by Jo Anne Disney
November 6, 2013 • 574 views
Lake Arrowhead is a very popular resort close to the San Bernardino National Forest. I think it is one of the most picturesque places I know. The wonderful fresh brisk air and the fragrant pine trees definitely make the drive worthwhile. The scenery is amazing. Once there, you have to check out Lake Arrowhead Village. It has been rebuilt and is better than ever.
There is a lot of rich history surrounding Lake Arrowhead’s roots. Records tell us that it was first called Little Bear Valley and was occupied by Paiute Indians around 1826, who used the mountains for their hunting grounds. Around the same time, another tribe of Indians called the Serranos lived near in an area now called Rock Camp, which is located on the north side of the mountain. Back in the 1860’s the white man was attracted to Little Bear Valley because of the logging, cattle and the many saw mills in and around the Valley. History tells us that the first road up the mountain was built in 1852, called “Mormon Road.” Then in 1870 the “Daley Canyon Road” was built. The summers were busy but due to the snow, everything literally stopped in the winters. In 1891, three Ohio men chose Little Bear Valley as a good spot for a reservoir. Land was purchased along with water rights and so was the birth of the Arrowhead Reservoir Company. Construction started in 1893. In 1905 the property was transferred to a new corporation called “The Arrowhead Reservoir and Power Company.” Records tell us that by 1912, the dam was 80% complete. Then, in 1920, “The Arrowhead Lake Company” bought Little Bear Lake and 4,800 acres of land and changed the name to Lake Arrowhead. The dam was completed in 1923. A road was constructed partially around the north shore of the lake. This became the “Norman-styled village which included a dance pavilion, an outdoor movie theatre, restaurant and beach and bath houses.” And, “a “9-hole golf course was developed on the site of the present 18-hole golf course.”
In 1946 the Los Angeles Turf Club purchased the lake and surrounding properties known as “Arrowhead Woods.” Then in 1960, 3 developers from Los Angeles bought Lake Arrowhead and formed the Lake Arrowhead Development Company. The, in 1967 they merged with Boise Cascade Corporation. In 1971, Lake Arrowhead was purchased by 7 businessmen from Chicago. In 1973, Boise Cascade reacquired Lake Arrowhead, but sold it again in 1978.
The Village has been upgraded and now includes several eateries, among them BIN 189, Casual Elegance, and The Royal Oak Restaurant just to name a few. Shoppers will find factory outlets, galleries, boutiques and specialty shops. If you are a first time visitor, take a boat ride on the “Arrowhead Queen” which gives you a 50-minute narrated tour of Lake Arrowhead. If you are looking for that special get-a-way, where you can find snow-skiing, hiking, fishing and a whole lot more, Lake Arrowhead is the place.