April 9, 2020

TITLE: THE LIFE OF A MOUNTAIN LAKE: Last week we spotlighted a few of our local lakes, and some of the challenges they experienced through the years. Crestline’s Moon Lake was formed by the blocking of Dart Creek. It experienced the ultimate challenge in that it ceased to exist. This week’s image is taken from a real photo postcard and shows Moon Lake on the right. The large building in the foreground is the original Arrowhead Valley Club which was built in 1926 for members of the Masonic Order. The name of the post office, shown on the postcard as “MOONLAKE,” was eventually changed to Switzerland to capitalize on the alpine resort theme. Following a closure during the Great Depression the club came under new ownership, underwent extensive renovation and was reopened in 1939 as the Club San Moritz. The lake was small, around one-quarter the size of Lake Gregory, which was filled around the same time. It was approximately one acre in surface area and had a depth not exceeding six feet. Still, the little lake saw a lot of canoe activity during the summer months, as well as fishing. In the winter the shallow lake froze, making it a popular place to ice skate. As the club continued to gain in post-war popularity throughout the 1940’s boat docks were added and fishing derbies were held, along with other activities. The success led to the purchase of additional land around Lake Gregory, culminating in the building of a secondary, expanded clubhouse which opened in the early 1950’s. Meanwhile a fire of suspicious origin consumed most of the old clubhouse. In the early 1960’s, as a result of a persistent problem with mosquitoes, Moon Lake was drained. Today Valley of the Moon lives on, while Moon Lake sleeps peacefully beneath the parking lot of a popular local church. By Ken Brafman, Image from Ken Brafman Collection.

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