By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The Mountain History Museum will be closed during the month of January, but will reopen for public visits on Presidents Day weekend, Saturday, Feb. 11 and 12. They have had a busy year and their volunteers need a chance to get much needed behind-the-scenes work accomplished.
During the winter is when new displays are imagined, designed and built for the museum. It is when the volunteers spend a lot of time making the museum better, working on the collection acquisitions and organizing the artifacts, photos and deciding on the theme for the next summer’s activities. Much is being accomplished so the museum is not being ignored and the volunteers are still very active. Last winter was when they got the Goodwin’s bears refurbished.
In fact, this winter during the PolaRotary Plunge into the Lake Arrowhead on Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. at the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, six members of Team Lumberjack – Bill Pumford, Al Sterns, Connie Johnson, Paula Anderson-Beswick, Jacob Barrett and Niki Petnik – will be getting wet supporting the historical society. Call President Bill Pumford at (909) 338-3544 to donate, to get involved, to join the team or to tell them to go jump into the lake.
The Rim of the World Historical Society is one of the largest all-volunteer, nonprofit organizations on the mountain and has been recognized by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce as Nonprofit of the Year.
The all-volunteer historical society started back in 1986, 36 years ago, to fulfill a campaign promise during the campaign for honorary mayor by Tom Powell Jr. to gather locals together to form a historical society to preserve and share the history of the Crestline community. It was very popular, with monthly meetings where long-time residents shared their experiences growing up on the mountain. Over the years, the focus expanded to include the Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs areas as well.
The volunteers built the Mountain History Museum in the former Lake Arrowhead Fire Department building on Peninsula Drive with artifacts they had collected after the 2003 Old Fire. The docents have been sharing the history with those who visited the museum during the summers since then.
The historical society has sponsored many activities during the years, including the Antique and Wooden Boat Show, tours of historical places of local interest, many lectures and PowerPoint presentations, both in the community and at the museum. Their members have written many books and newspaper articles about the mountain communities. All of this is done to share the unique history of these mountain communities.
Beginning last winter, after the forced year-long closure from COVID, they finished expansion of their display area within the museum, so they decided to add on to their open dates, staying open additional dates, this year in October with their Spooky Museum and having Santa visit over Thanksgiving weekend. In December, they were open three holiday weekends and are planning on several holiday weekends this coming 2023, winter weather permitting, beginning in February.
For more information on the Mountain History Museum or the activities of the Rim of the World Historical Society, visit their website, www.mtnmuseum.com. To schedule a group tour of the museum any month of the year, for groups such as Scouts, church, senior groups or a club, contact them through their website, email them at [email protected] or call (909) 744-8625 and leave a message.
The Mountain History Museum volunteers are very busy year-round, even during the months when the museum itself doesn’t have regular open hours. Last winter, Connie Johnson worked on restoring the Goodwin’s bears sculptures. (File photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)
The Johnstone family cut the ribbon on the Goodwin’s bears sculptures and mural, which were restored and then dedicated this last summer at the museum.
The spooky museum display this last October showed a different side of local history at the museum.