MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #921 May 2, 2019
By Cindy Justice, Image from ROWHS Archive
TITLE: MOUNTAIN MOVIES: TRUE CONFESSION (1937): This week’s image is of Fred MacMurray and Carole Lombard between takes while filming the 1937 film True Confession on the shores of Lake Arrowhead. The photo is from the Mountain History Museum archives. Much to the delight of local residents Paramount Studios sent three of its most popular stars, Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray and John Barrymore, to Lake Arrowhead to film True Confession, an aptly named “screwball” comedy about a wife who can’t seem to ever tell the truth. But what the locals did not know was that Clark Gable, who was secretly dating Lombard, told others that he needed a vacation and rented a cabin in Lake Arrowhead during the shoot. Although the movie was shot in August, the lake was very cold. In one scene Lombard was directed to run into the lake and swim to a float. She was to pretend to drown so that MacMurray would rescue her. However, the water was so cold that Lombard developed hypothermia and MacMurray ultimately did have to save her. Lombard would eventually become the third Mrs. Gable. They were inseparable until Lombard, who participated in a war bond drive during early WWII, died in a plane crash at the end of the tour. She was 34. MacMurray was a popular star in the Thirties and was known primarily for light comedies. MacMurray had the lead in another movie filmed at Lake Arrowhead in 1936, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine. MacMurray’s prolific acting career spanned half a century. Once considered one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Barrymore’s years of drinking and carousing were catching up to him by 1937. His character role as a drink-mooching scoundrel in this movie seemed to mirror his life. Considered one of the greatest tragedies in Hollywood, Barrymore died six years later of acute alcoholism. Watch True Confession on YouTube or Amazon Prime.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #922 May 9, 2019
By Ken Brafman, Image from Pine Rose archive
TITLE: TWIN PEAKS – A BERRY GOOD PAST: This week’s image depicts the general store and post office near what is now the Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins. Twin Peaks made its mark as a strawberry growing mecca dating back to 1865. The area had an abundance of flat terrain which was perfect for growing berries. The topography also suited the U.S. Forest Service which built its headquarters as well as housing for rangers and summer staff. By the early 1900’s Strawberry, as it was called, was starting to take root. Renamed Strawberry Flats, by 1916 the population had grown large enough to warrant its own post office. But there was already a community called Strawberry. Strawberry Flats was rejected as well. So Twin Peaks became the accepted name for the town, celebrating its two distinctive peaks. But the name Strawberry Flats has lived on. Built in 1924 the original fire lookout tower bears the name and is the most visited tower in our mountains. Already a prized camping area, in 1914 forest ranger O.A. Chandler offered 25 lots for lease to build summer homes. The cost of each lease was $25 per year and by the early 1920’s there were 62 cabins, a business center and tennis courts. More and more lots were sold, and homes built. In time several inns sprang up. Dr. John Baylis, a pioneer and champion in our early mountain history, purchased 160 acres of land in 1887. By 1906 the Squirrel Inn was built, and it was touted as an upscale resort for mountain visitors, with luxury accommodations as well as amenities including tennis courts and a swimming pool. It was demolished in the 1930’s. Pine Rose has continued to thrive since the late 1940’s. Pinecrest has grown into an expansive Christian Conference Center and the Antlers Inn remains a very popular restaurant with cabins. The strawberries have disappeared but Twin Peaks remains a welcoming, charming mountain town.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #923 May 16, 2019
By Bill Pumford, Image from Bill Pumford
TITLE: MOUNTAIN HISTORY MUSEUM OPENING: This week’s image is a real photo of the Mary Putnam Henck schoolroom display. That’s just a peek of one of the museum’s new exhibits for our 2019 season. Your Rim of the World Historical Society’s museum will be opening on Memorial Day Weekend Saturday May 25th with many new exhibits and themes. One of the new exhibits showcases Robert Carlton, costume designer to the stars and local Twin Peaks resident; a historic display of Pinecrest; and a 1900’s replica of a classroom for the revolving Mary Putnam Henck display. While some of our popular exhibits have remained the same, such as Arrowhead Springs and lumbering, others have gotten an update and expansion.Other popular exhibits which have remained unchanged include Santa’s Village, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and more. The Lee Cozad Theater will continue to host movie days and other special events. Local historian Russ Keller will be presenting his always-popular PowerPoint talks which will be available to all.
This year the museum will again be host to the Ice Cream Social in July; special film events; the Yard Sale in August; and Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday extravaganza, also in August.
ROWHS will be conducting a variety of Members Only events and outings this season which include a tour of Mozumdar Temple; the very popular Tunnel Tours; an intimate tour of Pinecrest; and the Arrowhead Queen Tours. ROWHS also sponsors the annual Wooden Boat Show which will be held on Saturday June 8th in Lake Arrowhead at the docks near McDonalds.
Our museum is operated and maintained by volunteers. Anyone interested in giving back to the community by volunteering at the museum is encouraged to contact Cindy Burnett at email@example.com or 909-273-4291.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #924 May 24, 2019
By Ken Brafman, Image from USDA Archive
TITLE: FIREFIGHTING AND OUR FOREST: This week’s image is a real photo showing an example of firefighting communications from the 1930s; part of the evolution of the Fire Service through the decades. In this photo the fire boss is taking notes while listening to the radio transmission. The antenna is affixed up the tree. The boss is wearing a tie, and it was normal for personnel to wear full uniforms in the field. The tie denoted governmental authority and was an easy way to show who was in charge. The wildlands of the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountain ranges were designated a national forest well over 100 years ago but leading up to that title gold was discovered in 1855. Over the second half of the 19th century mining, timber and grazing grew quickly, taking a heavy toll on the land. By the end of the century significant sectors of the forest had been felled and overgrazed. Streams and rivers were silting in and water quality was declining. Meanwhile a growing population and thriving citrus industry made increasing demands for clean drinking and irrigation water. The pioneers who had conquered a seemingly endless frontier began to realize that the time had come to manage the land more thoughtfully. A couple federal acts led to the formation of the San Bernardino National Forest in 1907. Our forest continues to be one of the most wildfire prone forests in the country. The Forest Service works year-round to reduce the risks severe wildfires pose to people, communities, firefighter safety and the environment through programs aimed at prevention, preparedness and fuels reduction. The world of fire suppression is changing. Fire seasons are longer and fire behavior is often more extreme. The Fire Service attributes this to climate change, an abundance of fuel and the modern practice of having communities adjacent to or within forest boundaries. All are encouraged to better understand our precious natural environment and how to protect it and keep our communities safe.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #925 May 30, 2019
By Cindy Justice, Photo from Russ Keller Collection
This week’s image is a real photo which was featured in the original 1920s real estate brochure advertising ‘Club Arrowhead of the Pines’ which is now known as the Tudor House. Opening in 1926, Club Arrowhead was part of an upscale real estate development owned by Atkins Realty called Arrowhead Villas. During the 1920s building boomed in the area. The North Shore Tavern as well as the Arlington Lodge (Lake Arrowhead Lodge) opened. Contrary to a popular legend, Bugsy Siegel had no connection to gambling, bootlegging or prostitution at the Tudor House. Bugsy didn’t move to California until the late 1930s, long after Prohibition had ended. However, there is ample evidence that all three illegal activities were prevalent during the 20s. A complete still with a 500-gallon tank was uncovered in the northeast corner of the Tudor House by previous owners. The ‘Club’ had one of the purest water sources on the mountain which was essential for making high quality whiskey. John Adams’ fine apple brandy was brewed in Crestline’s Dart Canyon area and shipped in the bodies of some ‘very high-priced chickens.’ William ‘Squint’ Worthington, owner of Squint’s Ranch along Deep Creek, augmented his ranch activities by supplying bootleg liquor to local residents as well as mountain nightspots that catered to tourists. Mirror signals flashed up the hill by a sheriff’s station informer warned of imminent raids. Children on the Rim watching for signals and relaying warnings were rewarded with treats. Dummy slot machines were set up that could be smashed to make the raid look authentic. The Bracken Fern Inn across from the Tudor house was originally a general store, but local legend says that there was a brothel upstairs over the store. For more information about the Roaring Twenties and many other moments in mountain history please stop by the Mountain History Museum open now through October.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #917 April 4, 2019
By Cindy Justice, Photo from ROWHS Collection
TITLE: MOUNTAIN MOVIES: SUNRISE (1927): This week’s image is a studio promotional photo from the Mountain History Museum archives. The picture is of the stylized European village built for the movie Sunrise on Lake Arrowhead at Movie Point, now known as Hamiltair. Mantrap (1926), Of Human Hearts (1938) and The Yearling (1946) were all filmed on sets built at this location. Lee Cozad states in his book Those Magnificent Mountain Movies that F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise is “without a doubt the most important film ever shot at Lake Arrowhead.” It has also been called one of the most influential films of the 20th century. German born F.W. Murnau was already an internationally recognized director when William Fox asked him to direct Sunrise. Starring George O’Brien and Janet Gaynor, Sunrise was advertised as a “timeless story of two hearts.” O’Brien as “The Man” is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. “The Wife” (Gaynor) is trying to make it meekly through life with her child. Thrown into the mix is Margaret Livingston, known only as “The Woman From the City.” She vamps her way into The Man’s heart and suggests he “accidentally” drown his wife and join her for a more exciting life in the city. In addition to the Lake Arrowhead set, Marnau created a huge city and a marshland in the Los Angeles studio. O’Brien wore weighted boots so his movements would be slow and plodding. Innovations like chiaroscuro lighting and an “unchained” camera created an illusion of depth and limitless space. Sunrise was credited with being the first talkie because of the sound of bells pealing, cars honking and a distinct voice yelling during a traffic jam. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in four categories and in the first ever awards ceremony won three Oscars. Best Actress: Janet Gaynor; Unique and Artistic Production (only year this was awarded) and Best Cinematography. Watch Sunrise on YouTube.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #918 April 11, 2019
By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS Collection
TITLE: GREEN VALLEY LAKE: Today’s image shows the entrance to Green Valley in 1919. On the left is a trading post, on the right a tollhouse and gas station. Timber claims for the Green Valley area were made in 1880 by Highland Lumber Company (later acquired by Brookings). Highland built City Creek Toll Road in 1891 to haul timber from Fredalba down the hill to a company that made orange crates. A year later the Bear Valley Wagon Road Company began work widening a horse trail to Big Bear. After the toll wagon road was built the entrance to the campground was created along with the new name, and the 11-room tollhouse seen in the image was built, along with the other amenities. While one-way tolls for vehicles and most animals were considered reasonable, sheep were charged at 25 cents to discourage having them invade the territory. When the county purchased the toll road in 1911 it became a free public route to Bear Valley, which put the toll booth out of business. The Green Valley area was mostly clear cut by 1912. When Brookings sold their shares in 1913 and moved to Oregon the region became home to cattle grazing. Deep Creek Cutoff (Highway 18) to Big Bear was completed in 1923. Also known as the Arctic Circle it essentially cut off Green Valley. A developer and sportsman named Harry McMullen secured financing for $85,000 to build a dam as well as roads for tourists, a water system and create a subdivision. In 1926 Green Valley Lake was born and the first buildable lots were sold. Soon the nine-acre lake would be stocked with trout and continued improvements to the area would be made. In 1939 Les Salm began operating an early ski run uphill from the Trading Post. A 300-foot rope was pulled by a 7HP Stratton engine. The run became known as Suicide Hill. Green Valley Lake continues to have a vibrant community and be a popular tourist destination.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #918 April 18, 2019
By Ken Brafman, Image from ERHA Archive
TITLE: PACIFIC ELECTRIC COMPANY CAMP: This week’s image is the motor coach which once transported employees from Los Angeles to the Pacific Electric Camp near Lake Arrowhead. The social hall with dining room and kitchen is in the background. In 1901 the Pacific Electric Railway went in business. Railroad executive Henry Huntington and banker Isaias Hellman had plans to link the far reaches of the southland and carry forward the former company’s motto of “from the mountains to the sea.” The Railway was capitalized in 1903 at$10, 000,000. Known as red cars there were four lines, or districts planned, the first two completed in 1905. The fourth was the eastern line which connected isolated San Bernardino and Riverside to the foothill communities. There was a spur line that brought passengers to Arrowhead Springs Hotel to enjoy the lush accommodations and therapeutic hot springs. The Great Depression and the resulting reduction in ridership hurt the company. World War II brought a surge but the advent of freeways and automobile ownership in the early 1950’s led to the last red car trip in 1961. In 1915 at the height of success the company bought 20 acres of land in Agua Fria to provide a summer vacation resort for its employees. Open in spring 1917 most fees were subsidized, and the camp was a huge success. Never open to the public, it featured a large dining hall and club room, a swimming pool, and cozy cottages. A power boat, the Lady Louise, was docked less than a mile from camp on Lake Arrowhead. The Camp was fully booked every weekend, summer after summer and was enlarged steadily over the years eventually boasting 40 cottages. The company ran special motor coach service (pictured) from downtown Los Angeles to the camp. The property was sold in 1942 to Beverly Pines which became the Pine View Lodge in 1944, in business until 1974. The pool still exists as well as much original architecture and artifacts.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #919, April 25, 2019
By Bill Pumford, Image from ROWHS Collection
TITLE: CAMP FLEMING: This week’s image is a photo of Camp Fleming from the early 1920’s. In March of 1922 Ray S. Turner contracted to have a lodge and 100 cottages built for an estimated cost of $50,000. The cottages were to be a mixture of one, two and three rooms. The initial camp also offered auto camping where vehicles were charged $1 per night per machine and free for day use. Camping parties enjoyed free light, water, tables, firewood, cook stoves and ovens. In 1923 Ray Turner had 75 more cottages and a large dining hall built to expand operations at Camp Fleming. The camp was named after James Fleming who operated a saw mill and lumber company during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s in what was then Little Bear Valley. Over the next several years Camp Fleming expanded their operation to include 200 cottages and a grocery store. The grocery store allowed people the option to cook for themselves. Ray Turner was a member of the Lake Arrowhead Chamber of Commerce and heavily advertised Camp Fleming. In the late 1920’s the camp, located in Fleming Grove, advertised a capacity of 500 people with sewerage, hot and cold water, boats, dancing and stores. The lodge dining offered club breakfasts, special luncheons and table d’hote dinners (multi-course meals at a fixed price with only a few selections). Ray Turner himself was a business man who lived in Beverly Hills, California. By the early 1950’s he had retired from the resort business. He died in 1957. Camp Fleming was located near where Fleming Creek enters Lake Arrowhead near the intersection of 173 and Kuffel Canyon Road. Today nothing remains of the camp, having been replaced over the years by homes and condominiums.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #913, March 7, 2019
By Cindy Justice, Image from the Lee Cozad Collection
MOUNTAIN MOVIES: HEIDI (1937): This week’s image is a promotional photo from the movie Heidi (1937) starring Shirley Temple, Jean Hersholt, Sidney Blackmer and directed by Allan Dwan. Hersholt, who played Heidi’s grandfather, is shown sitting with Temple in a “Swiss Alps” location scene filmed at Switzer Park on Hwy. 18 between Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs. While on location the cast and crew were housed at the Arrowhead Springs Hotel which was co-owned by several movie producers including Darryl F. Zanuck, head of 20th Century Fox, who produced the movie. Temple, who was nine at the time, lived in a trailer parked on the hillside and only left it when it was time for her scenes; which was after her stand-in had finished with lights and sound. She was always accompanied by at least eight bodyguards. Marcia Mae Jones, who played Klara the little crippled girl, said that even when they went to Lake Arrowhead Village to play miniature golf they were surrounded by bodyguards. Not only was Heidi a box office success but a merchandising one as well. Heidi dolls, Heidi coloring books as well as a Heidi clothing line added to the bottom line. Temple appeared in several movies filmed in the San Bernardino Mountains including To The Last Man (1933), Now and Forever (1934) and The Blue Bird (1940). Temple loved the mountains and later vacationed in a house in Crestline on Playground Road. She was once Grand Marshall in a local parade in the 50s. Jean Hersholt was born in Denmark. By the 1920s he was a leading man in silent films such as Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1925) but when the talkies arrived he slipped into character roles. Allan Dwan became one of the true legends of Hollywood. Spanning five decades he directed over 200 films, wrote more than 40 screenplays and produced 34 pictures. Heidi can be seen on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes and other online venues.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #914, March 14, 2019
By Dani Rosenthal, Image from Richard Fish
TITLE: NORTH SHORE MID-CENTURY MODERN: This week’s image is of an architecturally notable home of the mid-century modern style. This home, which still sits proudly on the North Shore of Lake Arrowhead, was featured in the Los Angeles Times Home magazine on July 17, 1966. It was designed by famous Claremont, CA architect Fred McDowell of the Criley & McDowell architectural firm and was built by John Ashton in 1965. McDowell designed the house based on the principles of designing a boat and he took complete advantage of the outdoor environment that the house would be situated in. The home embodies spaciousness and uses extensive natural light, a style that was uncommon to mountain homes at the time. McDowell achieved this by creating a unique roofline of three diamonds intersecting one another. McDowell said, “I want to do something like a boat, with a prow opening up to the view. So, I started with that element and worked backward into the house.” Seeing the house from the lake today, it is noticeable how well of a job he did in achieving this. The featured photo also highlights this, showing the main living room and how its focal point is an almost unobstructed view of the water. The outdoor decks span a total of 700 square feet, equaling about half of the home’s indoor living space. Instead of using typical materials of the time, McDowell opted for materials that would blend in with and highlight the home’s natural surroundings. Rather than using traditional wood sheathing on the ceilings, he used white acoustical plaster to act as a canvas for the surrounding pine trees and tree-filled vistas of the shoreline. The home and dock space gave the family of five that the home was built for their own piece of the lake and its desirable lifestyle. The property last changed owners in 2013.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #915, March 21, 2019
By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS Collection
TITLE: EARLY MOUNTAIN TRANSPORTATION: This week’s image features one of two horse-drawn stagecoach lines which started operating in 1905 and transported passengers to one of several mountain resorts such as Pinecrest and the Squirrel Inn. Fares were $2.00 up, $1.00 down with parcels delivered at a penny per pound. The stage was a significant improvement over earlier methods of mountain travel. Native Americans walked trails for countless centuries leading up to the time of Franciscan missionary Father Garces’ exploration circa 1776. Significant improvements wouldn’t come until 1852 with the construction of the Mormon Road, wide enough to handle teams of oxen. Its original purpose was in facilitating logging operations at Seeley Flat and would later play an important role in forming a toll road and eventually becoming part of the Rim of the World Drive. The late 1800’s saw numerous trails and toll roads completed. The Santa Ana Trail served the east end with its developing mining industry. The Daley Toll Road was steep and dangerous, but it was a quick route to the lumber mills in Little Bear Valley. The turn of the century brought forth the dawn of the horseless carriage, but not without controversy. The steep and narrow roads were considered unsafe for the sharing of automobiles and stages. It took a couple ‘daredevils’ to prove that autos could safely navigate. In 1908 W.C. Vaughan, to prove highway safety, and with police in hot pursuit, drove up Waterman Canyon to Lake Arrowhead. A similar stunt was performed in 1910 using an auto to traverse the Crestline roads. Within a year cars largely replaced horse-drawn carts as the primary means of transport.
MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #916, March 28, 2019
By Bill Pumford, Image from Bill Bronstrup Collection
TITLE: CRESTLINE FOOD MARKET: This week’s image is a photo of the Crestline Food Market from the early 1950’s. Built in the late 1930’s it was located in Top Town on Crest Forest Drive where Hilltop Liquor Market stands today. The owner and co-operator of the market was John N. Colwell. The other operator was Carl W. Jensen. Mr. Jensen’s younger brother, Einer, started Jensen’s Market in Blue Jay in 1940. In the 1940’s Crestline Food Market advertised six complete departments: Groceries, Meats, Delicatessen, Bakery, Vegetables and Notions. The market was one of the largest on the mountain. John Colwell was President of the local Crestline Trail Riders Club and Carl Jensen was first vice-president of the Crestline Lions Club. In July of 1951 Mr. Colwell offered the Crestline Food Market for sale. The advertisement in the Los Angeles Times boasted annual sales of $140,000 with inventory of $12,000. The store was sold to Clarence Bishop Applegate. After the sale John Colwell left California and Carl Jensen went on to establish and manage a string of markets in the Inland Empire including one in Palm Desert. Bishop Applegate continued the fine tradition of the Crestline Food Market in serving the locals and out-of-town visitors. The advertisements for the market featured one change – substituting Beer and Wine for Notions. In early 1960 the Crestline Food Market was acquired by a man named Smithfield who renamed the market Smithfield Market. In 1968 the Penny Arcade located next to the market was destroyed in a fire. The next year Mr. Smithfield built an addition to his market where the Penny Arcade had once stood. That building stands empty today although in recent years it housed a very popular donut shop.