Logging in the Mountains

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San Bernardino Mountains, CA, July 26, 2014 - Although Big Bear and the surrounding San Bernardino mountain communities are best known for recreation, outdoor locations for Hollywood productions, and the gold rush of the late 1800s, it was logging that was the big industry in the early 1900s. Logging in the San Bernardino Mountains was once done … [Read more...]

Resort Life… in Turn of the Century Big Bear

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Big Bear, CA, May 31, 2014 - As soon as Big Bear Lake was created by building the original 'Rock Dam' in 1885, tourists started visiting  Bear Valley. In 1888, Gus Knight Jr. and John Metcalf purchased 80 acres on the south shore of the lake to build the valley's first resort, The Bear Valley Hotel. Despite the fact that it took two days by stage … [Read more...]

The Road to Big Bear

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Big Bear, CA, April 26, 2014 - The first road into the San Bernardino Mountains, which was really just a trail, was built by the Mormons in 1852 and ascended Waterman Canyon. Big Bear Lake was created in 1885 and the only way up, other than a pack trail up Santa Ana Canyon, was a long arduous trip up Cushenbury Grade. To get to the Grade, visitors … [Read more...]

There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!

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  Big Bear, CA, March 15, 2014 - In 1848, gold was discovered in northern California which brought thousands of people to the state from all over the world. One of these people was Bill Holcomb who tried his luck up north, but quickly decided to head to southern California. He heard rumors of gold in Big Bear Valley, but wasn't sure … [Read more...]

Hollywood Loves Big Bear

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  Big Bear, CA, February 22, 2014 - In July of 1911, a movie company from back east arrived at the new Pine Knot Lodge in Big Bear and began filming. That began a love affair between Hollywood and Big Bear that still continues. At about the same time, tourism started taking off in the valley, but only in the summer. During the … [Read more...]

1884 – Big Bear Gets a Dam and a Lake

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    Big Bear Lake, CA, February 15, 2014 - Frank Brown and Hiram Barton rode into Big Bear Valley on horseback in May of 1883. They quickly concluded that if they built a dam at the narrow west end of the valley, they would create a lake five and a half miles long that could supply much needed water to thirsty communities down … [Read more...]

Native American History Month is a Good Reason to Visit the Local Museum

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San Bernardino County, CA, November 12, 2013 - The ancestry and traditions of American Indians have been celebrated nationally every year since 1994. In support, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has passed a proclamation recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month. Supervisor James Ramos said he was proud that the County … [Read more...]

Historical Society seeks museum docents

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Big Bear City, CA, April 1, 2013 - The Big Bear Valley Historical Society is getting ready to open the museum for the 2013 season, and they are seeking docents to help with operations. No prior knowledge of Big Bear history is needed; that will be provided in training manuals and at two one-hour training sessions, scheduled at the museum on … [Read more...]

Historical Society Taco “Friend Raiser”

Big Bear Lake, CA, March 22, 2013 - Sonora Cantina will host a “Friend Raiser” next Monday to help raise money for the Big Bear Valley Historical Society. “Tacos With A Purpose” will take place on Monday, March 25th, from 12 noon until 8:30pm at Sonora Cantina in Big Bear Lake. You don’t have to cook or clean up, and you’ll have a … [Read more...]

Everything you always wanted to know about the mob

Big Bear City, CA, March 11, 2013 - Kim Sweet is back as Museum Curator for the Big Bear Valley Historical Society, and she’ll be the featured speaker at its next general meeting. The public is invited to attend March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Discovery Center to hear her plans for the museum and its contents. The Historical Society does not have a … [Read more...]