On The Map: Huntington Lake

On The Map: Originals

This place was once just a hole in the ground really. But one man’s vision, and his back account, turned it into one of the more popular vacation spots on the map.

This area used to be called “The Basin”.

In the early 1900s, lots of metropolitan areas were switching from horse-drawn streetcars to electric streetcars.

San Francisco was doing it. L.A. was doing it. Fresno was doing it.

Well, that electricity had to come from somewhere.

John Eastwood thought of using the river knows as Big Creek for a hydroelectric power system, but he needed help to get his project flowing. (rim shot)

Construction was handled by the Pacific Light and Power company, later to be known as Southern California Edison.

The president of the company at that time also owned the company that ran the electric streetcars in Fresno and Los Angeles.

And it didn’t hurt that his uncle owned the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads.

So we’re talking about money!

When the project was completed, four dams caused Big Creek to flood “The Basin”.

And the resulting lake was named after the president of the company, Henry Huntington.

As in, Huntington Beach, The Huntington Library and Art Museum, Huntington Boulevard, and Huntington Lake on the map of Fresno County.

With Josh Dean behind the camera, I’m A.J. Fox.

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