Walking through the streets of the town, you’ll be able to see where mining supplies were created in the late 1800’s, glance at one of the few remaining structures still standing after the tragic 1872 Lone Pine Earthquake and enjoy a town where old Hollywood heroes like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood filmed their classic Western movies.
Founded in the 1860’s, the town of Lone Pine was named after one small lone pine tree was found standing near what is now known as Lone Pine Canyon. Lone Pine quickly became a supply town, and helped furnish goods and services to the surrounding communities close to the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Mount Whitney was "discovered" in 1864 after it was studied by a geological survey team and was named after team leader Josiah Whitney.
While people had tried to climb the mountain many times, the first people to reach the top of the massive mountain were three local fishermen in 1873.
Tragedy struck in 1872 when a violent earthquake shook Lone Pine. The magnitude of the quake was equal to that of the San Francisco earthquake dubbed “The Big One” in 1906. 60 of the town’s 80 buildings were sent tumbling to the ground, and a new body of water, “Diaz Lake” was formed. “The Olde Adobe Wall”, the last remaining example of pre-earthquake architecture still stands in Lone Pine.
The California Water Wars began in 1913, when the city of Los Angeles began routing the water from the Owens River to the less starved Los Angeles through the Los Angeles Aqueduct. While this allowed for the rapid expansion of the city of Los Angeles, it drained the Owens River and farmers in the eastern Sierra Nevada region were left without water for their farms.
Conflicts about the California “Water Wars” were the inspiration for the 1974 film Chinatown.
In 1920, the silent western “The Roundup” was filmed in the Alabama Hills, just west of Lone Pine.
Since “The Roundup”, Hollywood has come knocking at Lone Pine’s door. The Alabama Hill’s beautiful rock formations offer a stunning visual for film, and since then, hit films including Gunga Din, Gladiator and Iron Man have been filmed in the area.
The Museum Of Western Film History in Lone Pine celebrates the 400 films and 100 episodes of television filmed in the Lone Pine area, and the annual Lone Pine Film Festival showcases these celebrated motion pictures every year.