Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Legend of Indian Massacre at Castaic Lake.

Webmaster's note.

Castaic Lake is a natural lake east of Interstate 5 in Lebec. It should not be confused with the manmade Castaic Reservoir in Castaic. The herein-mentioned bark is displayed today at Fort Tejon State Historic Park. As for a time frame for the alleged massacre, Fort Tejon was in operation only from 1854 to 1864.

Click to enlarge.

Trip to Lebec One of Interest.

A motor trip of scenic and historic interest is the one to Lebec, according to the Touring Department of the National Automobile Club.

The name "Lebec" commemorates one Peter Lebec, a French voyageur and trapper, who was killed in 1837 under a tree near Fort Tejon by a grizzly bear that he had shot and wounded. He was buried beneath the tree by his companions who carved a brief record on the tree trunk. Later, the bark grew over these letters, reproducing them in reverse order and this section of the bark was removed and placed in the Beale Library, Bakersfield, for preservation. The old tree is still standing at the northeast corner of the old parade ground.

Near Castaic Lake.

Across the highway from Lebec is Castaic Lake a pool of highly alkaline water, which during dry years, dries up, leaving a hollow lined with choking white dust. According to a local legend, this lake was once the scene of a wholesale massacre. A cook and a boy had been murdered at Fort Tejon and suspicion having fallen upon a local tribe of Indians, the exasperated white men drove the entire village, men women and children alike, into the lake. Their bodies mummified by the mineral salts in the water, are said to have arisen to the surface at intervals for a long time afterwards.

A short distance beyond Lebec the highest point of Tejon Pass is crossed, 4,319 feet and a gradual descent begins.

News story courtesy of Lauren Parker.

• Fort Tejon
• Rancho Castec
• Tejon Ranch
• Tejon Mtn Village Development
• Tejon Indians
• Tejon Indian Tribe


• Johnson: The Trail to Kashtiq


Map ~1842


Beale Map 1862


News Item 11-22-1915


Real Castaic Lake 1920s


Snowman 1922


Legend of Indian Massacre, News Report 1927


Real Castaic Lake 1930s


Real Castac Lake ~1930s


Snowfall Oct. 1949


Wines Richfield

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