Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California
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|Idyllwild-Pine Cove-Fern Valley|
|Idyllwild-Pine Cove Census Designated Place|
Location in Riverside County and the state of California
|• Total||13.733 sq mi (35.568 km2)|
|• Land||13.723 sq mi (35.542 km2)|
|• Water||0.010 sq mi (0.026 km2) 0.07%|
|Elevation||5,413 ft (1,650 m)|
|Population (December 2016)|
|• Density||860/sq mi (330/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||2408414|
Idyllwild, Pine Cove, and Fern Valley are three adjacent unincorporated communities, of which Idyllwild is the largest, located in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside County, California, United States. The Idyllwild community also generally includes the hamlets of Mountain Center and Garner Valley, though individual residents embrace this association to varying degrees. "Mile-high Idyllwild" is a popular southern California mountain resort about one mile (1.6 km) in altitude. Idyllwild is flanked by two large and one smaller rock formation, Tahquitz Peak (with nearby Lily Rock) and Suicide Rock, which are famous in Southern California rock climbing circles, and Mt Atlas. One of Idyllwild's attractions is that it offers all four seasons, yet in winter is only an hour's drive down to the desert on the Pines to Palms Scenic Byway. It currently offers no skiing; thus "the Hill" has been minimally developed over the years and remains a center for hiking, mountain and rock climbing, and horseback riding.
Idyllwild, Pine Cove, and Fern Valley are part of the Idyllwild-Pine Cove census-designated place (CDP). The statistical information applies to the entire CDP, although local views of the community vary somewhat from the definition of the CDP. The population of the CDP was 3,874 at the 2010 census, up from 3,504 as of the 2000 census.
A Cahuilla legend recounts how tribesmen chanted over the body of their fallen chieftain Tahquitz, or Takwish, who had been possessed by an evil spirit and killed his sweetheart. Suddenly his body began to glow like fire, and he rose and settled on Idyllwild's Tahquitz Rock. According to the legend, Tahquitz is trapped beneath the rock with a rattlesnake and a condor for company, and when the mountain shakes and trembles, it is not an earthquake, but Tahquitz up to his evil tricks on Lily Rock.
Idyllwild was known originally as Strawberry Valley because of the wild strawberries that grow there, especially beside the creek that runs through the town, Strawberry Creek. Shepherds regularly brought their flocks to the valley. In the 1880s, the Domenigoni family of San Jacinto homesteaded land near what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy. In 1889, George and Sarah Hannahs built a summer camp next to the site of their sawmill in upper Dutch Flat; they named it Camp Idyllwilde. By the 1890s a toll road had been built from Hemet, which opened Idyllwild to settlement, logging, and tourism. A post office was established in 1893; at this time, the town was called Rayneta after the Hannahs' son Raymond.
In 1901, the Idyllwild Sanatorium was built to treat tuberculosis patients. The sanatorium was soon remodeled as a resort called "Idyllwild Among the Pines," and, later, "Idyllwild." That same year, the town's official named was changed to Idyllwild.
The Tribe of Tahquitz Boy Scout honor society was created in Idyllwild in 1925.
With the advent of the automobile, Idyllwild became a weekend tourist attraction for people in Southern California. For many years, the town presented itself as an alpine village, and hotels and businesses had German or German-sounding names, but this practice ended during World War II.
From the 1930s to 1950s, Idyllwild was a center for the production of "knotty pine furniture", the fine log furniture made in the Arts and Crafts style. Under the direction of Charles "Selden" Belden, the furniture was produced by the Idyllwild Pinecraft Furniture Company and, later, C. Selden Belden Idyllwild Pinecraft. The furniture is now "collectible" and can be found in many Idyllwild houses and cabins.
In the 1950s, the Yosemite Decimal System of grading routes was developed at Tahquitz by members of the Rock Climbing Section of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club. In 1958 world-renowned modern architect Frank Gehry designed and constructed his first private residence, at the age of 28. Built along with USC classmate/architect Greg Walsh, "The David Cabin" shows influences of his later works, including unpainted plywood and other exposed materials and is located on Middle Ridge Drive. List of works by Frank Gehry
In the late 1960s and 1970s, there was an influx of hippies in Idyllwild, which changed the nature of the town and alarmed many longtime residents. Timothy Leary lived on a ranch in nearby Garner Valley, with the ranch serving as the headquarters of The Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Currently the ranch encampment in Garner Valley is operated by Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times as a year-round retreat for children with cancer and their families.
From 1974 to 1979, Idyllwild hosted the Idyllwild Bluegrass Invitational, then the only bluegrass music festival in Southern California (it was inspired by the Julian Banjo-Fiddle Contest, which still goes on today on the third weekend in September). Idyllwild also hosted the Bear Flag Festival in the 1950s through the 1970s, a festival to honor California's Bear Flag and to mark the passing of the grizzly bear from California, the last of which, according to local legend, was killed at Hurkey Creek in Garner Valley.
Most high school-age students in Idyllwild attend school in Hemet, which requires them to travel by school bus some 35 miles (56 km) in distance and 3,000 feet (910 m) in altitude to and from school. Since the 1950s, some Idyllwild parents have agitated for a high school in the town, and there have been many attempts at establishing high schools, but most of the schools proved short-lived. Startup schools that failed included Hi-Lo, or LIFE (Living in Free Education, a public school located at what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy, operated by Mary Glavin in 1973-76), New Schole Ranch (a private school in Mountain Center), and Freedom Schools, Inc. (a private school operated in Mountain Center by Mary Ellen DuBay). Desert Sun School (later called the Elliott-Pope School), a private boarding school that accepted boarders and day students, closed in December 1990, due to financial mischief, after operating for 65 years in Idyllwild.
Idyllwild and the nearby areas of Garner Valley and Lake Hemet have been used for filming since the silent film era. Although most of Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Man (1914) was filmed in Los Angeles and vicinity, footage of cattle on the open range were shot at the "H.J." Ranch at Keen Camp, midway between Idyllwild and Garner Valley. A number of Westerns have been filmed at the Garner Ranch in Garner Valley: Guns and Guitars (1936), Heading for the Rio Grande (1936), Springtime in the Rockies (1937), Brothers in the Saddle (1949), Riders of the Range (1949), and Storm over Wyoming (1950). The Garner Ranch also stood in for the Ponderosa in episodes of the TV show Bonanza. In 1961 and 1962, the Elvis Presley musical Kid Galahad was filmed in Idyllwild and vicinity. The 1980s television series Air Wolf and various car commercials have also been filmed in the area. The biker funeral procession from the 1966 film The Wild Angels was filmed in Idyllwild and included the Silver Pines Lodge, which was named Hillbilly Lodge at the time of the filming.
The Idyllwild-Pine Cove-Fern Valley area is located in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains, which contain 10,834-foot (3,302 m) high San Jacinto Peak, Southern California's second highest mountain, after Mount San Gorgonio.
Idyllwild lies mostly within a high mountain valley bisected by a small year-round stream, Strawberry Creek.
Pine Cove occupies a ridgetop location nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) higher than Idyllwild.
Flora and fauna
Ancient ponderosa pine is the major flora of the area.
|Climate data for Idyllwild Fire Station, California (1981-2010 normals)|
|Average high °F (°C)||55.5
|Average low °F (°C)||30.0
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||4.89
|Source: NOAA (Normals 1981-2010) |
The 2010 United States Census reported that Idyllwild-Pine Cove had a population of 3,874. The population density was 282.1 people per square mile (108.9/km²). The racial makeup of Idyllwild-Pine Cove was 3,434 (89%) White, 32 (1%) African American, 30 (1%) Native American, 135 (4%) Asian, 6 (<1%) Pacific Islander, 88 (2%) from other races, and 149 (4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 479 persons (12%).
The Census reported that 3,527 people (91% of the population) lived in households, 347 (9%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 1,682 households, out of which 314 (19%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 793 (47%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 111 (7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 75 (5%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 94 (6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 44 (3%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 542 households (32%) were made up of individuals and 225 (13%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10. There were 979 families (58% of all households); the average family size was 2.62.
The population was spread out with 741 people (19%) under the age of 18, 285 people (7%) aged 18 to 24, 652 people (17%) aged 25 to 44, 1,423 people (34%) aged 45 to 64, and 773 people (20%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49.8 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.4 males.
There were 4,116 housing units at an average density of 299.7 per square mile (115.7/km²), of which 1,174 (70%) were owner-occupied, and 508 (30%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 9%; the rental vacancy rate was 18%. 2,423 people (63% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,104 people (29%) lived in rental housing units.
The Idyllwild, Pine Cove, Fern Valley area has several local governmental agencies: Idyllwild County Water District, Pine Cove County Water District, Fern Valley State Water District, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, County Service Area 36, County Service Area 38 and Idyllwild Historical Preservation District.
In the California State Legislature, Idyllwild-Pine Cove is in the 28th Senate District, represented by Republican Jeff Stone, and in the 71st Assembly District, represented by Republican Randy Voepel.
- Idyllwild School is K-8 and part of Hemet Unified School District.
- Idyllwild Arts Academy is a college preparatory program for grades 9–12 and post-graduates with a focus in the arts.
- Hemet High School is part of Hemet Unified School District and is located in Hemet.
Parks and recreation
The Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District operates the Idyllwild Park and Idyllwild Nature Center.
Businesses and organizations
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In 1946, Ernie and Betty Maxwell founded the Idyllwild Town Crier weekly newspaper, which has been in continual operation. Over the years, it has been variously owned and operated by local families, the Chronicle Publishing Company in San Francisco, and a U.S. corporate subsidiary of the Tindle Newspaper Group. The Town Crier is currently owned and operated by Idyllwild House Publishing Company Ltd., a family-held California general corporation based in Idyllwild. The Town Crier is the sole media monitor of nine local governmental bodies on "the Hill," as the San Jacinto Mountain communities are locally known. The Idyllwild Town Crier has received awards from the National Newspaper Association, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the California Press Association.
The Idyllwild Arts Foundation, which began as a summer arts program, was founded by Bea and Max Krone in 1950. It was administered by the University of Southern California (USC) from 1964 through 1985, when the program was known as ISOMATA - Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. In 1985, the Foundation purchased ISOMATA from USC, and followed by the founding of the private Idyllwild Arts Foundation (IAF) in 1986. IAF is a private, fully accredited high school for boarding and day students.
Since 2010 Idyllwild hosts the Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema. The first festival screened around 40 official selections from around the world. For 2013 it was renamed the Idyllwild CinemaFest.
In 2013, the Stratford Players theater group moved to Idyllwild, where they perform year round. Typically in the fall, the troupe presents Will In The Woods, a selection of Shakespeare's scenes and soliloquies. The event is held outdoors in the afternoon, in keeping with Elizabethan custom. During the remainder of the year, Stratford Players present both staged readings and full productions of non-Shakespearean plays that vary from classics to recent works.  
Idyllwild is home to many artists and musicians, notably drummer David Atwood of the 1970s rock group America, Bobby Womack, and Richard Halligan, a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Current PGA tour star Brendan Steele was born and raised in Idyllwild.
Film actors who have owned or still have homes in Idyllwild and the surrounding area include Charles Laughton, Marjorie Main, Sharon Lawrence, Barbara Hershey, Conor O'Farrell, Doris Day, Michael J. Fox, Sean Connery, Dolly Parton, Herb Jeffries, Craig Stevens, Andrew Robinson, Shari Lewis, and Horace Hahn, who had a supporting role in the Cecil B. DeMille film This Day and Age (1933). Reality television producer and casting director Doron Ofir, attributed with breakout hits #Richkids of Beverly Hills and Jersey Shore. American Idol season 10 contestant and musical artist Casey Abrams is also from Idyllwild.
Some of Steven Suptic's Sugar Pine 7, a YouTube comedy series, takes place in Idyllwild.
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- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
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- L.A. Weekly
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- Pinkerman, John (May 8, 1974) "Alternative Education - Unique School Success." Desert Sun; California Digital Newspaper Collection. (Retrieved 10-29-2015.)
- Squier, Gary (October 5, 2006) "Hi-Lo students reunite and remember local school." Town Crier. (Retrieved 10-29-2015.)
- Birchard, Robert S. (2004), Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood, Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky, p. 8-9, ISBN 0-8131-2324-0
- "San Jacinto". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Climate Summary for Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California
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- Idyllwild travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Historic Resources Survey: Idyllwild Commercial Corridor
- Idyllwild at DMOZ