Canyon Lake lies on the western edge of Menifee Valley, between Sun City and Lake Elsinore, and is both a private gated community and an incorporated city with a population approaching 10,000. This is quite a change from 1890 when only one family lived here near Salt Creek and San Jacinto River. In 1882, when the California Southern Railroad began service between Perris and Elsinore, the area was known as Railroad Canyon, but after three washouts, the line was abandoned. The Temescal Water Company later purchased the land and constructed a dam, thus creating Railroad Canyon Lake. The Evans family operated a fishing resort there for 30 years until 1968, when Temescal developed the private community of Canyon Lake. This original weekend retreat is now home to retirees and young families as the area surrounding Canyon Lake is rapidly becoming more urban.
About the Author
The photographs and information are from the collection of Donald and Elinor Martin. Author Elinor Martin has lived all her life here on property once owned by her grandfather Henry Evans. Her family has carefully preserved photographs and memorabilia from 1890 to 1990. The Martins have also produced a video, Canyon Lake: Then and Now, commemorating the area's storied past.
Table of Contents
The Early Years: 1890 to 1936 9
Public Fishing Resort: 1937 to 1967 21
Beginning a New Era: 1968 to Present 57