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Communities - Victor Valley

Hesperia, California

View of Hesperia Lake

City History

Hesperia's Past

The City’s history stretches far beyond its 1988 incorporation. Hesperia’s past is rich with the history of the Spanish settlers of the 1781 land grant Rancho San Felipe, Las Flores y el Paso Del Cajon, and later the westward travelers of the Mormon Trail. Before these times however, the area was sparsely populated by the Serrano Indians who called the area Topipa.

Max Stroebel, who was to become known as the Father of Orange County, acting as agent for a syndicate bought 50,000 acres of land encompassing much of what makes Hesperia today. The land was in anticipation of a railroad which was not to be for nearly 15 years, far too long for the investors. The land was sold at a loss and became the property of a German Temperance Colony.

The first major turning point in present day Hesperia occurred in 1885, when the California Southern railroad tracks were completed. This resulted in Hesperia’s first industry, providing juniper wood to bakers in Los Angeles by way of train. Juniper is a very hard wood that was used as fuel for kilns up until the early 1900s, when oil became the principal fuel for bakers. That change in technology did not slow Hesperia’s progress.

The 1900s were a booming time with the increased popularity of automobiles. The City served as the last stopping point before travelers made the treacherous trip down the Cajon Pass.

map of City of Hesperia in Mojave High Desert

map of historic sites in Hesperia

Hesperia wagon roads prior to National Old Trails Road

About Hesperia

Population - 90,100
Square Miles - 26
Elevation - 3191
About 32 miles north of San Bernardino, California

Hesperia Livery Stable c. 1915 located behind Hesperia Hotel
Hesperia Livery Stable c.1915

National Old Trails Road

National Old Trails Road Victor Valley

Romantic Heritage of Victor Valley

In 1885, a signpost on the new railroad line read "Hesperia," a name possibly borrowed from the old Roman idiom "to the West." Reminiscent of the land boom started in 1886 bv the old Hesperia Land and Water Company are crumbling remain"s of the famous Hesperia Hotel and nearby, the first public building erected in 1887, which housed a store, hotel and post office. It is still occupied.

Amid the Joshua trees, a new Hesperia has risen, with miles of paved streets, lovely homes, golf courses, picturesque inn, motels, airfield, dude ranches and a modern business district. Here, on a mesa that witnessed the historic parade of pioneers traversing the rugged trails along the Mojave, a resort community is gaining greater renown each day ... offering western living at its finest.
Spruce St. at grade RR crossing, 1902

A 15 foot by 20 foot, wooden, moveable station once stood on the east side of Hesperia Road next to the railroad tracks at Spruce St. A 12 foot by 12 foot jail was built alongside. The California Southern Railroad used Hesperia for a stopping point.
Elias Hefner photo - 1900 (adapted from

01- Schoolhouse
02- Walters' Market
03- Hesperia Lake
04- Golf Club
05- Hesperia Airport
Railroad Station
Hesperia Hotel

Lake Adelaide

A History of Hesperia

The Ghost that Refuses to Die - by E.C. Jaeger

Hesperia Lake

Vanyume Indians

They ranged along the Mojave River from Victorville/Hesperia to east of Barstow. The Vanyume (Wanyuma) are mentioned in the journal of Jedediah Smith as ...

High Desert Plains & Hills

Mojave River

Hesperia Hotel

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