Milepost #925

May 30, 2019

By Cindy Justice, Photo from Russ Keller Collection

This week’s image is a real photo which was featured in the original 1920s real estate brochure advertising ‘Club Arrowhead of the Pines’ which is now known as the Tudor House. Opening in 1926, Club Arrowhead was part of an upscale real estate development owned by Atkins Realty called Arrowhead Villas. During the 1920s building boomed in the area. The North Shore Tavern as well as the Arlington Lodge (Lake Arrowhead Lodge) opened. Contrary to a popular legend, Bugsy Siegel had no connection to gambling, bootlegging or prostitution at the Tudor House. Bugsy didn’t move to California until the late 1930s, long after Prohibition had ended. However, there is ample evidence that all three illegal activities were prevalent during the 20s. A complete still with a 500-gallon tank was uncovered in the northeast corner of the Tudor House by previous owners. The ‘Club’ had one of the purest water sources on the mountain which was essential for making high quality whiskey. John Adams’ fine apple brandy was brewed in Crestline’s Dart Canyon area and shipped in the bodies of some ‘very high-priced chickens.’ William ‘Squint’ Worthington, owner of Squint’s Ranch along Deep Creek, augmented his ranch activities by supplying bootleg liquor to local residents as well as mountain nightspots that catered to tourists. Mirror signals flashed up the hill by a sheriff’s station informer warned of imminent raids. Children on the Rim watching for signals and relaying warnings were rewarded with treats. Dummy slot machines were set up that could be smashed to make the raid look authentic. The Bracken Fern Inn across from the Tudor house was originally a general store, but local legend says that there was a brothel upstairs over the store. For more information about the Roaring Twenties and many other moments in mountain history please stop by the Mountain History Museum open now through October.

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