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1946 - Cher, great-granddaughter of Placerita Canyon homesteader Frank Walker and onetime Placerita property owner, born in El Centro, Calif. [story]
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| Sunday, Aug 12, 2018

A fire broke out inside the historic Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon late Saturday night, and by early Sunday, the popular 2-story wooden restaurant building was gone.

The fire also consumed a trailer that was parked behind the restaurant but was stopped before it could spread to the brush.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department assigned detectives from its arson bureau to investigate as a matter of routine. The 9-1-1 call came in from a late-night commuter who saw the fire and reported it as soon as cell phone reception was available, officials said. The California Highway Patrol reported the time as 11:34 p.m.

There were no reports of injuries.

Visitors to the ruins Sunday exchanged stories over the remaining patio tables and said it was “like losing an old friend.”

A teenage witness who lives on the property told a source close to SCVTV that the fire started in the kitchen while the restaurant was open and the owner was present. They quickly doused the fire, but it must have reignited, the girl said.

The history of the lodge goes back at least to 1932, possibly earlier, when it was a country store and cabin resort that hosted Saturday night dances. It was remodeled in 1939 and became the Big Oaks Lodge with its iconic rock perimeter wall. In the early 1980s prizefighter Jerry Quarry, who twice challenged Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title, established a boxing ring and training camp there. It became a popular place for bikers and operated recently as Cavi at the Big Oaks, which had shut down.

The lodge, like other businesses and residential cabins in the Angeles National Forest, operates on a long-term land lease from the U.S. Forest Service. The 3,000-square-foot building was listed for sale in March 2017 with an asking price of $449,000. It was described as having a full kitchen, bar, outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, three rental units and a liquor and catering license. The current owners reportedly purchased the business in 2011.

As a filming location, the Big Oaks Lodge has been used for the TV series “Dynasty,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place,” among others. Its current advertising as a film location listed a lodge, 9-stool bar, dining room, boxing ring, two cabins and restaurant with limousine access (although the boxing ring had been removed).

Read more history of the lodge [here].

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday afternoon, August 12, 2018:

 

Photos from FilmSantaClarita.com:

Photos by Michael Trueblood, August 12, 2018:

 

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6 Comments

  1. It’s demolished so very very sad

  2. It’s demolished so very very sad

  3. tragic ….many memories made there

Leave a Comment


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