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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Melissa Grant
A Serendipity World - Greenbackville, VA
The Law of Attraction In Life & Business
Wow ! That is some great history and some awesome picture selections !
Mar 28, 2008 07:41 PM #1
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Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
Melissa: Thanks.  I took the Manor pic's....
Mar 28, 2008 07:54 PM #2
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
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Kat, It sure sounds like an interesting place to visit....I believe I had seen this or something like it somwhere on TV with the underground tunnels.
Mar 29, 2008 07:47 AM #3
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Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
Hi Carole:  YES,  it was actully on one of Discovery Channel's Haunted Houses shows.  I could have written so much more.   There's a lot of history here--good and not so good (like Bugsy's connection).
Mar 29, 2008 08:41 AM #4
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Melissa Grant
A Serendipity World - Greenbackville, VA
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by the way...I am addicted to your game ! I have been back here twice playing that thing !
Mar 30, 2008 08:59 AM #5
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Hey Kat! I love your history article! Turning tables upside down, underground tunnels and a place I would enjoy going through!

Mar 30, 2008 12:17 PM #6
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Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

Woo-hoo: glad you stopped by.  Yes, this place is something else in its heyday. Naughty and illegal.  LOL

I could have written so MUCH more.  Bugsy also had many escape tunnels, etc.... as you an imagine.

I am NOT so sure I'd stay there..... boo boo

Mar 30, 2008 12:22 PM #7
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Christina Williams. REALTOR® TN property search & local insights
First Realty Company - Crossville, TN
Love the mannor. Very good job and congrats on your win!
Apr 16, 2008 06:55 AM #8
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Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

 won?????

Apr 16, 2008 08:33 AM #9
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Deb "Alayne" Brooks
Alayne Brooks, Re/Max Elite Group, Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
940-500-4010 Wichita Falls Real Estate
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
Apr 16, 2008 11:17 PM #10
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Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (
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.
Apr 16, 2008 11:23 PM #11
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Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging

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!

Sep 27, 2008 09:59 PM #12
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Kat DeLong
MOUNTAIN COUNTRY REALTY, Lake Arrowhead. (909)-273-4542 - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor BRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

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

Sep 27, 2008 10:03 PM #13
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