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Visiting Historic Oak Glen

Updated on February 3, 2015

Visit Oak Glen, CA

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the heart of apple country"

— Oak Glen
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Points of interest

  • Oak Glen School House Museum
  • The Wildlands Conservancy
  • Wilshire Peak
  • Oak Knoll Park
  • Parrish Ranch
  • Serendipity



Snow falls upon the Schoolhouse Museum

Source

Oak Glen Historic Schoolhouse Museum

The small wood schoolhouse was built in 1889 on skids. Creatively designed this way to be moved by a team of horses from one side of the glen to the other for education. It was used this way for nearly 40 years and was an important aspect of schooling at the time to the community of Oak Glen. Before the schoolhouse, the first Oak Glen class was taught by Miss Foy in Enoch Parrish’s living room. Then, for the next several years she taught her students in the local cobbler shop. Also once stood a playground for the young children to interact and a nearby corral for the horses that were used for student transportation to and from the schoolhouse.

In 1927, the community came together to build a two story permanent schoolhouse. The exterior built of the beautiful hand picked stones brought by horse and sled from the ne'er by Mill Creek. It replaced the rickety wooden structure and provided students with a modern central heating consisting of a coal burning heater downstairs and modern indoor plumbing. The schoolhouse served the families of this apple growing community for 37 years before the building failed to meet recent earthquake standards of 1965. The schoolhouse was then forced closed its doors leaving the community without education. It currently houses the museum quality collection of vintage desks, books and teaching materials it has gathered throughout its years.

The Wildlands Conservancy

In the mid 1990s The Wildlands Conservancy purchased an old ranch and farm named Los Rios Rancho and created its Oak Glen Preserve. By preventing the rustic and historic apple ranch from being subdivided and developed. TWC mission has ensured that past, present, and future generations will be able to visit and enjoy picnicking, hiking, and a variety of timeless activities offered by Riley's at Los Rios Rancho.

If you have never visited Oak Glen in the fall then try visiting The Wildlands Conservancy's Preserve. It showcases a variety of native plants, habitats and ecosystems. At an elevation above 5,000 feet, the preserve is adjacent to the steep escarpments of Yucaipa Ridge that is perfect to host a variety of rare habitats and wildlife to this unique montane forest. The nearly 3000 acre preserve includes a few prominent mountain peaks to the area as well, it was purchased by the conservancy to further preserve and protect the San Gorgonio Wilderness and surrounding area. These peaks include the Wilshire and Galena Peaks. Please visit The Wildlands Conservancy's website for more information at:
www.wildlandsconservancy.org/preserve_oakglen.html

Wilshire Peak

Take a Visit to Oak Glen

The scenic five mile loop of Oak Glen consists of 30+ historic ranches, farms and businesses open daily and year round. You will discover one of the most beautiful scenic byways that Southern California has to offer. Scenic Oak Glen is nestled away in the heart of Apple Country, where the summers are cooler and the winters are dusted with snow.

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Wilshire Peak

Named in the memory of Joseph E. Wilshire, who helped make the Oak Glen area famous for apple growing in the early 1900s. Wilshire Peak overlooks The Glen from a rising elevation of 8700'. It was first noted as Wilshire Peek by the Wilshire family who settled to Oak Glen in the early 1900s. Legend has it that Wilshire Family ashes have been scattered at the summit for generations. The Wilshire spirit continues today in Oak Glen.

Oak Knoll Park

Oak Knoll Park is a Magnificent Oak tree surrounded park. Although, there is no barbequing allowed it is still an excellent shaded picnicking area. These magnificent oak trees makes this park perfect for picnicking, family gatherings and weddings. The park was built in the early 1900s either by the Rivers Family or the Wilshire's. The park is linked by a short hiking trail connecting to multiple farms, ranches and shopping in the area.

Oak Glen, CA hand drawn map

Designed and drawn by local artist Bill Copeland
Designed and drawn by local artist Bill Copeland | Source

Although, Oak Glen has grown apples since the 1940s, apples isn't the only crop that has been grown in The Glen. The potato along with many other crops and foliage has been grown for export in Oak Glen. After several farms began to sell apples from roadside stands to visitors, along with homemade apple pies, fresh pressed apple cider and delicious apple butter, Oak Glen became an apple boom town. The export trade has since virtually disappeared, and growers now earn much of their revenue from visitors who are allowed to pick the apples directly off the trees at some of the ranches and orchards. Today many of the 100 year old heirloom varieties once exported around the world, still exist today even though many of them have been since lost in time. Such varieties, which are grown only in Oak Glen, as well as many heirloom varieties no longer commercially available or are hard to find, such as the Arkansas Black and The Glen Seedling are favorites among many.

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