|Littlerock Dam shortly after completion. Photo taken in 1935 from
the Bill Ritter Collection.
1772 Captain Pedro Pages is the first white man to cross through the Antelope Valley. Indians told of white people before this time, who they thought were deserters from the Spanish army in the south, but none of their names were recorded.
1776 Father Garces came through the west end of the Valley on his way to the Mission of San Gabriel.
1827 Jedediah Smith and party traveled through the west end of the Valley and Willow Springs.
1844 John C. Fremont and party came through the west end of the Valley.
1857 Lieutenant Edward Beale traveled through the south end of the Valley, heading for Fort Tejon, with his famous camel cavalry.
1876 The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its line through the Valley.
18821885 The Valley lost 30.000 head of antelope. almost half of the antelope for which the Valley was named. Unusually heavy snows in both the mountains and the Valley floor drove the antelope toward their normal feeding grounds in the eastern part of the Valley. Since they would not cross the railroad tracks, many of them starved to death. Others were attached by coyotes and wildcats, or became easy prey for hunters.
1886 Palmenthal founded by SwissGerman families.
1896 Palmdale Lake constructed (then known as Alpine Reservoir).
1899 Palmenthal's name changed to Palmdale.
1904 William Barton was the first to use a gasoline engine to pump water from his well. Other farmers were quick to adopt this method of pumping. This new method proved to be a vast improvement over the old reliance on water from artesian wells. This was the beginning of the great Valley alfalfa industry. as the Valley quickly became one of the biggest producers of alfalfa in California.
1905~1913 The Los Angeleslnyo Aqueduct was constructed across the Valley
19051920s The years of the big jackrabbit drives in the Valley. These drives became necessary when the rabbits would become so thick that they would destroy many acres of farmers' crops.
1910 The Corum family homesteaded the west side of Rogers Dry Lake. A small town, Muroc (which is Corum spelled backwards), developed. At the present time, this area is known as Edwards.
1912 Antelope Valley High School was founded to provide facilities for students in this growing area.
1914 The Pacific Light and Power Company brought the first electric power lines into the Valley. This company later sold to the present Southern California Edison Company.
1915 The first Fair held in Lancaster.
1915 Palmdale's first paper, The Palmdale Post, first published. (The first weekly paper in the Valley was the Lancaster News, published in 1885).
1921 Mint Canyon Highway was paved and its name changed to Sierra Highway.
1924 Palmdale Lake reconstructed as Harold Reservoir.
|Palmdale Community Church. Circa 1918.
1924 Littlerock Dam completed.
1929 Classes started at Antelope Valley junior College.
1933 U.S. Air Force builds a base at Muroc Dry Lake. In 1950, the name was changed from Muroc Air Force Base to Edwards Air Force, in honor of Glen Edwards, a young captain who lost his life flying an experimental aircraft.
1940 Angeles Forest Highway opened.
1947 Captain Charles Yeager, flying over the Valley from Muroc Air Force Base in a Xl Bell aircraft, was the first man to break through the sound barrier.
1952 U.S. government bought Palmdale Airport, renaming it Air Force Plant 42.
1953 Lockheed opened a plant in Palmdale, and the shift of industry from agriculture to aerospace is completed.
1956 Palmdale High School opens on September 8.
1962 On August 24, 1962, Palmdale was incorporated, making it the First City of the Antelope Valley. The first mayor of Palmdale was Larry Chimbole. The other four councilmen elected then were Pichard Linaher, Marlin Gilbreath, Domenic Massari, and Lester Nichols.
1967 Highest speed ever attained by a fixedwing aircraft (X15A2) was 4,520 mph (Mach 6.7), Piloted by W. (Pete) Knight over the Antelope Valley on October 3.
|Early Antelope Valley Sketch by Real Estate promoters - purchasing
Antelope Valley Land.
1971 The California State Aqueduct completed.
1977 Palmdale City Library opened to the public. This is the first building constructed by the City of Palmdale.
1980 Palmdale Cultural Center opens.
1981 The first space shuttle lands at Edwards Air Force Base on April 14. This is the Columbia STSI, the world's first reusable spacecraft.
1987 The old Palmdale schoolhouse, the oldest stillstanding building from the original Palmenthal settlement, finds a permanent home in McAdam Parka. It was officially dedicated to the citizens of Palmdale in 1988.
1987 Palmdale named the fastestgrowing city in California.
1988 Palmdale voters elected the mayor (Pete Knight) directly. Previously, the city council chose one of its own to serve as mayor.
1990 The area's first regional shopping center, The Antelope Valley Mall, opened in Palmdale in September.
1991 The Antelope Valley Auto Mall opened.
A videocassette, Palmdale Past and Present, is available in the Audiovisual Department of the Palmdale City Library.