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History of Loch Leven

Today, Loch Leven Christian Camp and Conference Center is owned and operated by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Pacific Southwest Region which purchased the property October 23, 1956 from James & Joy Favour.  The summer of 1957 saw our very first summer camp program. But the property has had a long and varied life. 

It's first commercial enterprise was in 1928 as the "Dolly Varden Angling Club."  "Dolly Varden" might sound like the name of the glamorours hostess/proprieter and, in a way it is... it's a variety of trout!

Campbell Lodge (named for Disciples' founders Thomas and Alexander Campbell) is the aesthetic and historic heart of today's camp and it served the same function in 1928.  A classic example of an architectural style from the beginning of the last century, it's the only remaining redwood lodge in the San Bernardino National Forest. Campbell Lodge is curretnly undergoing rennovations.

Ross Hoose and the current Staff Buildings were also built in the late 20's.  Ross Hoose was originally used as a horse barn, with staff quarters upstairs.

A fish hatchery on the premises supplied the angling club's ponds with trout for the guests to catch.  Those same ponds were used by our church camp groups for fishing until 1969 when a major flood filled all the ponds with sand and rock.  Their excavation has been the focus of several work camps.

Folklore and stories are bountiful. Considering that Mountain Home Creek Road was once part of the main "Highway 38", the lodge was a main stopping point for hunters, fisherman and other "sports" enthusiasts.

Though gambling was illegal then, just as it is now, it did not seem to stop them from arranging a poker room upstairs in Campbell Lodge's Room 5 where the acoustical wall board still helps sound proof the room.  And the closets in Room 4 once hid slot machines.

Grady Gullidge, Ralph and Phil Swing were some of the original owner/operators of the "Dolly Varden Angling Club." It struggled in the 30's due to the depression and then was purchased by William & Kitty Peeling around 1940.

Kitty Peeling turned it into an exclusive club that served as a getaway for many Hollywood luminaries; names like Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers, Maria Montez and Jean Pierre Aumont, John Ford and Edward Arnold.  Following Peeling's ownership, the facility was owned briefly by a "Mr. Camous" approximately 1948-1950.  Then in 1950 it was purchased by James and Joy Favour.  They changed the name to "Loch Leven"  and ultimately sold the property to the Disciples of Christ.

Our construction and expansion of the property has been continual:  Alder Cabin was built in 1961, Ares Cabin and Maus Cabin were contructed in 1974.  Stone Lodge (named for Barton Stone) and Cole Cabin opened in 1979. The spiritual growth and life long memories your group creates while visiting our camp continues to build Loch Leven's history and amplify its impact on all who visit.