Lake Arrowhead's Bracken Fern Manor & Connection to Mobster, Bugsy Siegal

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Real Estate Agent with MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 BRE 01235311

Lake Arrowhead has always had ties with the Hollywood bunch. MANY celebrities now, as well as then, have called Lake Arrowhead home....an escape from the hustle-bustle of Los Angeles and other large cities below.  But the most famous celebrity ever to own property in Lake Arrowhead was the notorious mobster, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegal." 

Bugsy (he lothed being called Bugsy) talked the Chicago Mob into backing his new venture, which is now known as BRACKEN FERN MANOR. This Alpine-style inn opened as Club Arrowhead in The Pines on July 4th,  1929. The inn had state of the art  amenities, such as electricity! More importantly, it catered to the rich and famous, offering gambling, illegal liquor and "working girls." Other amenities included an Olympic size swimming pool, skiing, tennis courts, a bathhouse, and more.   The brothel continued operations through World War II. Gambling  was maintained in the speakeasy (across the street) up until 1955.  Today, Bracken Fern Manor is a Certified Historic Landmark in the State of California.  (The door to the right led to underground tunnels).

Across from Bracken Fern Manor is where gambling took place at The CLUB. We now call this (bottom left) THE TUTOR HOUSE. Story has it that when cops were on their way up the mountain from San Bernardino, and administrators were alerted, gambling tables were actually turned over, then appearing as regular tables.

Bracken Fern Manor claims to be haunted by a former "working girl" named Violet.  She killed herself after the mob killed her lover. You can still smell her violet scented perfume wafting through the halls.  Another ghost of a little boy has also been seen at this historic inn.  He is thought to be the son of a former prostitute and was trampled by a team of horses.  Today his tiny footsteps are often seen in the snow...so it is told. 

After the inn became successful, Bugsy convinced the Bosses in Chicago to front him the dough for another little gambling adventure.....Las Vegas.  However, Bugsy's lavish taste caused him to go way over his one million dollar budget and ultimently  cost him his credibility with Chicago. And his life. While he was having dinner one evening with his lover, Virginia Hill, at her Hollywood home, Bugsy was shot dead.

Bracken Fern Manor is located at 815 Arrowhead Villas Road, Arrowhead Villas, a tiny sub-area in Lake Arrowhead and is currently a B & B.

 

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Topic:
Real Estate General Information
Location:
California San Bernardino County Lake Arrowhead Arrowhead Villas
Groups:
Southern California Real Estate Forum
Outside Blogs
Posts to Localism
Vacation and Second homes
Local Expert
Tags:
arrowhead villas
tutor house
bracken fern manor
bugsy siegal
lake arrowhead historic site
historic downtown

Comments 13 New Comment

Anonymous
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Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

 won?????

April 16, 2008 08:33 AM
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Deb "Alayne" Brooks
940-500-4010 Wichita Falls Real Estate
Alayne Brooks, Re/Max Elite Group, Wichita Falls Texas
Hey Kathy Kat! Congrats on your win! Your post really got my attention! Great job and thank you for all the good information. Later in the rain~Deb
April 16, 2008 11:17 PM
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Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542
Deb: Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm sure I could have added lots more....but I thought this was "just enough."  LOL     Thanks again.
April 16, 2008 11:23 PM
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Michelle Pimentel
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging
Empire Home Staging Solutions

Kat,

Congratulations on a great post! You know, with all the liquor, gambling and floosies up in Lake Arrowhead in the early days...I'm pretty sure the story goes... that some of your relatives were the ones that ran Bugsy out of town! LOL!

September 27, 2008 09:59 PM
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Kat DeLong
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542

Michelle: YOU CRACK ME UP!!!!   I'd be in that group of women in your pic'  had I lived back then. Or, well, maybe across from the gambling hall. LOL

September 27, 2008 10:03 PM
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