Toluca Lake, California - Vintage postcard in the collection of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - gift of Gary Fredburg 2008
THE MUSEUM OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY SALUTES THE COMMUNITY OF TOLUCA LAKE
In a land of manmade lakes, Toluca Lake might sound like just another developmental invention, but it isn't!
For those unwise American pioneers who crossed the Great American Desert and survived aptly named Death Valley, the first significant source of water came when they entered the San Fernando Valley. Water is intrinsic to Valley history and it has been for thousands of years. Toluca Lake and the Los Angeles River are at the heart of the story.
Natural springs run in the San Fernando Valley year-round. Bell and Calabasas Creeks are a constant source of ground water and form the headwaters of the Los Angeles River in Canoga Park (just north of the High School). Other creeks flow all year long as well, one at Los Encinos Historical Monument continues to supply warm water to a small reservoir there.
But, Toluca Lake, formed from an ever flowing spring, has been part of Valley history since the Ice Age. On occasion, the little lake has become downright enormous! There is evidence that shows that on more than one occasion, the lake expanded as far as the Van Nuys City Hall. The Sepulveda Dam keeps this prospect from happening again - at least in the foreseeable future.