By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
Smokey Bear missed having his birthday party last year at the Mountain History Museum and is excited that on Aug. 8, from noon to 3 p.m. he will get to celebrate his 77th birthday in Lake Arrowhead. He invites all his friends and those who want to meet him to the museum for this year’s birthday party.
The docents at the museum will be serving free cupcakes and lemonade and invite all to bring their cameras and cellphones to take free selfies with Smokey.
While at the museum, enjoy the many new exhibits of individual community timelines and photos, a video of movies made in the San Bernardino Mountains will be shown, as well as several videos of history, including Twin Peaks, the local Indians and the U.S. Forest Service.
New displays make up nearly 90 percent of the exhibits, from the central exhibit of the building of the Lake Arrowhead water release tower in the middle of the lake, the train engine that helped build the dam, Arrowhead Springs, strange medical devices of the latter 1800s and early 1900s, and even some of the animals of the local forest for up-close viewing.
For those with an interest in local history, the bookstore has an excellent selection of local historical books, many from local authors. The newest book in the store is Come Up for the Air from Russ Keller, the third book in his history trilogy. The first two books focused on Lake Arrowhead and Crestline. This one focuses more on the towns along the Rim of the World Highway, beginning in Waterman Canyon with the Arrowhead Springs Hotel and traveling up Old Waterman Canyon Road to the crest and along the Rim with stops in Rimforest, Skyforest and Santa’s Village and getting up to Running Springs with the Enchanted Forest, Green Valley Lake and Snow Valley.
He also has chapters on the CCC camps and the Cajon Pass and early-day road climbs. The book also includes many photos of old cars at different eras of history over the past 100 years.
Smokey’s visit to the museum is always a popular event and, with the new outside patio and new display room, Smokey will also be excited to see the new exhibits, including the one on the San Bernardino Forest and how logging brought people to the forest and how it has affected it.
The Mountain History Museum is located at 27176 Peninsula Drive in Lake Arrowhead.