Alberhill, California

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Unincorporated community
Alberhill is located in California
Location in California
Coordinates: 33°43′38″N 117°23′59″W / 33.72722°N 117.39972°W / 33.72722; -117.39972Coordinates: 33°43′38″N 117°23′59″W / 33.72722°N 117.39972°W / 33.72722; -117.39972
Country  United States
State  California
County Riverside County
Elevation[1] 376 m (1,234 ft)

Alberhill (formerly, Alberhil)[2] is an unincorporated community in Riverside County, California.[1] Alberhill is located on 5.5 miles (8.9 km) northwest of Lake Elsinore.[2] It lies at an elevation of 1234 feet (376 m).[1]


Early History[edit]

Coal, along with clay deposits, was found in the area by John D. Huff in the late 1880's. C.H. Albers, James and George Hill organized the Alberhill Coal and Clay Company which mined the low-grade lignite coal and fire clay in the area from 1890 until 1940. Mining in underground shafts and tunnels, coal was dug with picks, shovels and wheelbarrows.[3] The coal mine was in a canyon, 0.9 miles southeast of what became Alberhill, at the end of a spur line off of the California Southern Railroad tracks. The spur was built in 1896, from Lake Elsinore Junction through Lake Elsinore and Terra Cotta, to the mine where coal could be loaded into coal cars.[4] Pacific Sewer Pipe Company, had a plant at nearby Terra Cotta,(2.3 miles southeast of became Alberhill), that produced sewer pipe using the Alberhill Company's clay to form the pipe and used their coal to fire the kilns for their production from 1890 until 1915. In 1915 the plant was closed and production was moved to Santa Fe Springs and the new publicly held company was renamed Pacific Clay Products.[3]


In 1895, the Los Angeles Brick Company, started business at soon became the town of Alberhill, making face brick, paving brick, sewer pipe, and roofing tile.[3] In 1918 the company name became Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company.[5] Many buildings in Los Angeles were built using its brick and tile, including Royce Hall and Powell Library, both built in the 1920’s. Alberhill was a company town, with a Catholic church and a three-room elementary schoolhouse that remained open until the 1960’s.[3] Alberhill had its own post office, which operated from 1915 to 1969.[2] The name commemorates C.H. Albers, James and George Hill, landowners and owners of the coal and clay mine.[2] The Los Angeles Brick Company was purchased by Pacific Clay Products in 1963.[3]


The brick production facility of Pacific Clay Products, Inc., and the Alberhill Schoolhouse, at 33°43′32″N 117°23′38″W / 33.72556°N 117.39389°W / 33.72556; -117.39389 is all that remains of the original town among the tailings of the clay mines.[5]


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Alberhill, California
  2. ^ a b c d Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 1387. ISBN 1-884995-14-4. 
  3. ^ a b c d e We Are Pacific Clay, a company history including that of the Alberhill area from accessed 6/5/2015
  4. ^ US Dept. of Interior Geological Survey Elsinore Quadrangle, California, 1901 Edition topographic Map, reprinted in 1941. From accessed 6/05/2015. Shows location of Alberhill Coal Mine and spur line from Elsinore Junction. Alberhill has not yet been created, Terra Cotta, its predecessor appears. Lake Street passes through this canyon between Temescal Canyon Road and Nichols Road. This section of road was formerly named Coal Road.
  5. ^ a b David W. Kean, Wide Places in the California Roads: The encyclopedia of California's small towns and the roads that lead to them (Volume 1 of 4: Southern California Counties), Concord Press, November 1993, p. 13