MILEPOSTS #1004

By Ken Brafman, Image from Ken Brafman Collection

TITLE: ARROWBEAR LAKE: The community of Arrowbear Lake is located east of Running Springs, just off Highway 18. The town gets its name from the fact that it lies halfway between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake. By the early 1900’s Brookings Lumber Company’s practice of clear cutting resulted in there being little timber left to harvest across their vast acreage, and by 1913 the company pulled up stakes and relocated to Brookings, Oregon. In the 1920’s tourism and development was booming, boosted by the building of improved motorways such as City Creek Road. In 1923 D. Dade Davis, a recent college graduate, arranged financial backing and purchased more than half of Brookings’ holdings, over 5,000 acres – at $6 an acre. In 1924 part of this land, which was by then partially reforested with pines, was leased to a real estate developer named E. R. Capstaff, who in turn subleased the acreage to M. E. Carlock. Carlock started the Arrow-Bear Company with the help of Los Angeles-based backers who provided a $200,000 grubstake to build a small community of 50 cabins, a town hall and clubhouse, and various facilities. A contractor named Helmar “Swede” Nyquist was hired to build a dam across a fork of Deep Creek, creating Arrowbear Lake. The week’s image is a real photo postcard showing the lake and clubhouse around 1927. The new lake was stocked with trout, becoming an added selling feature to promote the cabins and lots. Lots typically sold for $50 to $250, and with some ambition and proficiency with tools a cabin could be built for well under $1000. Today Arrowbear Lake is a quiet enclave of around 700 people, who enjoy a relatively secluded environment, back up against national forest. For close to 80 years the Arrowbear Music Camp has nurtured young musicians, filling the valley with melody. There are fishing derbies and softball tournaments, along with plenty of the ambience we have long come to expect from our mountain nest.

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