|Clear Lake, the largest natural
lake in California, may very well be the oldest lake in North America.
Scientific evidence has proven the lake to be at least 150,000 years
old. The area took shape from volcanic action. Four thousand years
before the rise of Egyptian civilization, the Pomo Indians were
hunting, fishing and collecting plant foods on the shores of Clear
In the 1850s
the first European families found their way to Lake County.
Farming and ranching grew
rapidly and toll roads began climbing over the mountains in the 1860s,
bringing settlers in increasing numbers.
mineral springs became immensely popular, drawing hundreds of
thousands of visitors from around the globe to "take the waters." Huge
resort complexes were built. Lacking roads along the perimeter of
Clear Lake, steamers plied the waters connecting visitors to resorts
across the lake. Steam boats, and then gas-powered boats, became a
favored means of transportation and recreation.