During the Regular Session City Council Meeting on Wednesday, members of the City Council honored Canyon Lake residents Don and Elinor Martin in appreciation for their long-standing devotion to Canyon Lake and acknowledged their rich history with the city.
Elinor is the granddaughter of Henry Evans, who purchased land in Canyon Lake in 1890. In 1927, he sold 1,150 acres to Temescal Water Company of Corona (Temescal). Temescal began construction on the Railroad Canyon Dam in 1927 and completed it in 1929.
Henry Evans lived at his ranch house near the east gate area until his passing in 1930. Elinor is a native of this area, as was her father who was born at the east end of what is now Canyon Lake. In 1937, Elinor’s parents, George and Leta Evans, were granted a lease on the lake for a concession known as Evans Fish Camp, a public fishing resort, at Indian Beach. In 1940, when the lake was getting low at Indian Beach, the camp was moved to what is now known as Holiday Harbor Park.
George and Leta eventually purchased 1,000 acres surrounding Temescal’s land. When Don and Elinor wanted to build a home in Canyon Lake in 1960, they purchased 45 acres of land from Elinor’s parents. In addition to building a home on Loch Lomond Dr., they built a storage facility on the same street in 1968 and named it Martin’s Landing.
The family continued to run the resort and lease the property from Temescal until 1967, when Corona Land Company was formed to develop the property into what is now known as Canyon Lake. Corona Land Company demolished the area (at Holiday Harbor Park) and built a nursery, the Canyon Village Store and a marina. The marina was named Martin’s Landing, not to be confused with the Martin’s Landing storage facility on Loch Lomond Dr. that was owned by Don and Elinor who built it in 1968.
Corona Land Company hired the Martins as consultants and to run the store, marina and campground. After four years of working for Corona Land Company, the Martins resigned but continued to own and operate Martin’s Landing storage facility. In 1999, the Martins sold 44 of the 45 acres they owned, which included the storage facility. The facility is now known as Canyon Lake Storage at Summerwood Landing.
Don and Elinor met in their freshman year at Perris Union High School and were truly high school sweethearts. They married soon after their graduation in 1951 and continue to live happily in Canyon Lake. The couple celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary in August.
In addition to being honored by the city, the POA recently held a private ceremony to unveil a historical marker at Holiday Harbor Park in honor of the Martins, Evans Fish Camp and Martin’s Landing.