A fixture of the Idyllwild community, the historic Fireside Inn has been welcoming guests since before the Eisenhower administration! The location is prime, once you park the car and check in you can walk to just about anywhere in town! But despite our central location the Fireside is tranquil and quiet. It sits on x acres and our neighbors are the Catholic Church and the Community Demonstration Garden. A seasonal creek runs through the property.
Every room has a kitchenette and a fireplace, of course! Cozy wood paneling and vintage furnishings instantly give you that back in the day feeling. Rooms are outfitted with down pillows, organic cotton sheets and bath towels, and Malin & Goetz soaps.
Idyllwild was known originally as Strawberry Valley because of the wild strawberries that grow here, especially beside the creek that runs through town, Strawberry Creek. Shepherds regularly brought their flocks to the valley. In the 1880s, the Domenigoni family of San Jacinto homesteaded land near what is now the Idyllwild Arts Academy. In 1889, George and Sarah Hannahs built a summer camp next to the site of their sawmill in upper Dutch Flat; they named it Camp Idyllwild. By the 1890s a toll road had been built from Hemet, which opened Idyllwild to settlement, logging, and tourism. A post office was established in 1893; at this time, the town was called Rayneta after the Hannahs' son Raymond.
The single most crucial event to shape Idyllwild’s future occurred in 1897, when President Grover Cleveland, during his last week in office, created by proclamation the San Jacinto Forest Reserve. Since 1871, essentially half the mountain range had belonged to the Southern Pacific Railroad as part of its Congressional land grant for building the southern transcontinental line. Under the Forest Reserve Act of 1891, Cleveland’s proclamation required all as yet unsold railroad land in the new reserve to revert to the federal government. While most of what is now Idyllwild had already been marketed and remained in private hands, the surrounding terrain became public property. After creation of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and several subsequent reorganizations, the San Jacintos in 1925 became part of the San Bernardino National Forest.
In 1901, the Idyllwild Sanatorium was built to treat tuberculosis patients. The sanatorium was soon remodeled as a resort called "Idyllwild Among the Pines," and, later, "Idyllwild." That same year, the town's official named was changed to Idyllwild.
Serious climbers in Southern California discovered Tahquitz Rock (also called Lily Rock) in the 1930s. In the 1950s, the Yosemite Decimal System of grading routes was developed at Tahquitz by members of the Rock Climbing Section of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Today there are some 500 named routes up iconic Tahquitz Rock and its near neighbor, Suicide Rock.
In 1950 the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts opened, offering a wide variety of summer programs. It later was a branch campus of the University of Southern California for two decades, but was taken over in 1983 by a locally based group, the Idyllwild Arts Foundation. In 1986 the foundation launched the Idyllwild Arts Academy, the West’s only residential arts high school, which attracts highly talented students from around the world.
* Text attributed to the Idyllwild Historical Society and Wikipedia.