Diane Wilk on Lake Arrowhead architecture

Sep 7, 2023 | Arts & Culture, Mountain History

Duane Banner with a copy of Diane Wilk’s book, Images of America-Lake Arrowhead, which she had just signed for him. (Photo by Rhea-Frances Tetley)


Staff Writer

The Rim of the World Historical Society held a special event for members only, which was similar to a public event they held last year with author Diane Wilk. Last year, Wilk entertained a standing-room-only crowd with a PowerPoint presentation on the book she was about to write on the architecture of Lake Arrowhead.  She later gave the same presentation to the Philadelphia AIA to tell the nation’s best architects about the history of Lake Arrowhead, its design history and unique home styles.

This members-only reception for Wilk’s new book, Images of America-Lake Arrowhead Architecture, had her available for book signings. In her new PowerPoint presentation, Wilk highlighted the many eras of Lake Arrowhead architecture from the English-French Normandy stylings of the 1920s to the fantasy stylings of the post-war years and the modern “Flying W roof lines” and massive two-plus-story fireplaces. She showcased many movie stars and other well-known personalities who have built or owned Lake Arrowhead homes.

Wilk always mentioned the many famous architects who have designed homes for the area and how their styles influenced others and the architecture committee over the decades. She had background stories about architects and the design history and some of the other properties that they had designed, as an example, renowned architect Paul Revere Williams.

Her book is a delight to read and, through it, readers learn about the many beautiful homes in the area, those architects who designed them and their inspiration. For those who buy homes in the Lake Arrowhead communities, this book is important to read before planning drastic changes to a home that encompasses the traditional Lake Arrowhead look and to appreciate how the Lake Arrowhead look came to be. Lake Arrowhead has a unique design appearance that blends so nicely within the forested environment.

The Rim of the World Historical Society has several events each year that are for members only. Other special events include holiday dinners, other special presentations and the opportunity to go explore the tunnels under Lake Arrowhead as Huell Howser did.

The historical society also offers events open to the public, like their Pinecrest tours, Smokey Bear’s visit to the museum and the upcoming Sept. 15 History and Celebrity Cruise of Lake Arrowhead, with historian Russ Keller giving the history part of the narration, along with Chandra Olivas giving the celebrity angle. It was postponed from last month due to the hurricane winds, so a few of the $35 tickets are again available. The cruise begins with a dockside champagne reception at 5:15 p.m. prior to the 6 p.m. sunset cruise.

The Boles family murder documentary video will be shown at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 at the museum. Keller will be there sharing the explanation of why this unsolved mass murder, committed locally, is not well known and why it didn’t get wide media coverage back in 1965, when the murders occurred. The film will be followed by a short discussion with the revelation of who the murderer was and why they were never convicted of the crime. All are invited to attend but, because of the subject matter of this documentary, it is not recommended for children.

The next major public event will be their Spooky Museum during the last weekend of October, when the museum is decorated in spooky décor and displays are creatively altered and Halloween holiday-related crafts for children are offered.

The free Mountain History Museum is operated by volunteer docents from the Rim of the World Historical Society at 27176 Peninsula Drive at the corner of Rhine Road in Lake Arrowhead. The museum is open Fridays, from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 to 4:30 and 11 to 4 p.m. through the end of October, weather permitting. They have a gift store with a vast selection of local history books, including Diane Wilk’s new book Images of America-Lake Arrowhead Architecture.


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