Milepost #942

September 26, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection

This week’s image is of a postcard depicting the Village Inn. Of all of the resorts in the Lake Arrowhead Village area the Village Inn was one of the longest lasting. The Village Inn was constructed in 1923 and was closely associated with the Arlington Lodge built in the same year. The cost of the Village Inn property was estimated to be $80,000 which included 40 rooms in the main building and 60 additional rooms in cottages. Both resorts often shared the same manager although the Village Inn was based upon the European Plan whereas the Arrowhead Lodge was based upon the American Plan. I did not realize that the cost for European Plan was room only and American Plan included room and meals. In early 1925 a group of people from the film industry purchased the Village Inn and renamed it the Screen Club Inn. The plan was to keep the new Inn open to the public for a while and then change the name to Screen Club when membership would then be limited to film people. This experiment lasted less than one year and the property became the Village Inn once more. In 1938 fire damaged the Lodge as well as the Village Inn. The Inn was repaired and continued its fine service. For decades the Village Inn provided inexpensive lodging as well as convenient meeting places for the many civic groups on the mountain including the Women’s Club. The Village Inn was open year-round and its winter room rates in 1945 were between $4.00 and $6.00 per night. In April of 1979 the Village Inn had the distinction, if one could call it that, of being the first structure to be set afire during the massive Burn to Learn exercise that burned all of the Lake Arrowhead village except the Pavilion.

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