Old Bear Valley Dam

California State Historic Landmark 725

Plaque Photo:

#725 Old Bear Valley Dam
In 1884 Frank Brown built an unusual dam here to supply irrigation water for the Redlands area. The single-arch granite dam formed Big Bear Lake, then the world's largest man-made lake. Engineers claimed the dam would not hold, and declared it "The eighth wonder of the world" when it did. The old dam is usually underwater because of the 20-foot higher dam built 200 feet west in 1912.

Site Photo:

Nothing remains of this site.


W edge of Big Bear Lake, E end of dam, near intersection of Hwys 18 & 38, 4.8 mi W of Big Bear Village.

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Donald Laird