This is the site of the 1878 coal discovery. The mine, called the Santa Clara, was operated by the Southern Pacific. The village of Carbondale was built on the flat. When the mine was closed down, Carbondale’s buildings were moved away and today not one remains.
DEATH OF THE CALIFORNIA GRIZZLY
The Santa Ana Mountains, which encompass the canyons of Silverado, Modjeska and Trabuco, provided one of the last refuges for the state symbol, the Grizzly Bear.
At the turn of the century, beekeeping was an important local industry, providing not only product but also pollination service for area crops. Starting in 1903, it became evident that the marauding habits of at least one bear were disturbing the hives. With their livelihood threatened, the county game warden, Ed Adkinson, a beekeeper himself, organized a hunting party to track down the suspect. On January 5th 1908, their dogs picked up the scent of a bear, and so began a 5 mile chase through the mountains, eventually catching up to the Grizzly in a small canyon near Trabuco Canyon. Although the bear fought desperately to escape, the dogs and hunters prevailed. Finally, three shots from warden Adkinson ended a lineage dating back to a time preceding even the earliest native peoples of the Southwest. The bear was originally mistaken for a Black Bear and for a time was displayed in a shoe store in Santa Ana. Later the remains were shipped to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for study and preservation. Regrettably, the Institution eventually lost track of the specimen and the last example of her breed was lost to history.