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Big Bear City has a history.

The history of Big Bear, California dates back to the gold rush of the mid-1800s. In 1859, William F. Holcomb and his partner, Jack Martin, left Indiana and made the difficult overland trip in search of their fortune in the booming mining camps of Northern California. After years of hard luck, they gradually made their way southward and eventually arrived in Los Angeles. It was there that they heard of gold being mined at a place called Bear Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains. The two men decided to make the journey to Bear Valley and upon their arrival, they were amazed by the beauty of the area. They quickly set up camp and began to prospect for gold. After a few months of hard work, they struck gold and soon established a mining camp. The camp was named Big Bear after the large grizzly bear that roamed the area. The discovery of gold in Big Bear brought a rush of miners to the area. The population quickly grew and soon a small town was established. The town was named Big Bear City and it became a bustling center of commerce. The town was home to saloons, stores, hotels, and even a newspaper. The Big Bear City Post Office opened in 1928 and still operates.The town continued to grow and by the 1920s, it had become a popular tourist destination. People from all over the country came to Big Bear to enjoy its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. Today, Big Bear is still a popular tourist destination. It is home to a variety of outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, fishing, and camping. The town also has a vibrant arts and culture scene with galleries, museums, and theaters. Big Bear is also home to a variety of restaurants, shops, and lodging options. Big Bear has come a long way since William F. Holcomb and Jack Martin first discovered gold in the area. It has grown from a small mining camp to a thriving tourist destination. The town has maintained its small-town charm while still offering visitors a variety of activities and attractions. Big Bear is truly a unique place with a rich history that is sure to be remembered for years to come. To learn more about Big Bear City history, visit our museum website.


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