Big Bear Dam Keepers House

Area Status: Unreachable

In October of 1890, the historic Dam Keeper’s House was built using hand-cut granite blocks from the same quarry that provided the stones for the first dam. For nearly a century, this was home to over a dozen dam keepers and their families. The famed Bill Knickerbocker and his family were early residents between 1909 and 1918. After the Municipal Water district purchased the lake in 1977, and water would no longer be released for irrigation, there would be no need for a resident dam keeper.

The water company returned the historic house to the US Forest Service.  The current Dam Keepers House consists of the original walls.  The site offers view of the Big Bear Dam and a peek into the early irrigation efforts of the San Bernardino valley.

At a Glance

Current Conditions:  Do not enter structure.
Best Season: Summer and Fall
Closest Towns: Big Bear Lake

General Information


From the Big Bear area, the access road is roughly 3/10 of a mile East of State 38 on Highway 18. 

The access road is on the South side of State Highway 18.

Follow the access road to the Dam Keepers House on your right.

General Notes:

This building is a historic site, and visitors must not enter the interior of the structure.


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