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28A Lily Rock

Location: Riverside County, California

Named in 1897-98 by a USGS team. It has been thought that this was possibly for its lily-white appearance. But T.W. Patterson of Riverside has seen an old photograph of Lily Eastman, on the reverse of which is written "She was the one for whom Lily Rock was named". Lily was the daughter of Dr. Sanford Eastman, the first Secretary and a Director of the "Southern California Colony Association" which later became Riverside. She was much admired locally for her grace and beauty. She and her father, both suffering from tuberculosis had come to Riverside for their health, but she nonetheless died young and was mourned by many. How the USGS could have become aware of her is unknown.

It had previously been known as "Taukwitch Rock" (by area pioneers) and allowing for many variants in spelling, "Tauquitz" is still its preferred name by rock climbers. According to Indian legends known throughout Southern California, it was believed to be home of the Nukat (an elemental creature of primal evil) "Tahquitz". Included in his activities, Tahquitz loved to do great harm to people and much enjoyed stealing them and/or their souls which he would then take home to eat. His home was said to appear to be a large rock from the outside but was transparent from the inside "and the people he has stolen can see out of it as plainly as we see through glass". There is no verifiable explanation for the official change of name except that either the USGS didn't know about any earlier name, or more likely simply didn't want to name everything in the vicinity with the name of Tahquitz. The antiquity of this name is attested by Chief Francisco Patencio of Palm Springs who recalled that according to legend "Evon ga net" (the Fox) had set the boundary line for his people and named all places within their territory, called this great rock "Tahquitz wayo ne va" meaning "Tahquitz standing". This also was a sacred spot where local shamans traditionally came to cache or recharge their magical gear.

Name first appears on USGS San Jacinto topo (1901).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List.


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Updated 25-February-2003