Native Americans have long lived in the Elsinore Valley. The Luiseño people were the earliest known inhabitants. Their pictographs can be found on rocks on the Santa Ana Mountains and in Temescal Valley, and artifacts have been found all around Lake Elsinore and in the local canyons and hills.
Overlooked by the expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza, the largest natural lake in Southern California was first seen by the Spanish Franciscan padre Juan Santiago, exploring eastward from the Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1797. In 1810, the water level of the Laguna Grande was first described by a traveler as being little more than a swamp about a mile long. Later in the early 19th century, the lake grew larger, providing a spot to camp and water their animals for Mexican rancheros, American trappers, the expedition of John C. Frémont, and the immigrants during the California Gold Rush as they traveled along the southern shore of the lake on what later became the Southern Emigrant Trail and the route of the Butterfield Overland Mail.
Famous Peoples From Lake Elsinore
Jon Serl (1894–1993) was an American artist. He is best remembered as a painter like the American artists Grandma Moses and Edward Hicks. He also worked in other roles and under several different names. These included as a vaudeville artist named Slats; as a voiceover performer for Hollywood named Ned Palmer, and as a migrant fruit collector, better known under the name Jerry Palmer.
Jon Serl was born as Josef Searls in 1894 in Olean, New York. He was the fifth child of seven. He grew up in a vaudevillian theatrical family. This contributed to his early artistic talents, including performance, acting, dancing, singing and as a female impersonator. Jon Serl was one of his several pseudonyms. In his young adult days he worked as a peripatetic female impersonator performer known as "Slats". He was called Jerry Palmer when the silent film era ended in the late 1920s with the first Sound film. He was a voiceover artist for actors whose voices did not fit well in 'talkies'. He was Ned Palmer during the Great Depression, a migrant fruit picker.