Lavers Crossing (No. 672 California Historical Landmark)
California Historical Landmarks Program
Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region
2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California
3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder
California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks.
In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.
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In the early 1850s—during the California Gold Rush—Lavers Crossing was the trading and community center for settlers of the surrounding Linn’s Valley. Miners and emigrants would stop here on their way across the Greenhorn Mountains, many of them heading for the then popular gold strike at Keysville. In 1854, pioneer John C. Reid filed a squatter’s claim on this spot. Later that year, Kern County’s first school class was held there.
In 1859, David Lavers—after whom the crossing was named—came to Linn’s Valley and erected a three story hotel and stage barn. David Lavers had initially emigrated from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts; then to California by sailing around the Horn to San Francisco. By 1855 he became a pioneer settler in Linns Valley. David Lavers was the Postmaster of the area until the post office at Lavers Crossing closed in 1872, moved about a mile east of the previous location and was re-established in 1874 as Glennville. By 1895, Glennville—the new community center—had a population of 85.
Lavers Ranch, Lavers Crossing and its commemorative plaque are located at the intersection of Jacks Valley Road and White River Road, on the right when traveling west on Jacks Valley Road (1.1 miles west of Glennville).
Kern County was named after the Kern River, which Captain John C. Frémont had named in honor of Edward Kern (a topographer who traveled with him throughout the west during his 1845-46 expedition). Established in 1866 from parts of Los Angeles and Tulare Counties, this county is known for its early explorers and trailblazers and its historical travel routes. Important routes such as the Grapevine, the Butterfield Overland Route, Walker's Pass, and the Tejon and Tehachapi Passes are all a part of this county.
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