By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
This year, 2022, was the 100th anniversary of the opening of Lake Arrowhead Village and, in 1923, almost 100 years ago, the Arlington Mountain Lodge opened on the shores of Lake Arrowhead where the Lake Arrowhead Resort is now located.
It made logical sense to celebrate these milestones with the holiday dinner party for the Rim of the World Historical Society (ROWHS) with the theme “Roaring into the 1920s” at the Resort on Dec. 3. A changing photo collage of the 1920s in Lake Arrowhead was shown all evening long on the video screen.
The Arlington Mountain Lodge was advertised in 1923 as “Lake Arrowhead’s First Elegant Hotel.” The Arlington’s story and transition into the Lake Arrowhead Lodge was told on the evening’s program.
The Lake Arrowhead Village Merchants Association donated a collectible Lake Arrowhead Village centennial pin to each attendee, with the image of the 12-sided pavilion building that still stands in the village. The historical society was offered the opportunity last summer to operate a pop-up display for two weekends at Lake Arrowhead Village to celebrate the village’s anniversary.
The 1920s theme motivated many members to attend the party wearing period attire, featuring sequins and headbands. The clothing and the music for the dancing after dinner inspired Steve Valentine and Susan Middleton to demonstrate the Charleston and other period dances which really set the mood for a fun evening. The music then proceeded through the decades into modern times, encouraging those at the dinner to get up and dance. The dance floor was especially filled during the music of the 60s and 70s with many singing along to the popular songs of their youth, as they danced to the music of DJ Clay.
Attended by 125, the evening highlighted this past year’s accomplishments of the Mountain History Museum and historical society. ROWHS President Bill Pumford mentioned the many changes to the museum exhibits, which created new interest in the museum. The tours of students to the museum with many docents involved and the tours by the museum members to such places as Mozumdar Temple in Cedarpines Park, the Smiley Library and the Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, the tunnel tours led by Duane Banner and other events, including the Antique and Wooden Boat Show engaged the members with the community. The birthday party for Smokey Bear and the Halloween Spooktacular, along with the visits by Santa Claus, have brought new visitors to the museum this season.
Pumford introduced the new ROWHS board of directors for the coming year: Castulo Olivas, Chandra Olivas, Sandra Koos, Terry Ebert, Duane Banner, Past President Cindy Burnett, Secretary Ken Brafman, Treasurers Greg Naylor and John Stevens, and Vice President Marilyn Mays. There was a tribute to Al Sterns who is leaving the ROWHS board after doing so much for the society, including building and restoring the yodeler plaques in Crestline, both on the Switzerland monuments and at the bus stops and buildings in Crestline. The yodelers are historical logos from the 1930s to 1970s when the Club San Moritz was a prominent element in the mountain communities.
Volunteer of the Year honors went to Connie Johnson and Paula Anderson-Beswick who spent all last winter restoring the three Goodwin bears wall sculptures, which had been donated to the museum and needed restoration from their years outside in the front of Goodwin’s Market. The wooden sculptures of bears and forest animals, which are 12 feet tall, had been carved from cedar trees burned during the 2003 Old Fire. Johnson and Anderson-Beswick spent last winter with dental picks and sandpaper removing the years of weathering, and the sculptures are now beautifully displayed on the west wall of the museum on top of a lovely forested mural scene painted by Wes Abarca. This was all revealed during a dedication ceremony last spring.
Also recognized was Cindy Burnett, who was presented with a large bouquet of roses for her coordination of volunteers and her constant willingness to be at the museum whenever needed to keep it open, to work on displays or projects and her dedication to the museum, including supervising the expansion of the museum and adding the extra display room a year ago, which has enabled the museum to do so much more for the community, especially children’s activities.
The raffle baskets donated by Encompass Antiques and Gifts, Sycamore Ranch, SkyPark at Santa’s Village, the Huntington Library and the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, raised funds that will help keep the Mountain History Museum open.
The Mountain History Museum will be open only one more weekend in 2022: Dec. 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with an opportunity for parents to take their own photos of their children with Santa and for kids to make ornaments and watch A Charlie Brown Christmas in the theater. The open house will have cookies, hot chocolate, and mulled wine and coffee for adults. The gift store will be open for those seeking historical books and items for their holiday gifts.
Then the museum will be closed for the winter until Memorial Day weekend, except for group tours which can be scheduled by school, Scout, church, senior or other groups by calling (909) 744-8625 or going to thewebsite at www.mtnmuseum.org and emailing them a tour request.
However, the ROWHS volunteers and members will continue to work behind the scenes during the winter, weather permitting, doing collection work and designing and building displays for next season. If you are seeking a way to get involved in the community and are interested in local history or have skills they could use, let them know. They have fun while sharing the unique history of our mountain communities.
Many guests at the ROWHS holiday gathering came dressed in 1920s clothing to add to the vibe of the festive holiday evening. (Photo by Mary-Justine Lanyon)
Volunteers of the Year Connie Johnson and Paula Anderson-Beswick. (Photo by Rhea-Frances Tetley)
ROWHS board members for 2023. (Photo by Rhea-Frances Tetley)