Augustin Machado built a seven-room adobe ranch house and an outbuilding on the southwest side of the lake.
Soon after, Rancho La Laguna became a regular stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route between Temecula 20 mi (32 km) to the south and the Temescal station 10 mi (16 km) to the north.
After 1872, the lake again evaporated to a very low level, but the great rains in the winter of 1883–84 filled it to overflowing in three weeks.
Descriptions of the lake at this time say that large willow trees surrounding the former low-water shore line stood 20 ft (6.1 m) or more below the high-water level and were of such size that they must have been 30 or more years old.
Overlooked by the expedition of Juan Bautista de Anza, the largest natural lake in Southern California was first seen by the Spanish Franciscan padre Juan Santiago, exploring eastward from the Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1797.
In 1810, the water level of the Laguna Grande was first described by a traveler as being little more than a swamp about a mile long.
Lake Elsinore is a city in western Riverside County, California, United States.
Established as a city in 1888, it is on the shore of Lake Elsinore, a natural freshwater lake about 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) in size.
However, the lake was full again in 1872, when it overflowed down its outlet through Temescal Canyon.
While most of the old Californio families lost their ranchos during the great drought, the La Laguna Rancho remained in the hands of the Machado family until 1873, when most of it was sold to Englishman Charles A. Juan Machado retained 500 acres (200 ha) on the northwest corner of the lake, where his adobe still stands near the lake at 15410 Grand Avenue.
From the beginning, the mineral springs near the lake attracted visitors seeking therapeutic treatments.