From cattle ranch to tourist attraction to its present use as an all season group camp and retreat serving nearly 7,500 campers per year, the property that makes up Cedar Lake Camp has had a long and eventful history.
In 1913, the Talmadge brothers bought the land where the lake, dam and camp are located, to graze cattle. They subsequently sold the land to the Bartlett brothers in 1920. The Bartletts intended to subdivide and felt that a lake on the property would increase the value. In 1929, the Bartletts had a 52 foot dam constructed, thus creating the 3 1/2 acre Cedar Lake (originally named Bartlett Lake).
The property was quitclaimed to Howard Marsh in 1931, but continued to be managed by the Bartletts. During this time, the landmark Old Mill was built for the 1936 film, Trail of the Lonesome Pine, starring Henry Fonda. Guy Bartlett acquired ownership in 1945 and continued a successful daily tourist program, expanded the lake to four acres and built a home where Rhone Lodge now stands. In addition, he built the shells of East and West Cottage and continued the filming of Hollywood movies and television shows.
First Congregational Church of Los Angeles appeared on the scene in the mid 1950's. At the time, FCCLA was one of the largest churches in the country and felt that an attractive camping program would increase youth membership. The church began looking for a camp and in 1954 sent a scouting party to the San Bernardino mountains. After visiting several properties, Guy Bartlett's accountant suggested they take a look at Cedar Lake. The church purchased the property in January 1955 with monies raised by a special fund. The original parcel of 110 acres was augmented the same year by a second parcel, increasing the total area of the Cedar Lake property to its current size of 270 acres.
Finally, in October 2013, the property was purchased by Cedar Lake Camp, Inc., a non profit corporation formed by Ed and Lisa Hupp. Ed and Lisa have a long history with Cedar Lake Camp as campers, counselors and directors of Pilgrim Congregational Church's summer camp. "We look forward to continuing to provide the Cedar Lake Camp experience to youth and those of all ages seeking spiritual enrichment and an amazing outdoor experience. We do not know of a more special and beautiful place for these endeavors than Cedar Lake."