Our Family Story …
Oak Knoll Lodge boasts a long and interesting past. Ideally located, Oak Knoll was the first Lodge that travelers would encounter as they drove into Big Bear Valley from Mill Creek Road, the main road into Big Bear (then known as Pine Knot) at the time. Most of the cabins still standing were constructed during the 1920s.
Oak Knoll Lodge entered into the Lawrence Family history in 1927 when Roy and Elizabeth Lawrence purchased the Lodge (which also included a small store, bakery, and gas pumps) from Ernest and Anna Augustine on April 4, 1927. When the Lawrence’s first took over the Lodge it was operated as a summer only business and for good reason: there was no inside plumbing! In the center of the 3-acre lot stood a large hand-operated water pump; each cabin had a bowl and pitcher to use.
Over the next few years inside plumbing was installed in the cabins and warm showers made available in the main building. All heating and cooking was still fueled by wood.
Each night there would be a campfire with marshmallows and singing. This tradition continues to this day during the summer months. The cabins have been remodeled and now supply guests with every modern amenity you could want on vacation (e.g. TVs, phone, some Jaccuzi spas , microwave ovens, etc.). Oak Knoll Lodge has preserved its rich history, down to original antique furniture found in the cabins today. Of course, if you are interested, Chuck can tell you all about the “old times.”
In 1965, Charles (“Chuck”) Lawrence, the middle son, took over operation of the Lodge. In 1968 he married Cristina and they started their family of one son and two daughters, living at and operating the Lodge now year ’round.
Since then the Lawrence Family has continued running Oak Knoll Lodge, maintaining a nostalgic environment, especially to those guests who have visited regularly since the early days. In fact we have many who come back often, you will too!