Pacific Electric Camp - 1917-1941

Mountain Auto Lines Rim of the World Motor Stage c.1915

Little Bear Lake (Lake Arrowhead) c.1918

Lane of cabins at Pacific Electric Camp c.1930

Wooden Cabin at Pacific Electric Camp c.1924

Wooden Cabins at Pacific Electric Camp c.1924

Cabins 15 & 16 at Pacific Electric Camp c.1952

Vacation Joys at Pacific Electric Camp c.1924

Inside Social Hall, PE Camp c.1918

Dance floor at PE Camp c.1920

PE Camp swimming pool c.1920

Outdoor Plunge c.1920

PE Camp Volley Ball Court c.1930

Toasting Wienies c.1918

PE Camp entrance c.1940, creek runs alongside CA-189.

The Pacific Electric Railway purchased a 20 acre parcel of land near Lake Arrowhead in 1915 for the purpose of establishing an employee vacation resort. The Camp opened in the spring of 1917 to serve the vacation needs of company men and their families and was an immediate success. The Camp in the San Bernardino Mountains featured a large dining hall and club room, a swimming pool and cozy cottages with subsidized prices. A company owned power launch, the Lady Louise, was docked less than a mile from camp on Lake Arrowhead. The Camp was booked steadily every weekend summer after summer and was enlarged steadily over the years. The company ran special motor coach service from downtown Los Angeles to the camp.

The camp's wooden doors and windows were manufactured by the PE's extensive wood shops at Torrance. Camp signs came from the company's sign painters and retired wooden walk-over streetcar benches found their way to the camp for use as benches in the woods.

The PE Camp was never open to the public during the time that the railway owned and operated the resort.

The PE Camp Recreation Hall c.1918 when the camp was first constructed. The camp kitchen can be seen just behind.
The hall remained in service throughout the camp's life, gaining a more elaborate stone veranda as the camp expanded over time.

The Lady Louise
The Lady Louise, the PE's only passenger watercraft. The Lady Louise had a sister craft on the lake, "Bluejay." Bluejay was not operated by the PE.

Entrance to the PE Camp as it looked in the 1930s.
Entrance to the Pacific Electric Camp in later years; the 1930s. The small metal signs were of a type that the company also used at their Mt. Lowe property and were a close cousin of the 'dashsigns' used on the front of the company's streetcars and interurbans.

Pacific Electric Camp map showing proposed changes for 1924.
Layout of P. E. camp grounds, buildings and cottages as they will appear after improvements to be made before the summer season arrives.
APPROVAL has just been made by the management for the expenditure of approximately $17,000 on our San Bernardino Mountain Vacation Camp, which, when completed will greatly enhance its beauty, as well as provide many new comforts. Also, this year's work will be the beginning of permanent cottages upon the camp ground that will ultimately replace the tent cottages that we have been using.
   One of the most important things that will be done will be the re-landscaping of the grounds and the laying out of permanent driveways and trails from all parts of the grounds to the community center. This in turn will involve the moving of a number of buildings; the construction of ten permanent cottages this year; a large amount of beautifying of the grounds, which includes curbing in of drives, construction of retaining walls, and the creation of much new rustic work.

Ten New Cottages

   Among the changes that will be greatly appreciated by all who have enjoyed our camp in the past will be the increase in the number and changed locations of comfort stations located throughout the grounds, and with the elimination entirely of the old comfort station, a re-grading of the grounds in the vicinity of its location and the installation upon the hillside of the ten new cottages.

   Arrangements will be made for the better care of automobiles during their stay in camp by provision in the new layout that has been made for adequate parking space for cars in one location where they can at all times be under observation of the camp authorities and properly safeguarded.
   The oval in front of the social hall, that was partially improved a year or so ago by the erection of a fountain near the flagpole, will receive special treatment and will be indeed a beauty spot when completed, resembling very much the rustic parkway in front of the Lake Arrowhead dancing pavilion.
   New stone steps of an ornamental character are to be built at the front entrance to the social hall. The croquet grounds will occupy a new location near its present one and surrounded with a playground for the children.
   These improvements to be made, coupled with the additions that were made last year in new dormitories, refrigerating plant, water extensions and betterments, will indeed make our mountain vacation camp one of the most complete in the San Bernardino range and in point of sanitation and scenic beauty surpassed by none.
   It is certain that the announcement of these improvements for the pleasure and benefit of all of us will be received most gratefully and it is equally certain that the high number availing themselves of these privileges last year will be greatly increased during the coming season.

   The fact that provisions were made last year to provide all necessary bedding in the camp proved one of the most popular things that has been done as was manifested by the large increase in patronage at the camp. Gratification will undoubtedly be shown by our employees when it is borne in mind that since the camp's establishment it has not made its financial way by quite a few thousand dollars, yet the management, notwithstanding this, has gone forward continuously in the improvement of our great vacation place.

Plan Early Vacation

   Last year many employees were not privileged to spend their vacation at the camp because of the concerted rush for vacations during July and August, and the same condition will likely prevail this year unless employees begin at once to arrange for their vacations, and more than usual or later than usual. The camp will open for visitors on June 1st, instead of June 15th as heretofore and remain until October 1st and possibly until October 15th, if there is sufficient demand.
   Employees should at once arrange with heads of departments for their vacation time and reservations for our camp should be made at the earliest possible moment. We are advised by Manager Vickrey that the club will begin taking reservations for the coming season March 15th and that assignment to quarters will be made in the order which applications are received after that date.

Here's our fine, new motor coach to be used for transporting employees to the Camp.
In the foreground are: (left to right) S.H. Anderson, L.A. Lovell, D.W. Pontius and N. B. Vickrey.
Inset shows how we used to reach it in early days of the Camp; not so good.

Pacific Electric Magazine, July 1927

Beverly Pines - 1942-1944


In January 1942 the Pacific Electric Company sold the camp to Leonard, "Skipper" and Margery Steimle. By this time the camp consisted of 40 cabins, the lodge, swimming pool and several out buildings. The slogan was: "Families with Children Preferred"

The new owners renamed the camp "Beverly Pines"; Skipper had taught several years at Beverly Hills High School.

Pine View Lodge - 1944-1974


Around 1944 the same owners changed the camp's name to "Pine View Lodge." Other than the construction of a new swimming pool, little changed over the years. The former PE Camp operated as a family oriented tourist camp until it closed in 1974 when Skipper passed away.

View looking down the main driveway between the cabins (on the left) and the Social Hall, (on the right).
View looking down the main driveway between the cabins (on the left) and the Social Hall, (on the right) sometime in the late 1950s.

For history regarding this later chapter in the camp's life, please visit: Pine View Lodge

Camp Site - 1974-


After the camp closed the site gradually returned to an almost wild state. Today the camp site has reverted to beautiful forest sporting the original PE era Lodge chimney and the foundation ruins of the major buildings, the later swimming pool and cabin support piers.

Entrance to the PE Camp as it looked in September 2015.
Rockwork, porch railing and stairs, at the front of the Recreation Building in September 2015.

Stairs to the Lodge as they looked in September 2015.
A closer view of the rockwork, porch railing, stairs and chimney at the front of the Recreation Building in September 2015.

Standing on the Recreation Hall porch, September 2015.
Standing on the Recreation Hall porch. Rough stone at left is the original 1917 building foundation. September 2015.

Fireplace in the Recreation Room, September 2015.
Fireplace in the Recreation Room. September 2015.

Line of cabin support piers, September 2015.
Line of cabin support piers. September 2015.

All photos are from either the ERHA Archives or courtesy of the Rim of the World Historical Society, with much thanks.

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