July 2, 2020

By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection

HOW DID CRESTLINE GET ITS NAME?: This week’s image is a 1915 photo of early Crestline at the present-day corner of Highway 138 and Crest Forest Drive. During the period 1890 to 1910 a number of camps were established in what is now Crestline. The camps existed to provide a place for people to escape the summer heat down below. Most of these camps consisted of clusters of tents with two of the more prominent camps being Camp Lincoln and Pioneer Camp. Camp Lincoln was located at the summit where Crestline Top Town is now located. As this was a stagecoach stop and was also used by Arrowhead Reservoir Company for their horses and oxen many flies were present leading the area to be derisively called “Fly Camp.”  In 1899, within a five-mile radius of Camp Lincoln there were 15 camps ranging in population from 10 to 50 persons. Much of the information in this column came from Rhea-Frances Tetley’s book “Crestline Chronicles.” In July of 1906 Henry Guernsey, a prominent lumberman, wanted to develop the area north of Skyland and held a contest for the naming of the new resort area. About 180 entries were received during the first round of the contest, many of which consisted of multiple words like “Summer City in the Pines.” The Crest Resort directors decided that a single name was preferable. The second round drew a few more single word names and the winning entry was Crestline which had been submitted by the San Bernardino coroner, Dr. Wesley Thompson, who was himself a very prominent figure in the San Bernardino Mountains. For his winning entry Dr. Thompson received $50 towards the purchase of any lot (which ranged between $50 and $350 at that time) in the new Crest Resort development. The award announcement was made at Andy Fletcher Triangle Park (on Crest Forest and Fern).

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