Car Cruise

Come to the Car Cruise, June 2, 2018 in Historic Downtown Lake Elsinore!

Time: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

A Reminder

No parking in the dirt parking lot across from the Cultural Center.
A new paved parking lot with landscaping and lighting will re-open in September.

Clean Extreme - Lake Elsinore Levee

Saturday, April 28, 2018

7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Project location:  Lake Elsinore Levee

Sonja Wilson passed away on April 10, 2018 after a long illness.  She was a long-time member of the Lake Elsinore Historical Society.  Sonja was the first board president when the Lake Elsinore Unified School District was formed.  Her services were on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at St. Frances of Rome Church in Wildomar.

Have you heard about the USS Lake Elsinore?

USS Lake Elsinore, a cargo ship, was launched July 20, 1918 by the American Shipbuilding Company in Ohio and was taken over by the U.S. Navy on September 13, 1918; she would be 100 years old this year.

The ship was commissioned with Comdr. G. E. Wiebe, USNRF, in command.

USS Lake Elsinore steamed to France, served as a coal transport between British and French ports, and completed her coaling runs May 3, 1919.

Transferred to the Army, she operated as a cargo transport along the French coast, departed for the United States carrying Army supplies, and reached New York on September 25 1919 where she was decommissioned on October 4.

The USS Lake Elsinore was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1926 and scrapped.

U.S. Navy cargo ships during the World War I era had one smokestack, two single masts, three raised hull islands, and no paired kingposts.  The USS Lake Elsinore was awarded the World War I Victory Medal.  Come by our Museum and see the picture we have of the USS Lake Elsinore.

Election of Officers

The Nominating Committee consisting of Dave McElroy, Barbara Alongi, and Pat Starr
presented the following slate of officers at the February meeting:

President - Ruth Atkins
Second Vice President - Nancy Hunzeker
Secretary - Joyce Hohenadl
Third Vice President (one-year term) - Pat Starr

There were no nominations from the floor.
The above members have been duly elected to their offices.

Riverside County History Symposium

Registration for this year's Symposium is due by February 16, 2018.

Held by the Riverside County Heritage Association, the sixth annual event will be held March 3, 2018 (8:00AM - 3:00PM) at Benedict Castle, 5445 Chicago Avenue, in Riverside.  There will be four talks on local history, a continental breakfast, lunch, and a behind-the-scenes tour of Benedict Castle in the afternoon.
Cost - $30 / person

Make reservations at
or pick up reservation forms at LEHS February 6, 2018 meeting

We are happy to report the "Shop For Your Cause" was a success!

LEHS members sold tickets and provided volunteers to assist with the various activities held on November 4, 2017.

The result is we have received a check from The Outlets for $1,170.96.  Not bad for just selling tickets!

A friend of LEHS has purchased tickets in years past and this year was no different.  She started by purchasing a few tickets and then asked for more.  In the end this year, she purchased ten tickets.
Our friend invites her sister, her daughter, her niece, her granddaughters, plus other lady friends.
They all meet for the FREE lunch together and then they spend the afternoon shopping; gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions!
This is now an annual family event!

This is an idea for members when the "Shop For Your Cause" event takes place next year.

The Lake Elsinore Historical Society wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you for being a part of LEHS and our mission to preserve Lake Elsinore's history!

Elsinore Naval and Military School Films

The history of ENMS began in July 1933 when Major Conklin (later Colonel) and Captain P. A. Jones brought a group of cadets from the Pacific Military Academy in Los Angeles to Elsinore for a summer session.  They discovered the Southern California Athletic and Country Club and envisioned it as an ideal home for a military academy and quickly arranged to purchase the property.  As a result, they established the school for boys in grades #1 through #12 and started classes in September 1933.  The school prospered until Colonel Conklin's death in 1976.  A portion of the above is from Tom Hudson's book "Lake Elsinore - its story - 1776 - 1977".

As a military school, the curriculum was very demanding.  The students took classes that prepared them to enter a military school (such as West Point).  The boys lived at ENMS and their schedules were rigorous.  Good grades, doing chores around the facility, participating in sports, etc., were part of their everyday life.

During the more than 40 years ENMS operated in Lake Elsinore, may pictures were taken.  More than 20 rolls of film and slides were loaned to the museum for the ENMS display by Rose Wurtz, the officer in charge of ENMS' operations here in Lake Elsinore.  These artifacts have not been viewed because we lacked the equipment to view these pieces of history.

Earlier this year, LEHS learned of a company who transfers the films and slides to digital technology.  The project has been completed and members attending the December 5 meeting will have the first opportunity to see some of the activities of the Elsinore Naval and Military School.

Donna Franson
broke her hip recently.

After being hospitalized, she is at the
Life Care Center of Menifee
27600 Encanto Drive, Menifee 92586
for rehabilitation.

Raymond Corral, husband of Jeanie Corral, passed away on October 6, 2017.
A Mass of Resurrection was held on October 20, 2017 at St. Frances of Rome Church where he had been a long-time parish member.
Private burial was at Riverside National Cemetery.

The Marking Ceremony held by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)

on Saturday, October 14, 2017 to place a historic plaque on the CIty of Lake Elsinore's Cultural Center was a huge success.  A big thank you to LEHS members Ione Boehmler, Hermann Drier, Joyce Hohenadl, Nancy Hunseker, Wendy Lesovsky, Kim McElroy, Mary Ann Mealey, Barbara Middlebrook, Pat Starr, and Rose Wurtz.  These members helped with the organization and food preparation for the reception after the ceremony.  A good time was enjoyed by the DAR and LEHS guests.

Luiseno Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution invites you to the Historical Site Marking of the Methodist Episcopal Church (City of Lake Elsinore Cultural Center)

October 14, 2017 - 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

A marker will be placed noting the historical importance of the
Methodist Episcopal Church
City of Lake Elsinore Cultural Center
(Built in 1923 and dedicated in May 1924)
To take place in front of the Cultural Center, 183 North Main Street

A reception will be provided by the Luiseno Chapter and the
Lake Elsinore Historical Society in the LEHS Museum

"Shop for Your Cause"

presented by the Outlets of Lake Elsinore

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tickets are available for sale as a fund raiser for Lake Elsinore Historical Society

Catheryne "Cathy" Barrozo

passed away on Sunday, August 13, 2017, after a very short but courageous battle with a very rare type of cancer.  Cathy became a member of the Society after her retirement from the City of Lake Elsinore.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 41810 Juniper Street, Murrieta, CA 92562

Come to the Car Cruises in Historic Downtown Lake Elsinore!

Saturday Dates:

June 24
July 29
August 26
September 30

Time: 4:00 to 8:00 PM

Lake Elsinore Historical Society is a part of the Downtown Merchants Association and we are inviting you to come and help staff the Museum when the Car Cruise visitors come to enjoy Lake Elsinore's history and the exiting display of 1975 and older restored beauties!

P.S.  There are new restaurants on Main Street you may wish to check out!

Clean Extreme Update

Hundreds of volunteers from local organizations (including the Lake Elsinore Historical Society) in Lake Elsinore and its surrounding areas worked on Saturday, April 22, 2017, to clean up and beautify Collier Avenue area across the street from the Outlets.

Take a drive by and look at the newly-painted wall with the City of Lake Elsinore logo, birds and cat-tails now decorating the area.

LEHS Needs You!

Docents are needed at our Museum to meet and greet visitors,

learn about Elsinore's interesting history and to support LEHS.

If you are interested, please contact us for further details.

A docent meeting will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Museum


Time Capsule Display

Come see the items from the time capsule opened December 11, 2016.
The items will be on display until May 7, 2017.
The capsule will be re-buried on May 12, 2017.

In memoriam

Robert F. Oberdorfer

passed away on January 10, 2017 at his home in Menifee.

Bob and Dorothy, his wife (she passed away June 10, 2015) have been long-time members of LEHS.
His burial was at Riverside National Cemetery on January 30, 2017.

U.S. Vets Project Update

During 2016 we added the U.S. Vets project to our list of organizations to whom we make donations.

This project was one we made donations to on a quarterly basis during the year.  While we initially made donations of nonperishable food and household items, their main request was for clothing items the veterans could wear when they were being interviewed for jobs.  To this end, we made donations of suits, jackets, pants, shirts and all types of clothing.

While it is difficult to put a price tag on the value of these items, we estimate our total donations for the year amounted to almost $5,000.00.

Thank you for your support!!!

Now is the time for Giving
Please bring food to the November and December meetings

Donations are needed for:

YES Center
(Youth, Education and Service Center and also known as Fishes and Loaves of the St. Francis Catholic Church on Lowell Street)

(Helping Our People of Elsinore)

Samples of food to donate: all types of dry beans - navy/white, pinto, black, lima, rice, dried pasta, spaghetti, macaroni, pasta sauce (24 oz. cans), peanut butter, and cans of stews, soups, fruits, vegetables, boxes of cereal ...

U. S. Veterans Project

In addition to food, the veterans need clothing and items to furnish their homes.

If you forget to buy extra food when at the grocery store, we will have a jar for you to donate cash and/or gift certificates.

"Shop for Your Cause"

presented by the Outlets of Lake Elsinore

Saturday, November 12, 2016
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Free catered lunch - Free wine & beer tasting - Free package storage
Plan you holiday shopping and save $ $ $
Buy tickets ($20 each) for your friends
Sell tickets as a fund raiser for Lake Elsinore Historical Society

Shopping, Savings & Fun

Over $20,000 in prizes!

In memory of our member

Jim Chandler

who passed away on Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our condolences to his family

Jim came to visit our Museum on a regular basis and he shall be missed

U.S. Vets Project

Thanks to the LEHS members for their support of our new project and here is an update.

Please continue to bring donations to each meeting.

The next delivery will be made after June 30th.

Clean out your kitchen cabinets and kitchen drawers for pots, pans, dishes, utensils you no longer use or extras taking up space.

And, when you go grocery shopping, please buy a can or two of fruits, vegetables, canned beans, soups, spaghetti sauce as well as pasta, rice, dry beans, boxes of cereal, etc.  Every item will be appreciated.

And, don't forget men's clothing.

Our thanks to LEHS members for helping our veterans for their service on our behalf!

Clean Extreme Project - Saturday, April 23, 2016

Was a huge success as volunteers came together cleaning up West Graham Avenue from Main Street to the Elsinore Middle School

Lake Elsinore Historical Society
Receives Official Certificate of Recognition
From California State Senator Jeff Stone

The Lake Elsinore Historical Society was honored to have
John Hunneman, Communications Director for California State Senator Jeff Stone at its April 7, 2015 meeting.

Mr. Hunneman presented an official Certificate of Recognition to the Lake Elsinore Historical Society
for its continued preservation of local history


History Was Made In Lake Elsinore

The following information has been excerpted from Michael Williams' article in the 3/28/2015 Press-Enterprise.

Mission Complete

What: U.S. Marines successfully assembled and dismantled two different types of bridges in sequence.
Who: Bridge Company of the 7th Engineer Support Battalion in the 1st Marine Logistics Group, a wing of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
When: Monday to Friday, March 23-27, 2015.
Where:  Lake Elsinore inlet channel adjacent to the levee and north bank.
Significance: First time such a dual bridge building exercise has been performed.

This is exciting!
Approximately 100 Marines arrived at 6:00AM on March 23 with 37 trucks of equipment to complete their mission of "bridging gaps" in Lake Elsinore.
They camped in tents on the levee and dined on Meals Ready To Eat, just as they would in combat of other activity.
The Marines built a 400 foot Improved Ribbon Bridge consisting of a series of interlocking pontoons stretching from bank to bank.  Upon completion of this bridge, the Marines drove their trucks across the channel and proceeded to build a 54 foot Medium Girder Bridge.
Lake Elsinore is the only spot within 250 miles of Camp Pendleton where the exercise could be performed.  Assembling both bridges in sequence had not been done before as a training exercise.

Museum Visitors

Recently we had the pleasure of having a group of ten or more former cadets from the Elsinore Naval and Military School visit the museum.

They spent several hours looking at the ENMS artifacts, visiting with the LEHS docents on duty, and reminiscing with each other.

What an enjoyable day hearing their stories!

Museum Tours Available

Tours for students, boy scouts, girl scouts, cub scouts and special groups are available.  Please call 951-678-1537 to make arrangements.

Members:  Take Note ...

Members must wear their name badges when attending our meetings or pay a $1 fine.  After a discussion, the members voted to fine those members who do not wear their name badges.
This is a way of raising extra money to pay our expenses.

There have been discussions over the past few months about the raffles we have held in the past.  It was brought to our attention that nonprofit organizations must register with the State of California Attorney General's office and pay yearly fees to legally conduct raffles.
Should an organization not do so, it is subject to stiff penalties.

If you do not have a name badge, please let us know at the next meeting and a new name badge will be ordered for you.


"My Life, My Family, My Home, My Elsinore"
is the new book in town written by
Fred Dominguez
Lake Elsinore resident, businessman, and owner of Elsinore Barber and Beauty Shop on Main Street.
If you get a chance to read Fred's book, it is very enjoyable and tells about Lake Elsinore's history during his 54 years in town!

P.S. Fred's story is written as told to Jeanie Corral

"High Country" Issues For Sale!

Lake Elsinore Historical Society has received a donation of issues of "High Country" from Tom Hudson's family.  These publications were printed beginning in the 1960's and have many wonderful stories for your enjoyment.
The authors include Tom Hudson, Sam Hicks, Al Newhart, Erie Stanley Gardner and many others.
The covers have paintings by Ralph Love who lived and painted in Lake Elsinore before moving to Temecula and continuing his painting in "The Shack".
The issues are new issues and are collectors' items!

An 'old and tall' rose

(Before The Californian was sold to a new owner it printed "Roses and Raspberries" in one of their issues.
The article below appeared in the November 20, 2012 issue.)

A rose goes to the folks who raised private funds and worked collaboratively with the property owner to preserve Lake Elsinore's Tank House, an unusual building that is as tall as is is long and believed to date from the 1880's.  It was used to house equipment that pumped mineral water to locals spas from hot springs that once made the city famous.  When the owner wanted to demolish the building, members of the Lake Elsinore Historical Society, the Luiseno Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and others raised money and moved the building onto land donated for the purpose by the City.  Slapping a historical designation on a property can be a nightmare for the owner but this community made the process work like a dream.

(Helping Our People of Elsinore)

HOPE was started in the early 1990's by a group of churches in the area and manned by volunteers as it is today.
In the beginning, the pastor of each church would take turns heading up the organization.  Ron Hewison was the first non-pastor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.  He has managed the organization and it has grown through his leadership.

Types of food you are requested to donate:
Beans, Beef Stew, Chili, Pasta, Peanut Butter, Rice, Spaghetti, Spaghetti Sauce, Tuna

If you have fruit trees, donations of fruit are appreciated.  HOPE does not need cans of vegetables and they can always use cash donations.

Santa Fe Depot

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors, at their meeting on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, voted to approve the Santa Fe Depot, now the home of the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce, as an historical landmark.  The train station was built in 1896 by the California Southern Railway Company.  The station was used by passengers and for freight shipments of farm products in its heyday.  The Riverside County Historical Commission, chaired by Joyce Hohenadl, recommended the designation in November

1925 American LaFrance Fire Engine

The first fire engine owned by the City of Lake Elsinore had a broken clutch and it has been repaired by the City of Lake Elsinore's Maintenance Crew.  It was restored by the Lake Elsinore Historical Society and a committee chaired by LEHS Member Russ Burns.  We are delighted it was in the Put Unity in the Community Parade held on November 21, 2009 and was one of the parade's highlights.  Elsinore No. 1 is a beauty and we are very proud to have this treasure to show off to the community!

Historic Downtown Lake Elsinore Next Exit

California State Historic Brown Signs have been installed by the City of Lake Elsinore.  The signs were erected recently on Interstate 15 at the northbound and southbound exits to Main Street with arrows pointing to the City's nostalgic downtown district

Museum Hours

 Main Street Museum
183 North Main Street
(Use Heald Avenue Entrance)
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Lake Elsinore Historical Society Museum has returned to
Historic Downtown Lake Elsinore effective May 3, 2014.

All of the artifacts have been returned to the museum and we are in the process of reassembling the displays.  While the displays are not complete, please come visit, and maybe lend a hand in recreating the displays of our wonderful and historical community.

Wednesdays and Saturdays - 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Sundays - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

If a group wishes to tour the Museum, please leave a message at (951) 678-1537