History of the San Gabriel Mountains
Second National Forest in the United States - The first national forest in the State of California and second in the United States, Angeles National Forest was created by proclamation of President Benjamin Harrison on December 20, 1892. The first name given to the forest, 'San Gabriel Timberland Reserve,' was changed to 'San Gabriel National Forest' March 4, 1907 and then to 'Angeles National Forest' on July 1, 1908.
First Gold in California - Francisco López made California's first authenticated gold discovery on March 9, 1842. While gathering wild onions near an oak tree in Placerita Canyon he found gold particles clinging to the roots of the bulbs. The San Fernando placers and nearby San Feliciano Canyon were worked by Sonoran miners using panning, sluicing and dry washing methods. Lopez's find predated James Marshall strike at Sutter's Mill by six years.
First Oil in California - Mentryville - Named after pioneer oil developer Charles Alexander Mentry, who in 1876 drilled the first successful oil well in California. His restored home and barn and Felton School remain here where the Star Oil Company, one of the predecessors of Standard Oil of California, was born.
Third Scenic Railway in America - Mount Lowe Railway - 1893 - 1938.
One of the World's most productive observatories - Mount Wilson Observatory
One of the largest metrodmedia centers in the world -