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A Glimpse Back Into History

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 12:00 am

For those who wonder what Green Valley Lake was like in days gone by, they need only visit the Lilleberg Museum to find out.

The museum and the community center—which share a building at 33659 Green Valley Lake Road—were made possible in part by Einar Lilleberg, who left his estate to the community with the proviso that the center be built.

The Rim of the World Historical Society sponsored a trip to the Lilleberg Museum under the guidance of Tom Preston. About a dozen people gathered there last Sunday to discover the treasures tucked away inside.

Volunteer Kathleen Smith gave us a brief overview of the museum, saying the museum’s three benefactors were Einar Lilleberg; Jim Reid, who saved the dam in 1938 by clearing out a debris flow; and Robbie Robinson, a local historian who was known as the oldest volunteer in San Bernardino County.

That last is according to Chris Walters, who grew up in Green Valley Lake and joined the group at the museum. He was a member of the volunteer fire department with Robinson.

Much of the memorabilia displayed at the Lilleberg Museum is fire related: turnouts, helmets, badges, photos and newspaper articles about both the 2003 Old Fire and the 2007 Slide Fire.

Other items are related to the earliest settlers: Native American baskets, bows (including one found by Barbara Levering’s grandfather and donated to the museum by her), and a mortar and pestle.

Logging was paramount in the region in years gone by. There is a large diorama of the Brookings 7 camp—which is now Calvary Chapel Camp. Levering’s grandfather worked in the lumber camps during the summer. In 1914 Brookings pulled up stakes and moved its operations to Oregon.

Several timbering tools—like a misery whip, a two-man buck saw; and two-man timber tongs—are on display, as are logging photos.

A corner of the museum is devoted to winter sports, with toboggans, skis, snow shoes and skates on display. There is a double-seated ski lift chair from the Green Valley Lake ski area, which was damaged in the 2007 fire.

That ski area, said Walters, was located behind the Green Valley Lake market, which his parents had bought in 1976. “We lived above it,” he said.

A couple of other interesting items on display include a gold drywasher, which was used in Holcomb Valley; a Graphotype 6300, marked as the property of the Air Force-US Army, which was used to print dog tags; a slip scraper “used by George Tillett to clear the road on Bear Valley Wagon Road,” according to its label; and a drag saw, which was the forerunner of the chain saw.

The Lilleberg Museum is located at 33659 Green Valley Lake Road—turn off Highway 18 onto Green Valley Lake Road and continue through town. The museum is on the right side. It is open on Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Call (909) 867-5713.

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1 comment:

  • kurt posted at 8:56 am on Fri, Jul 19, 2019.

    kurt Posts: 1

    I knew Mr. Lilleberg well. My sister and I made lots of birds and such at his house. Knew that stove also.