Milepost #949

November 14, 2019

By Bill Pumford, Image from ROWHS Collection

GREEN VALLEY LAKE: This week’s image is a 1912 photo of the Toll House at Green Valley. In late 1889 the Bear Valley Toll Road was built between Fredalba and Fawnskin, basically following an old burro trail. The toll road went through Little Green Valley later renamed Green Valley. A waystation was operated by Ben Pitts and later the Toll House was built. Toll gate operators bid on contracts issued by San Bernardino County that allowed them to collect tolls in return for maintaining their portion of the toll road and the Toll House. In 1896 August Knight paid $400 for being able to operate the Green Valley toll gate and maintain the road. In 1912, when the photo above was taken, George Tillett operated the toll gate. When completed in 1915 the Rim of the World Drive went through Green Valley bringing many visitors. In 1925 a 70-foot dam was completed in Green Valley which created the lake for which the area is now named. The dam cost $80,000 and was built by the DeWitt-Blair company. The new lake allowed C.F. DeWitt to build a resort in Green Valley Lake for purchasers of property who became members of the Top of the World Club. In July of 1926 advertisements for Green Valley Lake touted the area as the mountain’s newest lake having swimming, boating, fishing, cabins, dancing, a restaurant, and free camping. Lots were being offered at $195 which included part ownership in the lake. Newer roads bypassed part of old Rim of the World Drive that went through Green Valley Lake putting that town a couple of miles off the main road. Over time Green Valley Lake, like other mountain communities, attracted many people that came to enjoy the scenery. A hotel, lodge, trading post, café, ski shop, and market all existed at one time in Green Valley Lake.

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