of the original road through the reservation is now covered by the
waters of El Capitan Lake, and the uniqueness of the canyon is all but
forgotten, but Ellen Head has described her recollections of the
reservation as it was in the early 1930's.
road ran alongside the San Diego River from the foot of Eagle Peak Grade
to Chocolate (chock-uh-lah-tee) Creek and on into Lakeside. The canyon
was narrow at its start, but broadened to wider fields as it went south.
Cedar, Boulder, Tule Springs, and Los Conejos Creeks fed into the river
on its way through the reservation. There were no bridges spanning the
creeks because, except in very wet weather, the crossings were shallow
enough for buggies and horses to ford easily. It was a quiet pleasant
ride. Trees grew in close stands along the creeks and river, creating
shady and cool stopping places.
village (or Rancheria) where most of the people lived was near Boulder
Creek with oaks and sycamores lining the road. Farther on was the
diverting dam that directed river water into the wooden flume that wound
around the hills on the east side of the valley. Across the road from
the dam was the flume walker's house.
of the river the Ventures had an adobe house on the side of the hill,
and beyond that was the Tribal Chief’s house. Back on the east side of
the river was the adobe church, the school house and the fiesta (powwow)
grounds in a grove of oaks. During the lively fiestas, which seemed to
last for days, there was much dancing and excitement, a large bonfire
lighting the area for celebrating far into the nights.
South Fork another creek fed into the river, and there was a sort of
logging trail where at some time earlier timber from higher elevations
had been hauled down to the road.
Paipa’s house was an adobe. They caught and sold wild horses and
pastured them in a field across the road from the house. The herd was a
beautiful sight to see when they took off running, their manes and tails
flying in the wind. (Ellen's brother Ernie bought a Paipa horse for five
dollars and had years of boyhood adventures with him).