Southwest Shore Centennial Album --
The First 100 Years

Southwest Shore Colony Centennial Album -- The First Hundred Years

Southwest Shore Colony Centennial Album -- The First Hundred Years

In 2012 the Big Bear Southwest Shore Colony celebrates its 100th anniversary. The present Big Bear Dam, which replaced the 1885 rock dam, was completed in 1912. About that time several summer cabins were built along the shore on both the north and south side of the dam.  Many of these picturesque cabins are still in existence today, and some are still owned by the same families that built them. The early cabins along the southwest shore form the core of the recreational area known as the Big Bear Southwest Shore Colony.

To celebrate 100 years of summer recreation on the Southwest Shore, Laurie Large (Cabin 78) and Betsy Curley (Cabin 54) worked very hard to organize various Centennial Celebration activities. A highlight of the Celebration was the unveiling of the Southwest Shore Centennial Album. During the past year many cabin owners submitted photos, documents, and stories about the following topics:

  • History and early photos of the Southwest Shore Colony.
  • Memories and stories about how you and your family have enjoyed the Southwest Shore in general, and your cabin in particular.
  • Historical information about your cabin–
         - Who built it and when? 
         - Where did the materials come from (e.g., logs floated across the lake)?
         - How has your cabin changed over the years?
  • Stories and photos about early cabin owners/users, not only from your own cabin, but from neighboring cabins.
The Trip to the Colony -- pg. 22

The Trip to the Colony -- pg. 22

Laurie compiled this information into a wonderful photo history book, chronicling the first 100 years of the Southwest Shore Colony. This Southwest Shore Centennial Album, a beautiful 10″ by 8″ hard-cover book, contains nearly 200 pages of photos and history about the first 100 years of the Southwest Shore Colony. There is a comprehensive history of the Southwest Shore Colony, which was written by Dick Fisher (Cabin 85), and is complemented by many vintage photographs of early Southwest Shore cabin owners and friends. There is also specific historical information and photos about more than 40 of the individual cabins in the Southwest Shore Colony. Many thanks to those cabin owners who searched their attics and archives to find old photos and create fascinating articles about the history of their individual cabins over the years.  Finally, there are current stories and photos describing how cabin owners and friends are continuing to enjoy the Southwest Shore for family activities and recreation.

                                                      Cabin 29 History and Photos

                                                      Cabin 29 History and Photos


All Southwest Shore cabin owners will want to have at least one copy of this beautiful book.  Some cabins may want several copies to satisfy multiple owners and several generations of family.

The Southwest Shore Association decided to reward the financial support and loyalty of many of the cabin owners by automatically giving one free copy of the Southwest Shore Centennial Album to every cabin that paid annual dues in at least two of the past three years (2009-2011). There are 61 cabins in this group, as follows:

1   3   4   6   8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19
20 21 22 28 29 30 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 41
43 44 45 46 47 48 51 52 53 54 55 56 58 59 60
61 62 64 65 66 69 71 73 74 75 77 78 83 84 85 446

One copy of the book was automatically ordered and reserved for each of these 61 cabins.  Many cabin owners also pre-ordered additional copies. The initial shipment of more than 100 Southwest Shore Centennial Albums was distributed at the Centennial Celebration on July 7.  Some owners who were not at the Celebration requested and paid extra to have their albums shipped directly to them.

If you missed the opportunity to pre-order your Centennial Album, or if you decide that you would like additional copies, you still have time to order. Please see the detailed ordering instructions on the Centennial Album Order page.