Looking Back


Here’s looking back on events, stories and news in September over the last 45 years in Canyon Lake.

45 years ago

In September 1972, Canyon Lake had it’s first boating fatality. The lodge was holding a Hawaiian Luau when an announcement was made in all areas of the lodge that there had been a very serious boating accident. It was reported that a boat collided with a craft without lights on. One person was dead upon arrival at Lakeview Hospital in Lake Elsinore and another in critical condition.

A waterfront lot could be purchased for $25,000. Custom homes were advertised in the Lighthouse Magazine for as low as $36,500. Mobile homes on Big Tee Dr. could be purchased for $20,000.

The stables welcomed a new manager, Sam Rayls, to take care of members equestrian needs. One of Sam’s goals was to organize group rides for members. Seven horses at the stables were available for members to rent. Stabling was $19 a month, stalls were $45.

40 years ago

In 1977, Canyon Lake had a weed problem, weeds were taking over the lake and ponds on the golf course. Two doctors from the University of California and a conservationist from the United States Department of Agriculture were called upon to eradicate the pesky weeds. A test patch of a weed that would smother out the noxious weed was planted in one of the ponds on the golf course and it appeared to do the trick and more were planted in the lake as a result of the test.

A 5,190 square-foot custom home was being advertised for $189,500 and a “Three bedroom two bath house in a quiet area” was being offered for $82,500. Another home on a large waterfront lot with three bedrooms and two baths was selling for $110,000.

The Lions Club, in conjunction with Canyon Lake Community Church, held a pancake breakfast on Sept. 5. The cost for the breakfast was $1.50.

A Labor Day poolside barbecue with live entertainment drew a large number of residents and guests. Tickets for the event were $10.60 per couple.

The POA was offering belly dancing lessons at the lodge.

35 years ago

In 1982, The Presidents Committee, comprised of presidents or representatives from each Canyon Lake Club met on Sept. 13 to consider underwriting the fireworks show for Fourth of July 1983. The Presidents Committee was formed to coordinate activities for mutual support of each club’s events.

The newly formed Friends of Canyon Lake Library offered a free premium to the first 100 people to join the Friends of Canyon Lake Library by October 1. The premium was a “First Day Cover” with a cancellation of the “America’s Libraries” postage stamp on the cover. Only 100 of the special covers were made and each was numbered from 1 to 100. Membership for Friends of Canyon Lake Library were; $1 for students, $5 for individuals, $10 for families and $25 for patrons.

Construction began on the outdoor stage at Indian Beach. The Jr. Women’s Club spearheaded the fundraising for the stage with a Chili Cook Off in April of 1982 and the stage was built as a result of their efforts. “The Chili Cook Off brought community clubs together,” said Jr. Women’s Club president Pam Jandt. “Our efforts will result in a beautiful addition that all residents can enjoy at Indian Beach.”

A welcoming committee was formed to provide new residents with maps, brochures and other informational materials.

The Travel Club sponsored “Concert on the Green” at the country club’s driving range. The concert featured the Air Force Band of the Golden West. Admission to the event was free.

30 years ago

In 1987, acting POA General Manager Gary Leander announced plans for street lights on the main causeway and lighting in the causeway tunnel were being reconsidered. Initially the Public Works Committee had recommended the lighting as a safety precaution but others in the community argued that lighting would not just increase visibility but also drivers speed creating an even greater hazard.

The Canyon Lake Aquatics Team, one of the newest clubs in the community with 25 members between the ages of 5 to 18, hosted a open water swim at Sierra Park. The team met at the pool every weekday, year round at 7:30 a.m. to train and improve their skills for swim meets and competitions.

Residents and the POA were seeking solutions to the growing problem of Vandalism. Vandals bent 40 newly installed signs along Village Way Dr. and Loch Lomond Dr. Additionally, vandals had recently caused damage at the swimming pool, bathrooms at all locations and the tennis courts. Neighbors formed their own “crime watches” and it was being considered to place a security officer near the lodge at all times.

The Home Owners Club sponsored Oktoberfest on Sept. 27 at Indian Beach. Authentic German food was served and entertainment from the band, German Express, played polka music and the chicken dance song for attendees to dance to. Oktoberfest was limited to 1,500 people at a cost of $2, children 5 and under were free.

Homes were being offered for the purchase price of $99,950 for one on Canyon Lake Dr. to one on Vacation Dr. for $141,000 and another on Boating Way for $269,000. Sixty-three percent of Canyon Lake had been built.

25 years ago

Local contractor Bill Vanehey donates his time to frame and pour concrete steps leading from Gray Fox Dr. to Roadrunner Park. The POA paid $500 for the materials. File photo

In 1992, Canyon Lake City Council approved plans to renovate Railroad Canyon Road within the city limits. The council voted the issuance of 1.5 million in bonds to pay for the renovation. Top priorities cited by the council of work to be done were clearance of brush, a drainage system, installation of retaining walls, rehabilitation of the pavement, replacement of signage and striping.

For the week of Sept. 18, Elinor’s Restaurant, located in the lodge, dinner menu included; stuffed shrimp for $12.95 on Friday, prime rib for $13.50 on Saturday, all-you-can-eat barbecue beef ribs for $6.95 on Wednesday, grilled pork ribs for $8.50 on Thursday and eggs Alexandria for $8.95 for Sunday brunch.

Canyon Lake Classic 10k run, sponsored by the Home Owners Club and Bill Kisgen of Kasey’s Cafe, was in the planning stages.

Local contractor Bill Vanehey donated his time to frame and pour concrete steps leading from Gray Fox Dr. to Roadrunner Park. The POA paid $500 for the materials.

The POA renewed the contract with The Friday Flyer for one year. It was agreed upon to change the masthead effective Oct. 23, from the Home Owners Club to The Friday Flyer. Other changes in the contract included a “POA Hotline” where the administration and board members provided all the information rather than Editor Carolyn Knight covering meetings and writing about them. Additionally, “Letters to the Editor” would be sent to “Letters to the Board.”

Canyon Lake was 80 percent built with 3,696 homes. Of the 3,696 homes, 2,585 which were owner occupied, 452 were leased and 47 were rented on a month-to-month basis.

20 years ago

In 1997, construction of the East Port Project was delayed after abandoned gas tanks were found buried at the location. A Riverside County Hazardous Material Inspector had to be called out to determine how much soil needed to be removed.

A POA sponsored Luau was held at Sunset Beach on Labor Day.

A production of the “Music Man” was scheduled to take place on the stage at Indian Beach with the first performance on Sept. 26. The cast of Canyon Lake musicals had typically consisted of children and young people but in this production the cast spanned all generations.

The Board of Directors voted to disband the Lodge Long Range Planning Committee in spite of protests by members who attended the meeting. The board voted to establish a new volunteer committee consisting of engineers, contractors, designers and architects.

The city council approved the installation of a free electric car charging station to be located in Towne Center.

Canyon Lake was 82 percent built, with 886 lots remaining vacant. Of the 3,853 homes in the community, 2,852 were owner-occupied, 503 were leased and 19 were month-to-month.

City Clerk, Kathy Bennett, advised residents to pay attention to warnings of a predicted “El Nino” in the upcoming months.

Editor of The Friday Flyer, Carolyn Knight, was honored by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation with the “Local Hero Award.”  An advocate of health and founder of Canyon Lake’s Bosom Buddies, Carolyn and her Bosom Buddies group helped BMW dealers raise $1 million dollars in donations to help fight the disease of breast cancer.

After an outbreak of avian botulism, a POA consultant warned residents that feeding the lake’s ducks could be a factor.

15 years ago

Sept. 11, 2002 marked the one year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Canyon Lakers participated in observances in the community at Canyon Lake Community Church and a “Concert Under the Stars” at Indian Beach sponsored by the Home Owners Club featuring the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band from Miramar Air Station.

The city council passed a proclamation recognizing the heroes of the 9/11 attacks.

A joint project between the EVMWD and the City of Canyon Lake to bring potable and reclaimed water to the landscape along Railroad Canyon Rd. was underway and expected to slow traffic.

Canyon Lake Community Theatre group performed “Hello Dolly” on stage at Indian Beach.

The golf course bunkers were replaced after 32 years.

At the last Taco Tuesday of the year, Chef Cesar Castillo presented Sgt. David Shuck, from Fire Company 60, a check for $300 to be used toward the purchase of a new rescue squad truck. The donation was a result of the summer Taco Tuesday sales.

Approximately 700 people from the communities of Canyon Lake, Lake Elsinore and Wildomar attended the dedication of Canyon Lake Middle and Cottonwood Canyon Elementary Schools. Dr. Vic Knight, husband of Editor Carolyn Knight, emceed the event.

The POA board approved funding not to exceed $7,500, in addition to the $20,000 that had previously been approved, toward the purchase of a community fire rescue squad vehicle.

The east gate building was damaged and a school bus became wedged due to the bus driver from Linfield School attempting to enter through the middle lane rather than the outside lane designated for oversized vehicles.

10 years ago

Labor Day weekend of 2007, brought crazy weather with a temperature high at 110 degrees, high winds, rain, lightning and thunderstorms. A tree toppled over at Harrelson Park and crushed a portable toilet. To top it off, an earthquake of 4.7 magnitude rattled the community.

The Lighthouse Restaurant was under budget by $33,417 in the first quarter.

Residents Jayne and Peter Stanyon were invited to attend the 10th National Donor Recognition Ceremony in Washington, D.C. for the work with One Legacy, a national donor transplant network. Jayne and Peter received the Gift of Life Donor Medal at the ceremony. Jayne and Peter became active in promoting donor transplant awareness to honor their daughters whose organs were donated after being killed in separate car accidents.

“A Taste of Paradise” gala event was held at the lodge to promote organ donor awareness in memory of Hollie and Kirsty Stanyon. The event was sponsored by Jayne and Peter Stanyons’ Heart to Heart Foundation, local businesses and community volunteers. One of the speakers at the event was Kathy Mossa of Wildomar, the recipient of Hollie’s heart.

POA sponsored Family Movie Night at Holiday Harbor featured “Racing Stripes.”

The Canyon Lake Woman’s Club held a “Get Acquainted Party” for new women in the community who were interested in joining the club. Rocks painted with smiley faces welcomed attendees.

Canyon Lake members of “The Scarlett O’Hatters” joined over 400 fellow members of the Red Hat Society aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach for the inaugural Red Hat Tea Party.

5 years ago

In September 2012, Canyon Lake Senior Chair Volleyball participated in the senior games in Sun City. The team brought home gold, silver and bronze medals.

Street Carts of Canyon Lake sponsored a Poker Run. According to the event organizer about 60 hands of poker were sold. Winners of the Poker run were Chris Hughes, Judy Black and Brent Hunter. Proceeds from the fundraiser went to help local families in need.

Happy hour at the lodge was on Fridays and Saturdays. Well drinks were $2.50, domestic beer was $2 and draft beer was $1.75. Buffalo chicken wings could be purchased for .50 cents per wing.

The Lighthouse Restaurant offered a loyalty program to all members. When members spent $25 or more at the Lighthouse they would receive a punch on their loyalty card. Once a member reached 15 punches on their card they would receive a $25 credit toward any menu item.

Oktoberfest, held in Towne Center, drew a crowd of more than 800 people. Festivities were led by Burgermeister Dave McCrory and aided by 2011 Ms. Oktoberfest Margie Zingg. Melanie Derby was crowned 2012 Miss Oktoberfest.

Construction on Railroad Canyon Rd., due to repaving, caused traffic delays in the mornings and afternoons as the eastbound and westbound lanes were reduced to a single lane in each direction.

Canyon Lake Community Theatre’s production of “Into the Woods” was performed in the Holiday Bay Room.

1 year ago

Longtime editor Sharon Rice bid adieu to The Friday Flyer after 20 years of writing for the paper, the last 10 as editor. Sharon said, “I’m moving to a beach in Baja with the man of my dreams.” Prior to working for The Friday Flyer, she contributed stories and was paid by the inch and in 1996 she was hired as a reporter. In the early 2000’s, she became assistant editor and in 2007, when Carolyn Knight retired, she became Editor.

Chuck Golding, publisher of The Friday Flyer, announced he was turning the reins of editor over to Donna Ritchie. Prior to working at The Friday Flyer she ran the Canyon Lake Community page on Facebook with over 2,000 members. She became a columnist and photographer for The Friday Flyer being paid by the story, prior to becoming editor. Out of a number of candidates interviewed for the position Donna was hired as editor for her knowledge and love of Canyon Lake and its members.

It was announced at a Regular Session Board Meeting that the POA would move forward with the long sought after fenced dog park at East Port Park. The board approved a large portion of the grassy area in the upper level of the park as the new location of the dog park.

Pioneers of Canyon Lake, Elinor and Don Martin, celebrated 65 years of marriage. Elinor’s family ran the concession of the former lakeside campground from 1937 to 1968, when the lake and land was turned into a private community. Elinor and Don ran the Canyon Lake Village Store, Martin’s Landing, and the storage facility on the hill until 1999 when they retired. Elinor and Don still reside in Canyon Lake.

The city council recognized the 2016/2017 Royal Court, Wee Miss Kaitlynn Smith, Young Miss Amy Bassett, Jr. Miss Valerie Reed, Little Miss Ryann Boshard, Miss Teen Mary Ellen Reed, Tiny Miss Clarice Walsh and Miss Canyon Lake Hannah Graham, with a Proclamation of Congratulations.

Alum treatments were added to the lake to prevent algae blooms.

A new playground was installed at Outrigger Park and a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicated the ship-themed playground.

The Paddle Pedal Regatta took place at Indian Beach. Originally scheduled for August, the event had to be rescheduled due to algae blooms.

POA General Manager Christopher Mitchell resigned after five years of working for the Association.