There’s more to Big Bear Lake than meets the eye! Here are five cool facts you might not have realized about Big Bear:
It Played a Role in the Gold Rush
While the 1849 Gold Rush gets all the fame, gold continued to bring people to California for decades. In the 1860s, gold was discovered in Holcomb Valley. Today, you can still follow the Gold Fever Trail in Holcomb and even see one of the old mines, deserted and inoperable. This was when people first began falling in love with the San Bernardino mountains, and their popularity swelled.
Our Name Is Only Coincidentally Accurate
There are bears, and then there are big bears—the latter refers to grizzlies. The hunters and trackers who first came to this area found it well populated by grizzly bears, hence they named the area Big Bear. However, the big bears have been hunted to extinction in this area. Yet, you can still find black bears in the area. Whether the name still fits just depends on your definition of big! Educate yourself about Big Bear below:
Fox Farm Road is a Literal Name
If asked to name a farm animal, you’d probably pick something like horse, chicken, or bull, but foxes can be farmed too. Fur was still very popular in the 1920s and 30s, and so a man named R.T. Moor came and set up a farm to make his own small fortune in the market, having heard the climate was perfect for foxes. Big Bear facts are fan favorites!
The Lake is Man-Made
Farmers need water, and what better way to regulate water than a dam? Of course, one result of building a dam is that all the water has to go somewhere—thus, Big Bear Lake was created! Many doubted the original 1884 concrete dam would hold, but it held strong for decades. It’s still holding too—underwater. A new, larger dam was built in 1911, enlarging the lake and submerging the previous dam.
Several Hits Have Been Filmed Here
Big Bear Lake has hosted major film studios since the inception of the industry. Lassie, Old Yeller, The Parent Trap, and The Last of the Mohicans were all filmed in the area. So if you’re visiting and see a place that’s oddly familiar, you might have seen it first on a silver screen!