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17F Etiwanda Peak

Location: San Bernardino County, California

Peak named by Jack Bascom after hiking Cucamonga Peak with Weldon Heald in 1939. They were just starting to think about the "100 Peaks game" and Jack noted another worthy but unnamed summit nearby. This peak was above Etiwanda, and using the precedent of the summit they had just done (which is above Cucamonga), they agreed to "call this one Etiwanda". The name of the town was given by Canadian born Hydraulic Engineer George Chaffey (1848-1932). George ended a career of unbroken success by working for Charles Rockwood on a scheme to divert the Colorado River. They planned thereby to turn local desert (now known as imperial Valley), into Farm land. But not enough water was supplied during dry years, so over Chaffey's objections, an ill-considered bypass was built that quickly burst and formed a spill (1905-07), now known as the Salton Sea. Earlier, George and his brother William B. Chaffey established themselves by budding a model agricultural colony on property purchased from Capt. J. S. Garcia east of Cucamonga. Previously, development of Southern California land was limited by the precedent of English Law where access to water came with title to the land. But in the Southland, where streams were fed by run-off from local mountains, whoever was closest to the source could legally take whatever water desired without thought for anyone's needs downstream. The Chaffey's however, subdivided their land on the basis of ten shares in a community water company (which they built) per each ten acres purchased. The obvious fairness and success of this concept was to provide the precedent of water rights upon which all subsequent water companies have been organized in California. This idea proved to be a decisive factor in the transformation of the previously semi-arid "Land of Sunshine" into the world-city of Los Angeles. In 1881, the Chaffey's sought a name for their planned community that might be attractive to other settlers from Canada and settled on that of an Indian Chief of the Lake Michigan area who had long been a friend to their family. The brothers also founded the town of Ontario (1882).

"Etiwanda" survives as the name of a community, canyon and creek. The peak designation remains an HPS use-name.

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List.


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Updated 25-February-2003