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Lindo Lake - 1

Lindo Lake Today

There is a lot of History surrounding Lakeside's beautiful lake and park situated in the middle of town. According to historians, the Indians -- before the advent of white settlers -- used it as a camping ground utilizing the water available in this natural lagoon.

When the railroad came to Lakeside, families from throughout the country would proceed to Lakeside on the San Diego - Cuyamaca Eastern Railroad with all the joyous crowding and paraphernalia appropriate to a school or church picnic. Not much lake was apparent, and the decorations consisted mostly of sand and eucalyptus trees, but the picnics were always highly exciting.

Lindo Lake



"Four in a Boat," a first place photo by Elmer Walker in the Lakeside Camera Club's second exhibit in 1939.

According to the old-timer, William S. Doty, " . . . the sack races, three-legged races, and potato races were both exhausting and dramatic, and the food, naturally, was superb."

There are accounts of the train being so over-crowded that the boys would justifiably sit on the steps of the open platforms of the little cars and feel that this was, indeed, life in the raw.

Referred to as a "children's paradise," Lindo Lake Park is a source of enjoyment to those of all ages. Its present usage fulfils the needs of children and adults alike.

For the children, it is an exciting experience to feed the duck population -- and even the adults get into the act. It is a great place for family or group picnic with carefully laid out facilities including picnic tables, barbecue and water with each space. People love to ride horses on the trails. There are tennis courts, playgrounds for the young, and two shaded pads which will accommodate large parties. Boating is not allowed, but there is fishing. Yes, they catch some big ones there.


Boathouse - 1907
Boathouse 1907

Claimed to be the only natural freshwater lake in San Diego County, it was originally fed by mountain streams. When sub dividing land in 1886 for the 3,000 acre Lakeside Town site, the El Cajon Valley Land Company dedicated 45 acres as a public park. The park was landscaped and a boathouse built. This natural lagoon became known as Lindo Lake.

The Lakeside Inn was constructed in 1887 and purchased by John H. Gay in 1904. Gay fenced the park and lake, claiming both as part of his estate.



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Richard S. White