Mountain History Museum open for holiday weekend
By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
The Mountain History Museum will be open to the public this President’s Day weekend on all three days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Feb. 18, 19, and 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.
The museum, which is free, is run entirely by volunteers and is trying to be open one weekend a month for public visits during the winter season. In previous years, it was closed all winter, while the displays were changed out for the new season.
Some of the new topics for displays are already chosen and designed for the new season, although they may not all be completely in their final presentation by this weekend. One display that is being totally reimagined is the display on Santa’s Village. After being absent from the museum for over five years, the display is in a new location and is totally different, except for a couple artifacts. In the display are photos of the rides, the entertainers who frequented the park to entertain the visitors and more. Santa’s Village opened on the mountain six weeks before Disneyland opened in 1955. It operated until 1999 and was a first employer of most mountain teens during those years.
The central topic for this season is Summer Camps of the San Bernardino Mountains, with many photos of campers, locations and histories of camps. The museum already had a listing of over 100 summer camps that were in these mountains, but that information has been researched and expanded. There are stories about some of the camps and it is explained that many people who live on the mountain now had their first introduction to the area through a summer camp. Some camps operated for decades and others for a year or two. Some were run by organizations such as the Boy and Girl Scouts, the YMCA or various churches, and some were run by cities, such as San Bernardino or Los Angeles, so their residents would have a place to experience nature.
Along with the new topics are expanding displays of subjects already exhibited, but with new items added. For example, the animals of the San Bernardino Mountains exhibit were recently added to, when the Lake Arrowhead branch library donated their animals prior to their remodel. Learning about the animals in our forest makes us safer while living here.
This weekend, there will be cookies, coffee and punch available at the museum, located at 27176 Peninsula Drive in Lake Arrowhead at the corner of Rhine Road. Should it rain, the museum will be open. However, if it snows, the museum may be closed. Call (909) 744-8625 to verify the museum is open.
The next planned open date for the museum is the weekend of April 1 when the Easter Bunny should be there. The museum will open for its summer season on Memorial Day weekend, after which they will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all summer long through October.
The new exhibit on Santa’s Village at the Mountain History Museum is quite different from the one that was previously on display over five years ago. (Museum photo)