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17H San Sevaine Lookout

Location: San Bernardino County, California

Named for a French pioneer and vineyardist, Pierre Sainsevain who settled south of this peak (1839). He was a nephew of Luis Vignes, whose hacienda was a famous gathering place in his day and whose wines (made mostly from the black "Mission grape") became the first agricultural export of Los Angeles. Vignes founded the once famous and extensive Aliso vineyard in what is now downtown Los Angeles. It covered over a hundred acres and included a grape arbor one quarter mile long-the narrow road that once bordered the property is still called Vignes Street. To begin his own vineyard, Sainsevain dug a well near this peak and built the "Don Pedro Reservoir" to irrigate the vineyards in the northeast portion of Rancho Cucamonga via an elaborate flume system (1865). The attempt proved a failure except in years of heavy rain, but even so, Pierre and his brother Jean-Louis (who spelled his name Sansevaine) became known as prenuer wine makers.

Name was hispanicized to the present spelling at a later date. This area has many boulders with mortar holes that are considered evidence that this was also once the site of a seasonal rancheria for the Serrano Indians. A rustic CCC "spike camp" was established here for the use of hunters (1935).

A USFS fire lookout was built consisting of 10' timber tower with a 14' by 14' cab (1935).

Don Bauer, Forest Supervisor (ca.1950's) recalls that the twin sugar pines on this ridge have been protected as a USFS tradition because of an experience by early Ranger Dale Gentry, who later became State Commissioner of Fish and Game. He was once caught here in a blizzard while hunting in the 1880's, and survived a night in the snow by covering himself with pine needles and using the trees as windbreaks. In gratitude, Gentry purchased the peak. When he deeded the land to the USFS it was with the understanding that these trees would be forever spared.

Sequoia trees were planted here by Jim Graham just after WWII

Name of adjacent San Sevaine Flat and San Sevaine Springs first appear in the USFS San Bernardino N.F. map (1926) and only later was this name extended to this peak.

Name first appears on AMS San Bernardino quad (1943).

Peak was added to the HPS Peak List in 1965.


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Updated 25-February-2003