In March, 1851 a party of Mormons arrived in San Bernardino to stay. The group arrived in two parties, settling temporarily at the base of Cajon Pass. They purchased the Lugo Rancho. There was no acknowledgement of any rights by resident Indians.
The Mormons were a self-sufficient community and did not employ the natives. But, they made drastic changes in the ecology of the Serrano's ancestral homeland through their scale logging operations in the mountains. Lumbermen laid claim to the land in the mountains through "squatters-rights" and the timber industry was off and running.
The Mormons were recalled to Salt Lake City in 1857-58. Their departure left a great void in leadership and in the economy of San Bernardino. New white families moving in to San Bernardino hired the Indians to do much of the work of settling the land. Men performed most of the field labor on the ranches while the women did the housework.