During the development of Big Bear City by the Peter Pan Woodland Club, D. P. Terry of Beverly Hills was asked to build a store at the site of the present Community Services District offices. This was completed about 1929, and was leased to several merchants who are now unknown. In the early 1930’s Frank and Freda Jakobi bought the store and ran it as the Big Bear City Community Market. When Jakobi built the new Community Market at Greenway and Big Bear Boulevard in 1940, he sold the old building to the Big Bear City Mutual Services Company. In 1966 the Big Bear City Community Services District was formed, and again the old store was bought and used as offices for ten years. Set for destruction in 1976 to make room for modern offices, the Big Bear Valley Historical Society acquired the structure through the enthusiastic leadership of the late Eleanor K. Abbott, Society president during 1976-78. It was moved to the present leased site in Big Bear City Park on May 5, 1976.
In June of 1978, Charles and Winifred Marrone donated the historic Cienega Largo Log Cabin to the Society, which then moved it from the north shore of the lake to the museum grounds.
Following years of intensive work and preparation, a dedication ceremony was held for the new museum on June 12, 1982. Since then the museum has been open to the public each year from the end of May to early October. While the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Parks District did much of the needed restoration work, many dedicated members of the Society contributed hundreds of hours of labor, and the Historical Society provided funds for many phases of the project. The 1900’s Shay Meadow Cabin was donated by Mr. Norman Wiebe and was moved into the museum complex in October 1983. The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Parks District donated the old mule barn. It was moved to the museum grounds in 1994.
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