Celebrity and History Cruise on Lake Arrowhead

Jul 16, 2023 | Mountain History, Recreation & Entertainment

The Arrowhead Queen is ready to set sail on another tour of Lake Arrowhead. (Photo by Rhea-Frances Tetley)


Historian Russ Keller will have his notebooks of movies and personalities with him as he narrates the Celebrity and History Cruise on Lake Arrowhead on the Arrowhead Queen this Saturday, July 15.

Past cruises have often occurred on a weeknight and those who own weekend homes asked for it to be done on a weekend. This year, the Rim of the World Historical Society was able to arrange a weekend cruise for those who want it.

Last winter’s heavy snows almost made this cruise an impossibility. The Arrowhead Queen was covered in deep snow and, with its flat roof, it began listing. Had the Arrowhead Queen sunk under that heavy snow load, it would have been a significant loss. The community – and especially the historical society – is grateful to those who ventured out into that severe snowy weather to shovel off the Queen so it didn’t sink, like the first Arrowhead Queen had done.

Those winter storms will be included in the history part of the cruise, but much of the focus will be on the movies shot on the lake and those stars who have lived in the Lake Arrowhead communities, over the past decades. Russ Keller will describe movie plot lines and how the Lake Arrowhead area was used to fulfill the visual excitement of the story, and he will point out those filming locations along the shoreline.

Movies have chosen this area for its scenery and its four seasons, which have substituted for locations in Europe, Canada, the East Coast and Florida. The variety in the area’s terrain has been the backdrop for everything from deserts to forests to lakes.

More than 500 movies have been filmed in these mountains in the past 100 years of movie production, beginning with silent movies, when it was difficult to get anywhere too far from Hollywood, as transportation was difficult. The first movie with sound was Sunrise, which was filmed at Lake Arrowhead.

The first talkies created a small dip in production until microphones improved and the golden age of movies arrived. The movie companies returned to the mountain for the diversity of visual locations available. The scenery had attracted them, and the stars chose to buy homes in the area, away from the hectic life in Hollywood. This cruise will explain this and more about the stars and movies.

Complementing Keller will be Chandra Olivas, giving a celebrity scoop to the stories.

The event begins with a champagne reception at 5:15 p.m. on the Arrowhead Queen dock prior to the cruise, which begins at 6 p.m. The tour will last for an hour, as the Arrowhead Queen slowly cruises around Lake Arrowhead with a totally different narration from the usual script given daily for tourists. This cruise will repeat on Aug. 19.

This week’s fundraising cruise has a few seats still available, which can be purchased either online through the www.Mtnmuseum.org website or at the museum at 27176 Peninsula Drive at Rhine Road in Lake Arrowhead. The museum is open Fridays, noon to 4 p.m., and weekends from 10:30 to 4:30 through October. It is handicapped accessible and child friendly.

The Mountain History Museum had over 200 visitors last weekend for its annual ice cream social to celebrate Independence Day, and also received several new donations of artifacts. If you have something of historical interest and want to donate it, bring it to the museum or call the museum during open hours and discuss its donation.

Last week also saw the visitation to the museum by students from the University of Riverside, who are studying the environment. Any group that wants to visit the museum, such as reunion groups, seniors, church, scout or camps, may contact the museum and schedule such a tour by calling them at (909) 744-8625 or emailing them at [email protected].


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