By Ken Brafman, Image from ROWHS Collection

TITLE: LAKE ARROWHEAD’S LITTLE SISTER: Blue Jay is often referred to as “Lake Arrowhead’s Little Sister,” although it, along with Twin Peaks and Cedar Glen, was an established community before the Arrowhead Lake Company bought Little Bear Lake in 1921 and developed the resort. Blue Jay has its origins in the lumber industry. Sawmills were established beginning in the 1860’s and grew in efficiency as innovations like the steam-powered circular saw came into existence. The Caley Sawmill operated in the 1860’s and 1870’s and was located in the center of present-day Blue Jay. When the Arrowhead Reservoir Company Road became open to the public the area became a camping and fishing paradise, with the creek regularly stocked with trout. The new mecca was named Camp Blue Jay, for the plentiful birds of the same color. In 1914 the Wixom family homesteaded 22 acres and worked to gradually develop the area, building cabins as well as fishing ponds and amenities, and establishing a general store called “Wixom’s Corner.” Blue Jay officially got on the map with the establishment of the first post office in that store in 1924. With Lake Arrowhead full, Blue Jay had a shoreline. In the winter the bay froze over, and ice skating became popular. The Arrowhead management wanted to promote the resort as being four-season, so the ice-skating activity was included in advertisements. Since then, Blue Jay has been considered Lake Arrowhead’s entertainment district, with shopping, restaurants, movie theater, library, film festivals and parades. While no tourist visit to Lake Arrowhead is complete without taking a tour on the Arrowhead Queen, she was not the first such enterprise. This week’s image is a real photo showing the Blue Jay Ferry from the 1920’s. She had a sister ferry, the Lady Louise, which was designated for use by the Pacific Electric Camp. And so it is that Blue Jay has been an extension of Lake Arrowhead for some 100 years.

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