A History of Sanborn

Hello and welcome to the small town country rag for one of the greatest hidden treasures in America – Sanborn County!

Humble Beginnings

Nestled in the north-eastern part of south-western California, the history of our fair county mirrors much of the rest of the state, a history rocked by constant and unending conflict. At the time of this writing, in fact, roughly 20 separate tribes are known to have lived in the hills and forests that comprise the area before the introduction of Spanish rule.

Remarkably, every single one of these tribes was systematically slaughtered by the tribes that supplanted them. What makes it particularly remarkable is the noted degeneration in complexity of each society once they began inhabiting the area. Previously nomadic peoples became inexplicably tied to the land, refusing to leave even as food became scarce and much of the tribe disappeared due to a lack of resources. Evidence of strange rituals unique to tribes in the area were evident from the beginning, tracing its roots back to the first native peoples that have been recorded moving into the space. Some of the more wild conspiracy nuts that have researched the matter say that the rituals never changed, and were adopted by each new tribe once the old society was removed.

Spanish and Mexican Rule

In the 1700’s, the Spanish came in and put a stop to the chain of violence by systematically slaughtering the final tribe and selling the survivors into slavery. The county was officially incorporated into the Spanish empire and used for ranching, eventually being sold off by the Mexican government after the revolution to a wealthy European supporter.

During this period, much of the records show an unusual number of bandit attacks and heretical activity. Dead cattle would be found eviscerated, their organs and blood nowhere to be found. Strange groups of men clad in black robes were frequently reported being seen on nights with a full moon. Despite these oddities, the owner of the ranch, Richard Sanborn, grew to be one of the wealthiest men on the continent.

Sanborn would go on to fund many of the violent uprisings that marked California during the unstable period of Mexican rule. His intentions were unknown in these functions, as he would often provide monetary support to both sides in the conflicts, as opposed to the more widely known John Marsh, who would lend his support only to leaders who would lead the state to be acquisitioned by the United States. It was widely rumored that he would travel privately to scenes of battles and skirmishes and silently observe from afar.

The Birth of Sanborn County

Sanborn Ranch would eventually lend its name to the county, with the small villages inhabited by workers eventually turning into towns and hamlets. Once the United States came in possession of California in the 1800’s, Sanborn became a frequent rest stop for settlers passing through on their way to San Gabriel and, later, Los Angeles. Many of these settlers noted the particular surliness and distrustful attitude of the inhabitants, a trait that has been passed down to many of the descendants that still inhabit the county to this day.

Sanborn was formally incorporated in the early 1900’s, bringing the area into the Californian fold and providing access to the innumerable companies flooding into the state to capitalize on its abundant natural resources. The first major industrial project was the Sanborn Saw Mill and Forestry Company, which set up a mill on the Sanborn Creek to take advantage of the uniquely dense forests in the area. The mill would not last long, however; an unusually high level of turnover resulted from many of the workers developing a peculiar paranoia about the forests. This is possibly due to the number of disappearances and logging accidents, which were far above the average during the time period. The mill itself would burn down to the ground almost exactly a year after it was built, and the investors accepted the loss and moved on.

Next came Sanborn Chemicals, a company that manufactured chemical fertilizers and various compounds made for military applications for the wartime years. The company was widely criticized for its role in the Sanborn Creek Fire, in which some local boys playing with rocks lit up the highly concentrated and flammable chemicals that were dumped into the creek. The fire quickly spread to the storage warehouses for the chemical fertilizers produced by the company, and the resultant explosion resulted in 27 deaths and the creation of Lake Sanborn as the creek quickly filled the crater left by the accident.

More recently, Sanborn County was the subject of national attention for the large number of hikers disappearing in the local hills and forests. Through a grassroots campaign on anonymous internet forums, the county gained a reputation for having some of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in the state. Nature enthusiasts from all over the world would make a stop in Sanborn to take advantage of the various trails that snaked through the hills, most on private land that had been generously provided by local land owners.

Dozens of hikers would disappear during the early 2000’s. A huge search and rescue effort was mounted to try to find the remains of the hikers, with some of the best experts in the country flown in to assist in the efforts. None were ever found, with all trails left suddenly disappearing in the hills. The event was eventually known as the Sanborn Mystery, and was widely discussed by conspiracy enthusiasts.

Sanborn: A Revitalizing Economic Area

Since the events surrounding the Sanborn Creek Fire, most large businesses have avoided the area, keeping Sanborn’s small-town feel secure. Recently, however, many have begun to advocate for greater economic development and population expansion. The owner and operator of this very rag is one such man!

Sanborn will be the newest success story of the 21st century, the perfect haven for small businesses to expand their operations as new residents arrive to take advantage of low property prices and tax incentives that have been introduced to advance these aims. We write here to tell prospective new business ventures that Sanborn is officially open for business!

If you are interested in learning more, please visit the Sanborn History Society, recently moved to the YMCA after our previous office in the old Courthouse was destroyed along with the rest of the building.