Home » Nonfiction » Robert B. Smith » Idyllwild and the High San Jacintos

January 02 , 2011

Idyllwild and the High San Jacintos


Southern California's hidden treasure lies in the San Jacinto Mountains. Capped by the last 10,000-foot peaks on the way to Mexico, these mountains have enriched human lives for centuries. Discovered by loggers in 1876, partially stripped of their trees during California's first population boom in the 1880s, then protected by federal edict in 1897, these mountains attracted a special breed of settler. The uncommon village of Idyllwild was created by common people who were enchanted by the surrounding forest wilderness. Isolated here, high above the chaos of modern life, they have preserved a vestige of mid-20th-century small-town America in the woods. This collection of around 200 previously unpublished photographs, including stunning images by the gifted photographers Avery Field and Harry Wendelken, offers glimpses of the paths along which village and wilderness have shaped each other.

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