Short History of Ice Lakes a.k.a. Sierra Lakes a.k.a. Serene Lakes

history
 

 

Pre-EuropeanHistory Native Americans travel through leaving many petroglyphs and grinding rocks on Donner Summit.
1849 Benjamin Bernard Redding heads for California from Newfoundland.
He become land agent for the CPRR and explored the Sierra.
September, 1866 Fitz William Redding Jr., BB's brother settles in Ice Lakes building
a 12 X 12 plank cabin and clearing an acre of land. Serene Lakes 1866 map link
1867 The transcontinental railroad is built over Donner Summit.
Winter, 1867 Fitz William Jr. falls ill, goes to his parents in Sacramento and dies.
1868 Summit Ice Co. is incorporated and begins ice harvesting on Ice Lakes
1872 The winters were too much - Summit Ice moves down to Prosser Cr.
1882 B.B. dies - he had been CA secretary of state, state representative, first state printer,
mayor of Sacramento, U.S. Gov't. land agent, fisheries commissioner, prison
commissioner, Regent of the Univ. of California, president of the Academy of
Sciences, newspaper publisher, and other things that had interested him. All that
and he'd arrived in California with no money - but he did have a load of sea turtles.
For the whole story, refer to the Serene Lakes Property Assoc. archive of newsletters
specifically fall '97 and Winter and Spring '98. (Serene Lakes Prop Assoc.)
1882 Summit Ice joins with other ice companies to form Union Ice - a monopoly.
WWII Ice Lakes Chalet built - it will become Serene Lakes Lodge
  The Chalet serves as a rest and recreation spot for Army Air Corps officers.
1941 The dam is built on Serena Creek and three Ice Lakes become two. Lake Sybil is no more. There are only Lakes Serena and Dulzura.
1958 Sierra Lakes Club opens for business - for "wholesome family activity ...at nominal
cost to the average American family.... [so people can enjoy the] magic splendor of
or Sierras without the tinsel and artificiality...so now prevalent." People could rent
tent cabins and chalets and enjoy lots of activities. Chalets rented for $3/day/adult.
1959 New road into Serene Lakes is built.
1966 Water rights are signed over to the new Sierra Lakes County Water
District but the lake property is still owned by Sierra Laks Club.
Since Then Various developers succeeded the Sierra Lakes Club and developed eight different
subdivisions all of single family type housing. Royal Gorge beomes North America's
largest cross country ski area. A new lodge, Ice Lake Lodge, was built in 1998-9.
2005 Royal Gorge changes hands and along with it 3000 acres surrounding
Serene Lakes. A new large development is in the works.
2010 A new sewer plant is in the works for 21 million dollars or so. The old plant has not operated as it should have and the State has issued a "cease and desist" order requiring upgrades to be online by April, 2014. Read an article about the situation.