Big Bear History Site

history and facts about Big Bear, California
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Welcome To The Big Bear History Site

If you are new to this website, a good place to start is with the menu at the top of this page which contains the following information:

BIG BEAR HISTORICAL ARTICLES – This collection of articles provides basic information about specific topics in Big Bear’s rich history.

BIG BEAR HISTORICAL TIMELINE – This is a chronological timetable of noteworthy events that shaped Big Bear’s history. It’s a continuing work in progress that is constantly being updated on an irregular basis.

If you have visited us before,  use  the search box at the top right of this page to find specific information and old Big Bear photos.

Most of the content appearing on this website comes from the information and material acquired during the production of our weekly TV series the Big Bear History Show on Channel-6, and in the publishing of the book “Vanishing Big Bear”.

This website is constantly being updating on a daily/weekly basis.   The latest updates are in the Posts below.  Enjoy, and visit us often.

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The Story of Cedar Lake

 

The old Cedar Lake mill. - Rick Keppler collection

The old Cedar Lake mill movie set was built for “Trail Of The Lonesome Pine” in 1936. – Rick Keppler collection

A couple miles west of the Big Bear village, up in the hills off of USFS road 2N10, nestled in the woods, is a small manmade lake, which is the home of the Cedar Lake Christian Camp.  Today it  provides lodging and camping accommodations to private groups, and is also a popular location for the film industry.

Cedar Lake was constructed in 1928, as part of an ambitious resort and real estate development that never materialized .  Since then, hundreds of movies have been filmed in this picturesque location.  Click here for more photos, and the story of historic Cedar Lake.

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Cecil B. DeMille

Hollywood producer/director Cecil B. DeMille used Big Bear Lake as a film set for many years.  He had a home on the lake, and was a familiar face in the Big Bear community. - Rick Keppler collection.

Hollywood producer/director Cecil B. DeMille used Big Bear Lake as a film set for many years. He had a home on the lake, and was a familiar face in the Big Bear community. – Rick Keppler collection.

Famous film director/producer Cecil B. DeMille  was one of the first Hollywood producers to use Big Bear as a location for a filming.  He not only filmed in Big Bear Lake, he built a home up here, and became  involved in real estate development on the south side of the lake.  CLICK HERE to check out his story.

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NEW VIDEO SECTION

We plan to add a lot more historical videos to this Big Bear History site.  So we’ve created a new “Historical Video” section on the menu bar above.  To get things started we posted a new video about the historic Mel Blanc home in Sawmill Cove.  Check it out in the above menu bar, or click here!  Visit us often for more new videos!

Sawmill Cove today, with the historic Blanc mountain home. - © Rick Keppler Collection.

Sawmill Cove today, with the historic Blanc home. - © Rick Keppler Collection.

Sawmill Cove in the late 1800's, after the dam was built that drowned 9,000 trees. - Rick Keppler Collection.

Sawmill Cove as it was in the late 1800's. - Rick Keppler Collection.

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Classic Boat Returns To Big Bear Lake!

The August 25, 2012, Big Bear Classic Boat Show had a beautifully restored 26‘ Chris Craft named “Step In Again 1”.  Sixty years ago, this boat was a familiar site on Big Bear Lake.  It was part of a fleet of four “Step In Again” high performance tour boats that operated on the lake from the late 1930’s through the early 1950’s.  “Step In Again One” was the most powerful, and fastest boat in this small fleet.  What made it so unique, was that it was powered by a huge 500 hp Allison aircraft engine.  It was removed from Big Bear in the late 1940′s, when it’s engine blew up on a high speed run down the lake.

Now after more than sixty years later, “Step In Again 1″ is back on Big Bear Lake.  Click Here for more photos and the full story.

A beautifully restored "Step In Again 1" at the 2012 Big Bear Lake Classic Boat Show.  © 2012.

A beautifully restored "Step In Again 1" at the 2012 Big Bear Lake Classic Boat Show. © 2012.

Big Bear Lake

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