Richard Graham returns to the speaker’s podium at the next Big Bear Valley Historical Society meeting on March 12.

Graham gives the first of a two-part presentation on the Gold Rush Days of Holcomb Valley. From 1860 to 1864 there were more than 1,000 people living in the three towns in Holcomb Valley — Belleville, Clapboard Town and Union Flats. Big Bear historian Mark Durban also joins the presentation.

One of stories involves the election to change the county seat from San Bernardino to Belleville. Folklore from such local historians such as Tom Core and Pauline LaFuze have it that Belleville lost by two votes because someone threw Belleville’s ballot box into a fire. Is this possible and what were the local political problems of the day? Find out what influence the Knights of the Golden Circle had on this issue or more importantly who were the Knights of the Golden Circle?

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Refreshments are served and there is an opportunity drawing. All the proceeds go to the Big Bear Museum. Meetings are free and open to the public. The Big Bear Valley Historical Society meets at Bridges Presbyterian Church, 579 Knickerbocker Road, Big Bear Lake.

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