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The view from the front of the Cuddy home in December 1996.
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The original Cuddy Ranch homestead cabin plus the addition built to move his family up to the mountain. Someone is living in it currently. It was built in 1863.
Reported by Bonnie Kane, RRCM
There is a beautiful valley just southwest of Lake of the Woods. The Ridge Route Communities Museum is asking for opinions from Mountain Community residents as to what to call it. Since the museum was established twelve years ago, we have realized that this valley is not given a name on maps.
We often hear it called Lockwood Valley, which is not correct, as Lockwood Valley doesn’t technically begin until west of the TXI-Pacific Custom Materials plant, further to the southwest.
The first recorded inhabitant of that lush green meadow other than Native Americans, in the late 1850s, was John Fletcher Cuddy. He settled there and built a small log cabin in the early 1860s. That same cabin was transported to our local museum a couple of years ago, and it is on display there.
Cuddy brought his family to the valley shortly after completing the cabin. For that reason, the first recorded name for the valley was “Cuddy’s Valley.”
When Mr. Cuddy’s son Robert and other family members homesteaded in the larger valley to the northwest, the newly occupied valley became known as “Cuddy Valley” and the small valley where John Cuddy had homesteaded was called “Little Cuddy Valley” by family members.
One pioneer resident of Lake of the Woods, Curtis Newman (who is curator of the museum interior exhibits), says that the area is technically “Upper Cuddy Canyon,” as it is at the top of the branch of the entire Cuddy Canyon that runs from the two Cuddy Valleys toward the Castac Lake in Lebec.
The Cuddy name is used extensively in this area, so it is thought by many of those at the museum that this smaller valley southwest of Lake of the Woods should be given a name that might better identify the location for generations to come.
One suggestion is “Mill Valley” because Mill Creek Canyon flows down from Mount Pinos as the beginning of the watershed for the creek that runs from there to join Cuddy Creek, coming out of Cuddy Valley at Lake of the Woods.
Another suggestion we’ve heard is “Chuchupate Valley” or “Chuchupate Meadows” for the U.S. Forest Service’s Mount Pinos District Ranger Station located there. That name would also honor a compelling Native American legend. The mythical Chumash Princess Chuchupate is said to have been a medicine woman to her people. The spring of water above the Chuchupate Ranger Station carried her name long before the station was built in 1930.
The museum is hoping to hear from you about your opinion on these and other names— especially from those who live and work in that valley. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the museum with your ideas (661-245-7747).
This is part of the August 06, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.