Cedar Lake is a picturesque artificial lake located in Big Bear which has appeared
in dozens of well-known movies including the famous Kissin’ Cousins movie with Elvis
Presley. The movie industry began filming at the Lake in the mid-1930s and some
of the actors who have starred in and produced films on the premises are Ed Asner,
Henry Fonda, Hayley Mills, Elvis Presley, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Roy Rogers and
John Wayne. The old mill house and water wheel were featured in several movies.
Presently the Lake is owned and operated by the First Congregational Church of Los
Angeles as a private camp and retreat center. The Church purchased the property
in January 1955.
The Bartlett brothers purchased the land in 1922 from the Talmadge brothers. The
Bartlett’s wanted to subdivide and sell the property and decided that building a
lake would increase its value and in 1929 they constructed the 30-foot dam, forming
the 3.5 acre lake.
Cedar Lake is formed by a dam across Talmadge Creek, a minor tributary of Metcalf
Creek. The creek feeds Metcalf Bay, an arm of Big Bear Lake. It is a variable-radius arch dam,
30 feet high and 220 feet long containing 650 cubic yards of material. Its crest
is 7,101 feet above sea level.
Nestled at 7,000 feet, the Cedar Lake Camp is a 270 acre year round retreat center
considered by many to be one of the most beautiful camps in Southern California.
Surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest with a private lake, the camp has
many amenities for groups of 35 or more in an enchanting mountain setting.