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History of Lake Arrowhead

A History of Lake Arrowhead, California

history of lake arrowhead.Lake Arrowhead is a resort town located in San Bernardino County, California. It is part of the San Bernardino Natural Forest, located 90 miles east of Los Angeles. During the 1920s it was known as “Hollywood’s Playground.” A lot of films were shot around Lake Arrowhead to take advantage of the natural beauty of the area.

Earliest Settlers
The earliest settlers in Lake Arrowhead were the Serrano Indians. “Serrano” is a Spanish word meaning “mountaineer” or “highlander.” These Native Americans called themselves “Yuhaviat,” or “people of the pine place or pine trees.” They were part of a group of Native Americans known as Shoshonean, and they stood about five feet tall, with brown skin and coarse black hair.

The Serranos took their old and sick to Arrowhead hot springs for rejuvenation and healing. They hunted in the beautiful and bountiful valley and lived comparatively calm, fairly nomadic lives, descending to the desert highlands and warmer inland valleys in the winter months. White man in the San Bernadino Valley was first interested in lumber.

The Dam
During the 1800s, the San Bernardino Mountains maintained a flourishing lumber and fur industry. Lake Arrowhead was created from meadowland around the turn of the century. The area was dammed to create a reservoir to support the water needs of the town. It took several years to fill up from rain, which continues to be the only source of water replenishment.

The land at what would be the bottom of the lake was cleared to prevent decay from becoming a problem and fouling the water. The dam was to be 200 feet high, 720 feet wide, and 1100 feet thick at the base.

By 1913, Little Bear Dam was complete and Arrowhead Reservoir was a reality. But the water project died in court and no water was ever delivered to San Bernardino County. The court rendered the dam’s diversion of water illegal. The lake behind the dam had partially filled with water, but the project was abandoned. There was a payoff for the investors, even so. The assessed value of the land in the reservoir’s basin increased 4000 percent in 22 years. Local investors sold the property to a Los Angeles syndicate in 1921.

the arrowhead of lake arrowhead.In 1946 the Los Angeles Turf Club bought the lake and the surrounding area. Early guests to the conference center, which was then the old North Shore Tavern, arrived by ferry or by riding horses around the lake. In 1957 the Los Angeles Turf Club made a decision to donate some properties around the area to promote a sense of community and encourage more residents, thereby making the property values higher.

The Arrowhead
Even the most casual tourist to Lake Arrowhead is acquainted with the prominent natural attraction in the foothills of Waterman Canyon. The distinctive arrowhead was produced by a layer of granite about a foot-and-a-half underneath the Earth’s surface, which permits only shallow-rooted plants to grow there.

From the floor of the valley below the Mountain of the Arrowhead rises to a height of two thousand feet, and is visible with perfect clarity from a distance of thirty miles. Nowhere else in the world has nature fashioned a phenomenon so astounding.

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