MILEPOSTS – As seen in the Mountain News

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #930 July 4, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection

TITLE: CLARK GRADE: This week’s image is a real photo of Clark Grade. Of all the roads in the San Bernardino Mountains the road in this photo, popularly referred to as Clark Grade, was the most infamous. The road runs basically from Santa Ana Canyon near Seven Oaks to Bear Valley. The purpose of the road was to make a quicker trip to Big Bear for sportsmen and later for vacationers by cutting off two days for wagons. Hiram Clark built the road in 1899 at an initial cost of $10,000 and the road consisted of many hairpin turns and grades as steep as 16%. During the next decade the road gained a reputation as a very difficult road to get up for even lightly loaded autos. In 1910 plans were made to smooth out Clark Grade to a maximum grade of 8% to make travel by auto easier and to attract more vehicles. In August of 1910 an event took place which dramatically increased interest in driving into the mountains. Jack Heyser, from Riverside, took a White steamer automobile with two passengers up Clark Grade and to the Bear Valley Motel. Actual running time was three hours and fifteen minutes although the trip really took more than six hours. Much of the extra time was spent hiking to a creek to get more water for the steamer which had run dry. Heyser, who was no stranger to driving in hill climb contests in Southern California, said that Clark Grade was the roughest he had ever seen. During 1913/14 Hiram Clark and Gus Knight were paid thousands of dollars to work on Clark Grade. Despite all the work, Clark Grade remained a rough road – steep and narrow. It was so narrow and dangerous that vehicle controls had to be set up to ensure that traffic only went one way at a time. The road is still there and, during milder months, is open for travel.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #931 July 11, 2019

By Cindy Justice, Image from Our Lady of the Lake archives

TITLE: OUR LADY OF FATIMA SHRINE: This week’s image is a real photo showing early worshippers at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. Founded in 1938 Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church is home to the Shrine, which is one of Lake Arrowhead’s most significant works of art. When Father Michael O’Duignan was assigned pastor in 1945 he dedicated himself to the planning and construction of the Shrine. Fatima is a tiny village in Portugal where in 1917 the vision of a woman in white appeared six times to three shepherd children, warning the world of upcoming trials and tribulations. Father O’Duignan presented the idea of a shrine to Our Lady of Fatima to the parish and received an overwhelmingly positive response. Mrs. Mary Coony became a valuable fundraiser for the project and soon attracted other wealthy donors. RC Hartwell of Los Angeles said he would donate the adjacent land as well as the finest group of Fatima figures that could be found. He contacted Mr. Jose Ferreira Thedim from Fatima, Portugal. Mr. Thedim, an award winning painter and sculptor, agreed to carve white Estremoz marble, which comes from the actual site of the apparitions in Fatima. In the fall of 1948 Captain William Haller, assigned to the 817th Army Corps of Engineers, visited Our Lady of the Lake Church and learned of the plans to build the Shrine. He organized a group of volunteers from the 817th combat unit and a nearby airmen unit to prepare the site. The completed sculptures were sent by ship through the Panama Canal and eventually transported up the mountain. Mr. Nishan Toor, an Altadena artist and sculptor, erected the sculptures and oversaw the completion of the outdoor altar and pews. The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima was dedicated on Sunday, August 16, 1953 and continues to serve the faithful. Additional information can be found at The shrine is open to the public at 27627 Rim of the World Drive.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #932 July 18, 2019

By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS archives

TITLE: SKYLAND: EARLY CRESTLINE: This week’s image is a real photo showing the entrance to Skyland in 1922. Just southeast of Top Town Crestline and right below Crest Forest Drive is an original neighborhood known as Skyland. The area became very popular for camping starting in the 1870s into the early 1900s. The mountains were prized by families for the moderate climate and flat areas to facilitate campsites. The beauty of the mountains and the trees was a big draw. With Skyland being situated right at the mountain’s edge the valley was laid out as far as the eye could see. Better yet on clear days the Pacific Ocean was in breathtaking view, including Catalina Island. Water and electricity would soon become available, which led to the Skyland area being further developed as a tourist destination. Beginning in 1905 a three-rail system was devised which would climb 4,500 feet from Waterman Canyon and connect to a large concrete terminus at the edge of Skyland. The primary purpose of the Incline Railroad was to haul many tons of bags of concrete from the valley to the terminus which were then hauled by horse-drawn wagons to the construction site of the Little Bear Dam. This dam project would eventually produce Lake Arrowhead. As a result of numerous accidents and breakdowns, the railway was scrapped after a couple years of operation. The popular Skyland Inn was built in 1902. The grounds had campsites and many activities were included. In July 1911 a fire swept up from Waterman Canyon which persisted for two weeks. Camps, cabins and commercial buildings were destroyed. Skyland sustained the greatest damage in Crestline as a result of the 2003 Old Fire, destroying 35 homes. Today Skyland is home to Camp Paivika, which offers a camp experience to disabled children and adults. The Crestline Soaring Society operates a world-class launching pad for hang gliders and paragliders. Skyland remains a great neighborhood and is steeped in history.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #933 July 25, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection

TITLE: LAKE ARROWHEAD TUNNELS: This week’s image is a real photo from the early 1900’s of the Emerald Bay inlet tunnel for Lake Arrowhead. Tunnels have played an important role in the history of Little Bear Valley and subsequently Lake Arrowhead. The original plan for the Lake Arrowhead reservoir called for 60 miles of tunnels and water conveyances which would feed water from many of the creeks in the Little Bear Valley watershed to the reservoir. These creeks included Little Bear, Hook, Fern, Shake, Holcomb and Deep. The water in the reservoir would then be sent to the San Bernardino valley for irrigation purposes. There was a flaw in this plan, however. The creeks in the Little Bear Valley watershed flowed naturally to the north to the Mojave River area and the ranchers in that area were not enthused about the potential loss of their water. After a long and painful litigation process the courts ruled in the favor of the Mojave ranchers. Following this ruling the plans for the tunnels to supply water for irrigation were abandoned. Six and a half miles of tunnels had been completed. There is the tunnel from Grass Valley Lake which feeds water to Lake Arrowhead which is still in existence. Tunnel #1 does not go under Lake Arrowhead to the outlet tower. Instead, a smaller diameter tunnel runs from the outlet tower to an elevator shaft on the shore of the lake and connects to Tunnel #1. This is the tunnel that Huell Howser traveled through for one of his California’s Gold shows. This outlet tunnel provides Lake Arrowhead a way to quickly reduce the lake level by releasing water down Willow Creek. In the mid-1980s the tunnel and the valves in the tower were tested and worked satisfactorily. Most tunnels that were part of the original Arrowhead Reservoir and Power Company have their entrances closed or are now on private property.


By Bill Pumford, Image from Nanci Hewitt Atchley Collection

TITLE: CEDAR SPRINGS PART I: This week’s image is a photo of Carl and Ella Hewitt around the year 1915. The Hewitts homesteaded the area known at the time as Cedar Springs. That area is now at the bottom of Silverwood Lake but just how it got there will be explained in Part II. In the Cedar Springs area there were 160 one-acre parcels available for homesteading. At first the Hewitts would ride their motorcycle up Cajon Pass, take Cleghorn Road, park the bike and walk several miles just to get to their property, since no roads existed. Carl Hewitt was a medical student at what is now Loma Linda University but had to leave after contracting tuberculosis. Eventually roads were put in the area and more families began making Cedar Springs their home. The Hewitts raised strawberries which were sold locally as well as to businesses like Knott’s Berry Farm. Other families raised bees for honey or grew other crops such as potatoes and onions. Copeland George had a thriving market and gas station and was considered the unofficial major of Cedar Springs. There was also a school and a Seventh Day Adventist church. In the late 1910’s and early 1920’s Carl Hewitt established the Cedar Springs Health Resort to help people with tuberculosis. It was a small operation with six beds in one of the Hewitt’s cabins. A sawmill in Cedar Springs was built, operated, and maintained by Burton Hewitt, the son of Carl and Ella Hewitt. At one time there were some 100 families living in Cedar Springs. Being isolated in this remote community did have its disadvantages. During the great storm of 1938 Cedar Springs was completely cut off from the rest of the world. A rider on horseback got out with a petition signed by the families requesting help. Over the decades Cedar Springs gained a reputation as a resort where overnight camping and picnic facilities were available.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #927 Jun 13, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from Nanci Hewitt Atchley Collection

TITLE: CEDAR SPRINGS PART II: This week’s image is a 1962 photo of Copeland George’s store in Cedar Springs. During the 1940’s and 1950’s the Cedar Springs area became a popular resort and vacation destination. Many people had part-time cabins and during summer the population sometimes expanded to 150 people. A campground was established at Miller Canyon. During the early 1950’s rumors started circulating about a water project called Feather River designed to bring water from Northern California to water-starved Southern California. Part of the project was to create a reservoir to hold the water. This project would eventually drown the community of Cedar Springs. Most of the local residents doubted whether this would ever happen; but by the early 1960’s it became clear that this project was going to be completed. In 1960 surveys of the Cedar Springs area began and in 1961 meetings took place with residents to let them know what the Feather River project entailed, timeframes, and how property owners would be offered good prices for their properties. During the next several years residents sold their properties, relocated – some within the area – and construction crews started the task of demolishing the homes and cabins. The original name of the future lake was to be Cedar Springs Lake but a bill in the California Legislature proposed that the lake be named Silverwood Lake in honor of Ted Silverwood who was a prominent promotor of the Feather River Project. Silverwood won out for the name of the lake although Cedar Springs was retained for the name of the dam. Carl Hewitt, the original homesteader, petitioned the government to leave his home untouched since it was not going to be in the lake. He lost his bid and his home was demolished with all the others. In 1972 the filling of Silverwood Lake was completed and a new life for the area began as a source of water and recreation.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #928 Jun 20, 2019

By Cindy Justice, Image from Cindy Justice

TITLE: MARY PUTNAM HENCK EXHIBIT: This week’s image is of the new Mary Putnam Henck exhibit at the Mountain History Museum on Peninsula Drive in Lake Arrowhead. According to “From the Memories of Putnam Henck,” a memoir written by Mary Henck’s son, the family moved to the mountains in 1923 when Putnam was six years old. There was no school in the area, so Mary, who had 20 years of teaching experience in Los Angeles, requested a school from the county. She was told that if she wanted a school then she would have to start one. She rounded up 13 children from Blue Jay and Cedar Glen. JP Van Nuys, a Lake Arrowhead developer, found a building that was only used in the summertime. The school opened on September 22, 1924. Within two weeks 25 students were enrolled. The county furnished desks, books and paper supplies which were mostly secondhand. Putnam remembered the song books had every song by a German composer cut out of them. In the middle of the room was a potbelly stove that Putnam said gave out terrific heat and he recalled one instance when some kids put 22 caliber bullet shells in it. During 1925, the community got together and formed a school board. A bond issue was passed granting $40,000 for a new school. The school, which housed first to eighth grades still stands. It is the Lake Arrowhead Fire Station #91. When it opened on September 11, 1926 there were 43 students and teachers. A school bus built on an REO Speed Wagon chassis was put into service. In the late 1920s Mary was elected to the school board, a position she held for nearly 20 years. She was also a substitute teacher during most of that time. The kids never understood how Mary could be writing on the blackboard and without turning around say, “Johnny, quit blowing spit balls!”

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #929 Jun 27, 2019

By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS Archives

TITLE: A NEW DEAL FOR OUR FORESTS: This week’s image is a real photo with a view of the Civilian Conservation Corps tent camp in Miller Canyon, about five miles north of Crestline. The men were assigned bunks while the long building housed the mess hall, forestry quarters, drying room, medical facility and recreation hall. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933 one of his first orders of business was to establish the CCC. The new president stated his vision of creating an agency which would perform complex work devoted to forestry, the prevention of soil erosion, flood control, firefighting, building of parks and similar projects.  From its inception in 1933 until 1942, some 2 million young men flocked to join and were put to work on the nation’s infrastructure. Pay was $30 per month, of which $25 was mandated to be sent home to assist the families. Benefits included increased employability as well as gaining a sense of dignity. They were doing important work for their country and they knew it. Nationwide crime statistics saw a 55% reduction for the same age group. Our nation’s forests saw 97,000 miles of fire roads and 3,500 fire towers built. Over 3 billion trees were planted. At least 4 million man days were expended on firefighting. Millions of acres of wildlife habitat were protected and many thousands of fully-equipped campgrounds were developed. By 1935 there were 500,000 men living in 2,600 camps in all states. California had over 150 camps. The CCC program was very popular among the general population. One result was in fostering an appreciation of the outdoors and of the nation’s natural resources. The San Bernardino Mountains was the home to some half dozen camps; from Miller Canyon, Lake Arrowhead and City Creek out to Fawnskin. While it was acknowledged that there was still much work to be done, the events at Pearl Harbor caused a shift in priorities and the camps permanently closed by 1942.


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.


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 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.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #912 February 21, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from Bill Pumford

TITLE: Father Garces Expedition: This week’s image is a photo of a tablet dedicated in 1931 to the travels of Father Francisco Garces and Jedediah Smith. The plaque, placed by the San Bernardino County Historical Society, is located on Monument Peak. Garces was born Francisco Tomas Hermenegildo Garces on 12 April 1738 in Spain. He was a Spanish priest and Franciscan friar who became a missionary at an early age. Garces traveled extensively in Sonora, Arizona and California as those areas are now known in the New World. Father Graces went on five expeditions from 1768 through 1776. His last expedition, 1775-1776, took him through the San Bernardino Mountains. During the month of March 1776 Father Garces, accompanied by several Mojave Indians, traveled from the Colorado River to the mission at San Gabriel.

Based upon distances traveled, landmarks and stopping points it appears that Father Garces traveled up Sawpit Canyon on 21/22 March 1776 with his diary entries of “entering a canyon of much wood, grass and water; I saw many cottonwoods, alders, oaks, very tall firs and beautiful junipers.” After reaching the summit Father Garces was able to see the ocean and named the valley below – Valle de San Joseph. He is considered to be the first white man to visit the San Bernardino Mountains.

After continuing down the western side of the mountains near Devils Canyon Father Garces connected with the well-known Anza trail which took the Father and his party to Mission San Gabriel. One might wonder why Father Garces and the Mojave Indians did not use Cajon Pass instead of Sawpit Canyon. In the 1700’s there were no wagons, horses or automobiles. Travel by the Mojave Indians was by foot using the most direct route.

In July of 1781 there was an Indian uprising along the Colorado River. During this period Father Garces was slain along with several other clerics. His remains are buried in Tubutama, Sonora, Mexico.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #911 February 14, 2019


By Ken Brafman, Image from Camp Paivika Archives

There’s a camp in Crestline that has been providing lots of year-round fun to kids with special needs for over 70 years. The name is from the Cahuilla and means “dawn.” Nestled on some 11 acres out on the Rim, Camp Paivika has a history which has been focused on opportunity. Crippled Children’s Society was founded in 1926 by Lawrence L. Frank, a Rotarian. The name AbilityFirst was adopted in 1999. In the 1940’s and 50’s polio as well as birth defects were robbing children of their childhood and causing much suffering. Lucia Laufeld was a special education teacher in Los Angeles who approached Mr. Frank. He shared in the vision of a camp where disabled or special needs kids could go and get to just be kids. A special use permit was obtained in order to develop the site on Playground Drive. Growth has been steady and by the time the camp celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1997 there were a swimming pool and gazebo built as well as dormitories, crafts center, dining hall, fully-equipped cabins and more. A popular spot is the recreation room which contains a large screen TV along with other technology as well as game tables and entertainment. There are horseback riding lessons and many more activities. Kelly Kunsek joined the camp in 1995 and is the current director. Ms. Kunsek notes, “We have been doing the same thing for over 70 years and we’ve never missed a summer.” Due to the camp’s location the Old Fire of 2003 was a major threat but thanks to the high presence and hard work of the various agencies, the camp was saved. “It was very scary, watching the fire skirting the Rim,” adds Ms. Kunsek. “We had to evacuate the horses and other animals via Hwy. 173.” Camp Paivika continues to grow. A new, updated swimming pool was completed in 2014. For more information call (909) 338-1102.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #910 February 7, 2019

Mary Putnam Henck & Grace Williams

By Cindy Justice, Image from the ROWIA Archives

TITLE: HEAPS PEAK ARBORETUM: This week’s image shows Mary Putnam Henck (L) and Grace Williams (R) as they officiate at the Reforestation Project Dedication on June 17, 1931 (at the future site of Heaps Peak Arboretum). The sign reads: “Heaps Peak Reforestation Project Planted By The Lake Arrowhead Woman’s Club In Cooperation With The U.S. Forest Service.” The picture is from the Rim of the World Interpretive Association (ROWIA) archives. In the background one can see the devastation from the fire that totally destroyed the area in 1922. The Arboretum site is located just above where Fred Heaps established a ranch in the late 1800s. From 1928 through the mid-fifties the Lake Arrowhead Women’s Club undertook reforestation of the area. Its purpose was “to serve as a microcosm of the forest.” But after another destructive fire in 1956 the reforestation project was abandoned by the Forest Service, with the area becoming an illegal dumping ground. In 1982 George Hesemann, local teacher and naturalist, obtained permission from the Forest Service to redevelop the Arboretum. Volunteers began cleaning up the old dump and created trails. Only 4 trees had to be removed to create the trails and 175 were planted. In 1984 Hesemann formed the Rim of the World Interpretive Association to support and care for the Arboretum. When he retired in 1985 he dedicated the rest of his life to nurturing the Arboretum and its Botanical Gardens. The Arboretum was and is now maintained solely by volunteers. One of Hesemann’s goals was to make sure the area was available to everyone. The upgraded wheelchair accessible trail was dedicated over Labor Day weekend in 1998. Sadly Hesemann, who was lovingly called “the guardian of the forest,” suffered a heart attack and died just days before the dedication. Located between Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs on Hwy. 18, the Arboretum is open all year. Visit: for more information.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #909 January 31, 2019††

Camp Cajon Monument

By Bill Pumford, Image from Mark Landis

TITLE: Camp Cajon MONUMENT Project: This week’s image is a composite of markers representing the Camp Cajon Monument Project. On July 4, 1919, Camp Cajon was opened as a rest stop for motorists traveling through the Cajon Pass. Camp Cajon consisted of several unique buildings, picnic tables and a large stone monument. In addition, several organizations such as the Elks Club, the Mission Inn and Santa Fe Railroad built and maintained buildings at the camp to support their specific groups. The buildings were constructed along old Route 66 which is the present-day Wagon Train Road. The site is just south of the McDonald’s at the intersection of I-15 and Hwy 138. During the great flood of 1938 Camp Cajon was decimated and was never rebuilt. The goal of the Camp Cajon Monument Project is to rebuild the monument and hold a rededication ceremony on July 4 of this year to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the camp’s original opening.

Participating organizations include Rim of the World Historical Society, E Clampus Vitus, the Highland Historical Society, the San Bernardino Pioneer & Historical Society, the Wrightwood Historical Society, Mojave Historical Society and the California Historic Route 66 Association.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #908 January 24, 2019

By Ken Brafman, Photo from the Rothman Collection

TITLE: SQUINT’S ‘MOONSHINE’ RANCH: This week’s image comes from a real 1920’s photo and represents a colorful period in our mountain’s past. A few miles north of Lake Arrowhead is 80-acre Squint’s Ranch. William ‘Squint’ Worthington (the tall man on the right) was only in his late teens when he started working for the Talmadge Sawmill clearing timber and brush from the bottom of Little Bear Valley, where a dam was being constructed. Some 20 years later the project would become known as Lake Arrowhead. ‘Squint’ worked in prospecting, logging and he was an expert trapper. At the sawmill he discovered that he could supplement his income considerably by supplying his fellow workers with moonshine. In establishing his homestead around 1899, which would later become known as Squint’s Ranch, he realized that the remoteness of his location was the perfect formula for increasing his moonshine operation and output. His stills became legendary in their ability to allude detection by the authorities. Forest Ranger Bert Switzer, for whom Switzer Park in Skyforest is named, may have come closest to finding the stills. For the rest of his life Switzer proudly wore his ranger cap which had earned a bullet hole in it…from his getting a little too close. His operation grew steadily so that when Prohibition hit in 1920 ‘Squint’ was in the position to make a fortune. His customers for ‘White Mule’ whiskey included the Tudor Inn, North Shore Tavern, Chef’s Inn, Saddleback Inn among other hotels and resorts. Worthington died in 1930, willing the ranch to his great grand-nephew who was his only surviving relative. Subsequent owners have included pilots who have made use of the airstrip, which was completed in 1960, as well as the ranch. A couple movies and videos have been filmed at the location over the years. With its proximity to Deep Creek various types of recreation remain popular including hiking, camping, horseback riding and prospecting.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #907 January 17, 2019

Snow Valley

By Cindy Justice, Photo from ROWHS Collection

TITLE: SNOW VALLEY SKI RESORT: This week’s image is of the first steel-towered single chair lift in Southern California which was built in 1949 at Snow Valley Ski Resort. The picture, taken in the early 50s, is on display at the Mountain History Museum. Snow Valley, formerly called Fish Camp, was a primitive campsite at the headwaters of Deep Creek. From the turn of the century until the 1930s Fish Camp was a popular cross-country ski destination. In 1923 an 11-mile extension of the Rim of the World Highway, aptly named the Arctic Circle, made Fish Camp easily accessible to the influx of skiing enthusiasts from around the world such as Norwegian ski jumping champions the Engen brothers and Johnny Elvrum. Sverre Engen bought the food concession building at Fish Camp in 1937; that same year the Lake Arrowhead Corporation was granted a permit to build a 1,300-foot motorized rope tow lift. The ski lift, combined with an existing ski jump, increased business immensely. Engen decided that Fish Camp was no name for a ski resort so it was changed to Snow Valley. In 1939 the Arrowhead Springs Corporation bought the Snow Valley facilities from Engen. But before any improvements could be made the corporation went bankrupt. Johnny Elvrum bought the resort at auction in 1941. Elvrum began constructing new facilities and by 1949 he had completed the mile-long 144 chair ski lift pictured above. The Lodge at Snow Valley burned in 1949 and a new one was built in its place which is still open today. Elvrum operated Snow Valley until 1971, when he sold his interest to The Nordic Group, the company that still owns it today. Elvrum died in 2006 at age 97. Snow Valley, the oldest ski resort in Southern California, continues to be a huge tourist draw and asset to our mountain economy.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #906 January 10, 2019

Alpine Terrace Resort

By Bill Pumford, Photo from ROWHS Collection

TITLE: ALPINE TERRACE RESORT: This week’s image is taken from a photo showing the Lodge of the Alpine Terrace Resort located in Twin Peaks. As some of you may recognize, this is the current Antlers Inn. In 1923 Gregory Dexter decided to purchase lots in the Twin Peaks area and build cabins to rent. The land development business was booming on the mountain and the Dexters wanted to take advantage of the boom. Three cabins were initially constructed and were quickly rented. In order to attract visitors a dance floor was built outside and was, for a time, quite the attraction. The Alpine Terrace Resort was built by Gregory Dexter in the 1920’s and consisted initially of the Lodge (completed in 1925), 18 rental cabins and a dance floor. Lumber for the construction of the lodge came from a recently burned out area in Running Springs. Greg’s wife, Julia, ran the resort. The Dexter family lived in Cabin #6 shortly after completion of its construction. In 1925 a school was needed to support the children in the area. After finding the minimum requirement of 11 children the state approved the school which was housed in one of the Alpine Terrace Resort cabins. The Dexters received $10 per month for compensation which was well worth it to the Dexters to have schooling so close. An advertisement in 1947 in the Los Angeles Times offered a Labor Day Weekend special at the Alpine Terrace Resort where one could get transportation and a cabin for $17.50. Quite the bargain. By this time 24 cabins were available for rent. A 1951 advertisement offered these cabins for $30 per week. The promotions most often cited dining, dancing and cabins in a scenic mountain setting. In 1968 the Alpine Terrace Resort was renamed Antlers Inn. Twenty cabins are still available to rent.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #905 January 3, 2019


by Ken Brafman Photo Credit: Ken Brafman

TITLE: METATE TRAIL: This week’s image comes from a real 8 x 10 black & white photo. The Metate Trail is just north of the community of Lake Arrowhead and offers a small taste of the over 500 miles of hiking opportunities in the San Bernardino National Forest. This easy, family-friendly trail will bring you to some impressive relics from our state’s Native American past. Metates were used by the Serrano Indians who lived a nomadic existence in these mountains for over 2,500 years. The grinding holes pictured were carved into large slabs of bedrock and are called “mortars.” Serrano women used “manos” (or “pestles”) to grind acorns, pinon nuts and other grain. The Serrano came to this area every spring because of the plentiful acorn crop and mild climate. To make acorn flour was a multi-step process which involved first soaking the acorns to remove their skin, then grinding them into a flour. This was then made into a meal and leached with boiling water to remove the bitterness. The resulting mush was further processed into “Wiiwish” which could then be served. Wiiwish is still consumed today by some California tribes and is prepared traditionally or by using more modern methods. The Serrano are a Native American tribe of Southern California. They call themselves the Yuhaviatam which means “people of the pines.” After a century of brutal hardships culminating in the massacre of 1866, which saw militia forces kill men, women and children, tribal leader Santos Manuel led the remaining Yuhaviatam down the mountain to safety. The reservation bearing his name was established in 1891.

MOUNTAIN MILEPOSTS #904 December 26, 2018

Mozumdar, Pillars of God

by Bill Pumford PHOTO CREDIT: Russ Keller Collection

TITLE: Mozumdar, Pillars of God: This week’s image is taken from a real mailed photo postcard from 1947. The Pillars of God are located at what is now known as Camp Mozumdar. In the 1920’s A.K. Mozumdar, a religious mystic from India, purchased property in the San Bernardino mountains and created an environment for teaching and community involvement. The Pillars of God was designed by William Lodge, a prominent architect from San Diego and ardent follower of Mozumdar, and constructed in the early 1930’s. There are twelve pillars representing, it is believed, the twelve apostles. The Pillars of God, also known as the amphitheater, was dedicated to Alvin Splane who died in an aviation training accident in 1918. Alvin’s mother, Minnie Splane, was one of A.K. Mozumdar’s most significant benefactors. Through the decades the amphitheater has been used for a number and variety of community events such as weddings, lectures, religious seminars, and concerts. In 1952 Jane Russell, along with several other acts, provided a benefit concert to support the Cedarpines Park Children’s Public Playground. As can be dimly seen from the photo, there are lighting fixtures on each of the twelve pillars. Over the years all but two of these two foot tall light fixtures have been shot out by vandals. In addition, the wooden benches used by the attendees of events have been destroyed by the numerous fires the area has experienced. Since 1930 the property was occupied by A.K. Mozumdar until 1950 when the YMCA purchased the property. In 1977 the YMCA sold the property to the Unification Movement started by the Reverend Moon from South Korea.


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