youngster probably around 1925 or so.   He used to tell stories of he and his mother having to walk behind the car as they came up the Sherwin Grade carrying a lot to throw behind the back wheels as they got stuck.   I remember him saying that it took most all day to get up the Sherwin Grade during that era.

We started camping at the lake when I was 5 years old and our favorite camping spot was where the boat dock is and somewhere one of us has a Kodachrome print of my 3 years younger brother and I "swimming" in the lake in that area during that time which was supposed to be not permitted.

As the boat dock started taking up that area we'd camp at the other end of the lake right at the edge of the lake and back into the trees in the sandy area below the big cabin and my carry most of our stuff across the old car bridge that was no longer passable to cars.

My memory that of camping there was the 2 weeks when it rained EVERY SINGLE DAY and my 2 brothers and I had to stay in one tend while my parents and the older couple whom we called Aunt Maude and Uncle Joe who camped with us and they played bridge in another tent.

Both my father and Uncle Joe were Geology Profs at UCLA and they were the authors of the Bureau of Mines "Minerals of California" which they updated for 50 years and which most rockhounds are very familiar with.   It looks to me from what I see in the library that it's now an expensive book updated by somebody who has taken it over and I assume it was public domain since it's sort of a big bound expensive hard back book with the fellow who has updated since my father's death and acts as though he wrote the whole thing.

Yes, there was a road to the cabin on the hill.   You could drive to the area which is pretty much willows and some wet areas these days.   There was a car bridge that connected directly from the area where the sand pit area is.   In addition there was an old car bridge at the base of the hill where the road is to the present cabins and where there used to be and perhaps still is if it's been maintained a foot bridge.   You should have been able to drive to the area of the cabin off that bridge.   And there was a cabin near the creek accessible from that bridge.   They had a power plant in the creek which used that piping piece pictured in another posting.   There used to be quite a bit of hardware and lengths of wire from their electric plant in that hillside area.   

Time for some dinner...I've spent too much time on this already!