A History of Lake Arrowhead, California
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.
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 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.
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.
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.