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The town of Mammoth Lakes began as a resort in 1886, with the opening of a hotel by James Gardiner. It became known as "Mammoth" due to its lofty elevation and the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. The name was also derived from miners who referred to the area's many geothermal hot springs as "mammoths". By 1895, there were over 250 hotels in Mammoth Lakes; however, most were destroyed by fires starting in 1899 and continuing through 1902. In 1906 alone,100 hotels burned down but no lives were lost due to early fire alarms and volunteer fire brigades (the first paid firefighters did not arrive until 1913). Most survivors relocated across Horseshoe Meadows Road or Westside Drive where they constructed cabins for shelter during summer months while maintaining their permanent residences elsewhere.