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Lost Valley Historical Chronology

1000-1500 A.D. 


The Cupeño people begin to emerge as a separate tribal group. Lost Valley becomes a part of their territory. In the 19th Century it was controlled by the Temewhanitcem clan. 




First Spanish explorers enter and name the Vallé de San José (Warners Ranch) ca




Mission San Luis Rey establishes an outpost at Agua Caliente (the Cupeño village of Cupa at Warner Hot Springs) 1849-50 Gold seekers entering California on the Southern Emigrant Trail camp at Warners Ranch. Some drive their stock up to Los Coyotes seeking pasturage. Could some of them have reached Lost Valley?
Deputy U.S. Surveyor R.C. Matthewson and his party are the first recorded white men to enter Lost Valley.
The Stone Brothers of Mesa Grande begin running cattle in Lost Valley. Jim Stone (1849-1941) names Lost Valley. Some sources claim he discovered the area as early as 1869.
The section lines are surveyed in the Lost Valley area, which is soon opened for homesteading.
Willis and William Newton (father and son) file the first land claims in Lost Valley for a total of 320 acres. Their claims are later refused, because of concerns the area was being used by the Indians.
Helen Hunt Jackson first uses the name Lost Valley in print, and describes how the Cupeño keep their stock there “being no longer able to pasture it below.”
(July) Bill Fain (1858-1929) (Photo) files a homestead for 160 acres in Lost Valley. Around this time (or before) the Stone Brothers–perhaps with Fain’s help?–build the first cabin in Lost Valley. It stood just west of where the Bergman Cabin is today.
The Los Coyotes Indian Reservation is established.
Bill Fain deeds his interest in Lost Valley to John and Jim Stone.
Bill Fain is issued a patent for his Lost Valley homestead. The deed is finally sent directly to Jim Stone in 1897.
Mesa Grande pioneer Ed Davis, a friend of Jim Stone, ran cattle in Lost Valley in the late 19th Century. Davis was also a photographer, author, resort owner, and recognized expert on the local Indians. Read some of his experiences in Lost Valley here.
Former California Governor John Downey first brings suit to evict the Cupeño from their homes at Cupa. The case is heard in San Diego Superior Court in 1893. By the California Supreme Court in 1899, and by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1901 — all of which rule in Downey’s favor.
ca 1897-98
Henry Bergman (1863-1930) acquires Lost Valley from the Stone Brothers. He cuts a new trail in from Chihuahua Valley (the Lost Valley Trail) and begins running cattle in the valley.
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(May) The Cupeño are “removed” from their ancestral homes and taken to the new reservation at Pala. Their old adobe homes become part of the new resort at Warner Hot Springs.
(August) A fire started by two careless campers sweeps through Lost Valley and onto the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. The old Stone Brothers cabin is destroyed.
ca 1913
A Forest Service lookout tower is established on Hot Springs Mountain, overlooking Lost Valley. The present tower was built in 1942, and was in operation until 1977.
(October 15) Arlie Bergman (1892-1948) files a 120-acre homestead in Lost Valley, adjacent to his father’s property.
(Summer) Arlie Bergman builds his cabin at Lost Valley. All of the materials are packed in over the Lost Valley Trail on burros.
(February) Arlie Bergman marries Annie Mendenhall (1895-1998), a childhood friend. They make their first home in Lost Valley that summer on Arlie’s homestead, and grow potatoes and other crops.
(November 18) Arlie Bergman is issued a government patent (deed) for his Lost Valley homestead.
Anthropologist John P. Harrington visits Lost Valley.
W.F. Wheeler files five mica and feldspar claims northeast of Lost Valley and a mill site claim at Grapevine Springs (Indian Kitchens). He calls his claims the Carlsbad Group. By 1930 he has developed several open cuts, but the cost of packing everything in and out on burros proves too high, and the mine is abandoned.
(February) John Goswick bags two mountain lions “on the rim of Lost Valley”. Goswick is one of several lion hunters who visit the area during the decade; John Collins was another successful local hunter.
ca 1933
Troop 5 of La Mesa is the earliest known Scout troop to camp in Lost Valley.
(January) Jack Cason and a crew from Puerta la Cruz carry out rodent control in the valley, in an attempt to control the erosion caused by their digging.
The C.C.C. begins construction of the Lost Valley Truck Trail near Warner Springs. Despite plans, it never gets within five miles of the valley.
(June) Charles Miller crashes his plane at the edge of the meadow while attempting a take-off. He is air-lifted to the hospital on July 1st.
(September) A fire on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation spreads into Lost Valley and Arlie’s barn is burned. To fight the fire, the first road (the Indian Road) is cut into Lost Valley by the Forest Service.
(January) Arlie Bergman dies after being thrown from a horse. His son, Ray Bergman, continues to run cattle in Lost Valley.
(October) The Forest Service plants seven beaver in Lost Valley, hoping they will help with erosion control. For the first ten years or so the colony does well, but then fades. The last beavers seen in the area came up into the lake from Agua Caliente Canyon early in 1980.
ca 1951
Ray Bergman has a road (the Old Road) built in from the Chihuahua Valley side. Part of the money comes from the sale of leaf mold out of the valley.
(March) Ray Bergman rescues a trio of hikers who were trapped in Lost Valley by a sudden snow storm.
Trainees from the Naval survival base at Warner Springs sometimes conduct training exercises in and around Lost Valley. In the 1980s, instructors from the base teach Wilderness Survival merit badge for the camp.
Ray Bergman grazes the last cattle in Lost Valley. While trucks are used as far as Chihuahua Valley, the last part of the trip is still a cattle drive over the Lost Valley Trail. A few cattle from the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation still graze in the valley as late as 1977.
The Orange Empire Area Council organizes a search committee to examine new summer camp sites to replace old Camp RoKiLi (founded in 1922).
The Council search committee first visits Lost Valley.
(March 2) The Council signs an option to buy Lost Valley from Annie and Ray Bergman; 280 acres for $100,000.
(Summer) The first two wells are drilled at Lost Valley. The ability to develop a dependable water supply was a condition of the escrow.
(October 10-11) The Santiago District holds their annual Camporee in Lost Valley, the first official Scouting event held in the valley. Participants hike in from Los Coyotes.
(December 23) Escrow closes and the Orange Empire Area Council purchases Lost Valley for $100,000.
The first master plan is developed for Lost Valley Scout Reservation. It shows four camps, three Scout summer camps and an Explorer base camp.
The Council holds a Capital Funds Drive to raise money to being construction at Lost Valley.
Construction begins on a new road from Chihuahua Valley to Lost Valley. It is completed early in 1964.
(May) The first load of water pipe is brought into Lost Valley by helicopter.
(May) Chuck Bolton is hired as Construction Ranger for Lost Valley.
(October) The first water tank is installed. An adult training course is held in the valley, the first official Council event since the 1959 Santiago Camporee.
Construction begins on the first six buildings in the central area and Camp Anza (now known as Camp Grace). They are the ranger’s residence, the southern maintenance building, the Pullman House (then the hospital, now the assistant ranger’s house), and the trading post/commissary, pool house, and lodge in Camp Anza.
(June 21) Lost Valley Scout Reservation opens for summer camp. Over 1,000 Scouts will attend camp that first season.
(July) A fire on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation threatens the valley. A fire camp is established in the Field Sports Meadow and the troops are all moved to the main meadow.
The Old Lake is expanded and improved. It had started as an old beaver pond, and a rough dam was built about the time the well was drilled nearby. The Seabees built the present dam. The first horse barn is built. The commissary and a second maintenance building are built.
Camp Borrego is opened on a limited basis.
(September) Lost Valley Scout Reservation is formally dedicated.
A provisional camping program is introduced; it is offered on into the early 1990s.
Buses are first used to bring troops to camp, the Lost Valley begins to operate on a seven-day program. The Meadow House is built. The horsemanship program is introduced. Scouts reblaze and name the Tarabal Trail. A third well is drilled at Howard’s Meadow in Camp Anza.
A new hospital is built. An electrical line is built into the valley (prior to this time the camp ran on generators). The first “inter-city” week held.
A pool and shower house are built in Camp Borrego (now Camp Irvine). The Beshears Memorial Amphitheatre, built by Troop and Post 33 of Tustin, is dedicated. Central feeding offered for the first time in Camp Anza. Construction begun on the new lake. It opened for use in 1972. Negotiations begun with the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for a land swap to acquire more property for Lost Valley. The transfer was finally made in 1976.
The Orange Empire Area Council and the North Orange Council merge to re-form the Orange County Council.
Camp Borrego is renamed Camp Irvine.
The Irvine Lodge is built. Platform tents are purchased for the campsites.
Camp Irvine becomes the primary camp in Lost Valley. Camp Anza is partially closed. For the next four summers (1975-78) it is rented for a few weeks each year by the Desert Trails Council to use as their summer in a joint operation.
After five years of negotiations and paperwork, a land swap is completed with the Anza-Borrego State Park, adding 1,115 acres to Lost Valley Scout Reservation. Girls are allowed on staff for the first time.
The Lost Valley Trail is reblazed. Homesteader Award is created.
Memorial Day Family Camp program begins.
(June 30 ) A smoldering campfire ignites the first destructive fire in the camp’s history. Three or four acres north of Valley’s End (G-3) are burned. Outside crews and fire bombers are brought in to fight the fire.
Lost Valley becomes a true Scout reservation, with both camps (Irvine and Anza) in full operation. Troop and Post 33 begin work on the observatory. After several false starts it is finally completed in 1984.
Work begins on a dining hall in Camp Anza, as an addition to the lodge. It is built in stages over the next few years—first a roof, then half-walls, then walls. Tenderfoot Run program begun.
(July) A fire in Coyote Canyon forces the closure of camp for one week.
Camp Anza is renamed Camp Grace in honor of Grace Hoag (1870-1970). The Hiking Program is introduced. The weekend Lad & Dad program for Cub Scouts in started. This is the beginning of heavier weekend use of Lost Valley year-round.
Ground is broken for the new Conger Chapel.
(July) Gordi Morey, a 12-year-old diabetic Scout, becomes lost. He is found the next day after an extensive search.
The Hiking and Climbing program begins. Climbing towers are built in each camp (both now torn down)
The Senior Scout Program (now High Adventure) begins.
(June 29) A 70-acre fire burns through the middle of camp, destroying the original stables.
The Campcraft Program (now Outdoor Skills) is introduced, and our first COPE course is built for High Adventure. A developed spring west of the Old Road is re-located and named Bergman Spring.
A new pole barn is built to replace the old stables. Week-long Spring Camp sessions begin, and continue until 1991.
New restrooms are constructed throughout camp. First Class Center added to summer program.
The Grace poolhouse is razed. Construction begins on a new building on the site. A Trading Post and Handicraft center is built in Camp Irvine.
The Rifle Range is expanded and improved.
Lost Valley stops providing buses and reverts to a six-day camp. Mountain biking program introduced. Weatherby Shotgun Range opens. Two new Archery Ranges built.
Indian Village program (first begun 1982) revived.
Eighteen new cabins are built throughout camp. Wiatava Nature Center completed. Scout Skills weekend program begun.
Present COPE course completed.
Rock Climbing merit badge introduced. San Diego State University begins archaeological dig near Shingle Springs.
Archeology merit badge is introduced, earning Lost Valley its first feature in Boys’ Life magazine.
New water tank built in Camp Grace.
(June) Beckman Hall opens in Camp Grace.
Continued drought virtually dries up lake; lakefront merit badges dropped for summer. Irvine Lodge remodeled, expanded, and renamed Casey Lodge.
(August) The 61,000-acre “Pines Fire” turns towards Lost Valley, burning onto the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation. Camp is evacuated for a week as a precaution.
July 16, 2003 at 1:19 p.m. Lighting strikes several miles north of Lost Valley Road starting the “Coyote Fire.” Camp evacuated by 5:30; the fire crosses the road thirty minutes later. The fire burns 18,705 total. 800 acres of camp burn including nearly a quarter of the meadow and three Grace campsites. Summer camp is disrupted for three weeks during the fire and subsequent clean-up operations. Coyote Fire and Photos
The Camp is renamed Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley in honor of longtime Scouting supporter Adolf Schoepe (1904-2001).
Agua Caliente Lake is renamed Lake Virginia for Adolph Schoepe’s wife Virginia.
Land trade completed with the National Forest Service, to correct the boundaries of the camp.
The old Grace dining hall is remodeled to become the Tom Tabb Center. The original Archery range across from the Rifle Range is reopened.
“LVSR: The Voice of the Valley” (89.3 FM) Lost Valley’s first radio station is launched.
Lost Valley’s first website is launched in January.
Family Camper Joseph Lee Ong is rescued from a ridge top above Agua Caliente Creek after 28 hours lost in the hills.




Search and Rescue, Photography, and Welding are all added as new Merit Badges; Search and Rescue is taught by Scout Skills, Photography is taught by the Commisioners, and Welding is taught by the Camp Ranger.  Camp Borrego, an older boy program, is beta tested for two weeks.




Lost Valley celebrates its 50th anniversary of summer camp with several reunion events.  The Tech Center, a new program area, is introduced.  A new COPE course is constructed and a pilot Pistol Shooting program are added.  The former Grace Dining Hall/Tom Tabb Center is remodeled to house the Grace Trading Post and the former Trading Post became the Tech Center.  Cooking and Sustainability Merit Badges are added.  Camp Borrego makes its first full-summer run; gets its largest redesign yet.  

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