If you love a good story or are simply awestruck by old things, Big Bear has a few places you should check out! These landmarks come with an extra dose of history behind them—sure to enrich the experience of your visit! Learn about Big Bear history below:
Miller Park Schoolhouse
Probably the oldest building in the Valley, the unassuming edifice in Fawnskin’s Miller Park was built in 1925. If you’re interested in mountain architecture or early small-town schools, this building will give you a better idea of both! Fourteen students enrolled in it in its first year. Today, it’s used as a community building.
Champion Lodgepole Pine
If you’re a hiker, take a look at Champion Lodgepole Pine Trail. Actually, come even if you aren’t—the simple half-mile walk is accessible by children as well as seniors. On the trail, you’ll find perhaps the oldest living thing in area: The Champion Lodgepole Pine. This mighty pine tree is over four hundred and forty years old, predating the settlement of Jamestown and almost as old as St. Augustine, Florida. This marvelous tree is worth a look!
How does something so small bring in so many people? This is another spot that hikers will like: head to the Gold Fever Trail in Holcomb Valley, and your hike will bring you the entrance of the real Metzger Mine. It’s not too big of a cave, but it was one of the many sources of gold that brought tens of thousands to California in the 19th century.
This is another spot in Holcomb Valley that is intimately tied to the history of the Big Bear area. This tree is where criminals met their end—hence the name. Unfortunately, unlike Metzger Mine, this tree is not the real deal—the original tree has become a stump, with so many of its stories left forgotten.
Tree of the Living Cross
Another grizzly site—though not of actual grizzly bears—in Holcomb Valley, this cross marks the grave of a peculiar duel. The story goes that two immigrants—one Greek, one Chinese—had a dispute when “Greek George” had jumped the other’s claim. The knife fight resulted in George’s death. It’s an interesting spot to meditate on the history of the Wild West, immigrant relationships, and honor.
Big Bear History
While seeing all the sights in Big Bear, make your own Big Bear history! You can start a tradition with us, renting a gorgeous mountain cabin. Browse our offerings and book today!