The Luiseño Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution placed an historic marker on Lake Elsinore's newly restored 1880 Tank House Saturday as part of a commemorative event marking the completion of efforts to rehab the historic structure.
Presented in part by the Lake Elsinore Historical Society and the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Tank House will permanently call the Santa Fe Train Station, 132 West Graham Ave., its home.
The original Tank House structure was a single story building built in 1880 to house equipment that pumped water from nearby mineral hot springs to the local health spas that inhabited Lake Elsinore.
In 1930, a second story was constructed, but the addition was not placed on top of the existing structure as one would expect. Instead, for reasons unknown, the first story became the second story and the addition became the first story.
Throughout the years, the building remained, often to the wonderment of
residents, including Joyce Hohenadl, Riverside County historical commissioner for District One in Lake Elsinore.
“I often wondered about the history behind the building, what is was used
for, who lived there,” Hohenadl said. “When we learned the historical significance, we knew it must be saved.”
In 2010, the building was slated for demolition by the new owner. However, local community members, organizations and agencies, such as the Historical Society and Lambs Fellowship Church, pushed to save the historic Tank House.
To facilitate this, the building was totally taken apart, moved, and
reassembled on to the parking lot of the old Santa Fe Train station. The train station currently serves as the offices for the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce and has been previously marked as a DAR historic structure.
Additionally, local artist Robin Golden painted a mural depicting
visitors enjoying the mineral spring water in the Leeman Motel Resort’s
swimming pool, where the Tank House was once utilized. The mural is affixed to the side of the Tank House for all to view.
Lake Elsinore Mayor Pro Tem Daryl Hickman was on hand Saturday to speak of the importance of maintaining the history of Lake Elsinore.
“The Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society both knew the importance of saving this building,” Hickman said. “Our history must be preserved and Lake Elsinore does a wonderful job of recognizing its history.”
Saturday's ceremony included a commemorative plaque unveiling, approved by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Historian General as well as a plaque from the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Lake Elsinore Historical Society. The Elsinore High School ROTC presented the colors, and a light lunch was served.
The structure has also been recognized by the Riverside County Historical
Commission as a county historic structure.
“This is part of our history, we have to save it,” Hohenadl said.
Check out the attached photo gallery.
The event is also available for online viewing by clicking here.