Short History of Ice Lakes a.k.a. Sierra Lakes a.k.a. Serene Lakes




Native Americans travel through leaving many petroglyphs and grinding rocks on Donner Summit.


Benjamin Bernard Redding heads for California from Newfoundland.
He become land agent for the CPRR and explored the Sierra.

September, 1866

Fitz William Redding Jr., BB's brother settles in Ice Lakes building
a 12 X 12 plank cabin and clearing an acre of land. Serene Lakes 1866 map link


The transcontinental railroad is built over Donner Summit.

Winter, 1867

Fitz William Jr. falls ill, goes to his parents in Sacramento and dies.


Summit Ice Co. is incorporated and begins ice harvesting on Ice Lakes


The winters were too much - Summit Ice moves down to Prosser Cr.


B.B. dies - he had been CA secretary of state, state representative, first state printer,
mayor of Sacramento, U.S. Gov't. land agent, fisheries commissioner, prison
commissioner, Regent of the Univ. of California, president of the Academy of
Sciences, newspaper publisher, and other things that had interested him. All that
and he'd arrived in California with no money - but he did have a load of sea turtles.
For the whole story, refer to the Serene Lakes Property Assoc. archive of newsletters
specifically fall '97 and Winter and Spring '98. (Serene Lakes Prop Assoc.)


Summit Ice joins with other ice companies to form Union Ice - a monopoly.


Ice Lakes Chalet built - it will become Serene Lakes Lodge


The Chalet serves as a rest and recreation spot for Army Air Corps officers.


The dam is built on Serena Creek and three Ice Lakes become two. Lake Sybil is no more. There are only Lakes Serena and Dulzura.


Sierra Lakes Club opens for business - for "wholesome family activity nominal
cost to the average American family.... [so people can enjoy the] magic splendor of
or Sierras without the tinsel and now prevalent." People could rent
tent cabins and chalets and enjoy lots of activities. Chalets rented for $3/day/adult.


New road into Serene Lakes is built.


Water rights are signed over to the new Sierra Lakes County Water
District but the lake property is still owned by Sierra Laks Club.

Since Then

Various developers succeeded the Sierra Lakes Club and developed eight different
subdivisions all of single family type housing. Royal Gorge beomes North America's
largest cross country ski area. A new lodge, Ice Lake Lodge, was built in 1998-9.


Royal Gorge changes hands and along with it 3000 acres surrounding
Serene Lakes. A new large development was in the works. Developers then went bankrupt and homeowners raised $4 million as part of a $12 million purchase of the lands surrounding Serene Lakes guaranteeing public access forever.


A new sewer plant built on time and on budget for 2 million dollars. The old plant had not operated as it should have and the State has issued a "cease and desist" order requiring upgrades. Read an article about the situation.