Tag: big bear valley historical society

Hollywood Loves Big Bear

  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 winter, Big Bear sat empty. However, an enterprising local named Fred Skinner who was the manager of the new Pine Knot Lodge, let Hollywood know that the Lodge would remain open during the winter if the studios wanted to come up and film. He even brought in a generator, giving Pine Knot Lodge electricity five years before it reached the valley. Until the ski resorts came along, it was the movie business that kept Big Bear alive during the winter months. ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ was filmed on location here in 1920 as well as other films such as the 1969 musical ‘Paint Your Wagon’ starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, Disney’s ‘Old Yeller’, and the 1983 film ‘War Games’ with Matthew Broderick. The television industry also found Big Bear. In 1969, the show ‘HR Pufnstuf’ shot their opening sequence right on the lake. Episodes of ‘Daniel Boone’ were shot here and a number of ‘Bonanza’ episodes were shot up at Cedar Lake. ‘Lassie’, ‘FBI’,...

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1884 – Big Bear Gets a Dam and a Lake

    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 the hill. For economic reasons, they decided on a stone arch dam 52 feet high, built of hand cut granite blocks weighing as much as 5 tons each. The dam was finished in 1884 at a cost of $75,000., creating the largest man made lake in the world at the time. In 1910, due to the growing citrus industry in the valleys below, it was decided a new, larger dam was needed to increase the capacity of the lake. An unusual, multiple-arch design was built by John Eastwood about 300 feet further downstream. Cement and supplies were hauled up the mountain from Victorville by teams of horses. It was finished in 1912, costing $138,000. The new design did not inspire public confidence. However, it proved it’s strength when it withstood a large earthquake in 1921 without a crack. The new dam, which was 20 feet higher than the old 1884 dam, increased the the size of the lake from 1800 acres to 2500 acres and...

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

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 “is a leader in recognizing and honoring the significant contributions Native Americans have made to the nation.” Those contributions include developing unbreakable codes during the world wars to communicate military messages, a life-saving practice that was explored in the movies Windtalkers and The Code Talkers: A Secret Code of Honor. Locally, the Big Bear Valley Historical Society has information on Native Americans, both online and in their bookstore as well, with titles like Big Bear Yesterday and Indians of the Big Bear...

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Historical Society seeks museum docents

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 April 23 and May 9 at 10:00 a.m. The museum is open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays, and two three-hour shifts are available: 10:00 to 1:00 and 1:00 to 4:00. The museum is located at the northeast end of Big Bear City Park off Greenway Drive, just east of the airport. For more information, call Debi Botteron at (909) 255-4063 or send an email to...

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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 choice of delicious tacos for only one dollar each. Choose Ground Beef, Chicken, Pork, Shredded Beef or a Veggie Taco. Plus, they’ll have an opportunity drawing with the money raised from the event going to the Big Bear Valley Historical Society’s Building Expansion Fund. They still have multiple financial needs for the future of the Big Bear...

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