History of Whitewater, California
From: History of Riverside County, California
with Biographical Sketches.
History By: Elmer Wallace Holmes
Historic Record Company.
Los Angeles, Califirnia 1912

WHITEWATER

Whitewater, which is near the center of the valley, where the mountain ranges begin their gradual divergence, one from another, and the San Gorgonio Pass is lost in the Colorado desert, is only about 1,100 feet in elevation. The place takes its name from the river which flows across the valley from the San Bernardino mountains at a point east of the Whitewater ranch, and the river originally received the appellation from the fact that the water carries with it an immense quantity of fine sand, causing it to have almost a milky appearance. Previous to 1860, when the Smiths located a station for the stage line, there was nothing whatever to mark the site of the present ranch. With the discontinuance of the stage traffic, Whitewater was the headquarters for a cattle ranch, and at present is used in that capacity, serving as central point for a winter cattle range. Although the present adobe house at the ranch is not the original one, some of the bricks which form its thick walls were used in the first adobe, built about 1862. The first residents of the place diverted water from the river by means of a ditch to the ranch, and this method is still in use. The huge cottonwood trees, which were planted by the Smiths to furnish shade to the barren spot, are still standing, and these, with the green alfalfa patches near the house make a welcome oasis for desert travelers. About a mile southeast from the ranch the railroad maintains a small depot, water tank (which is supplied from the Snow creek, flowing down the steeps of San Jacinto) and a section house.


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