Looking Back


Here’s a look back on events, stories and news in November over the last 45 years in Canyon Lake.

45 years ago

In November 1972, 36 new homes and 12 condominiums were under construction. An upgraded Villa could be purchased for $38,500. A mobile home overlooking the golf course was being offered at $20,000 and custom homes were listed as low as $36,500.

A number of community improvements were underway with streets being resurfaced, landscaping improvements, tennis courts repainted and dredging the lake.

Members of the Villa Association donated their time to assemble and install docks for the 36 members of the association.

The POA Board of Directors approved the purchase of Florida Bass to be stocked in the lake.

Due to the lack of medical facilities nearby, the Homeowners Club was reviewing the possibility of a first-aid station near the main gate or at the lodge.

The Homeowners Club announced a contest for the best holiday decorated homes and urged residents to decorate for the season.

 40 years ago

Zalia Dawson retires as editor and publisher of Canyon Lake Lighthouse magazine in November of 1977 and Dorothy Southern takes over as editor-publisher. A resident of Canyon Lake for two years, Dorothy taught dancing to the Rockettes, a dance group in Canyon Lake.

The east gate entrance received a facelift with improved landscaping. The project was completed by Mike Haveles of Canyon Landscapes. Mike and his wife lived in the Eastport Villas while their waterfront home was being built.

The Tennis Club was raising funds for lights on the courts. Ski Club’s newsletter came in third in a nationwide contest for “Best Ski Club Newsletter.” Woman’s club members were busy baking fruit cakes to sell for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

At the November POA board meeting, a new vehicular control gate system was proposed for Fairway Estates. The total cost of the system was approximately $66,000. The POA had already allocated $15,000 toward a new system.

The POA was trying to recruit older men to volunteer for lake patrol but was finding it difficult to get volunteers due to the harassment existing employees received from property owners.

 35 years ago

In November of 1982, Canyon Lake “A bit of paradise” license plate holders were back in stock and available for sale at a cost of $3 for one or $5 for two. The plate holders were first sold at the Fiesta Day 1982 celebration and quickly sold out.

Thanksgiving dinner was being offered at the lodge for $6.95. Guests could choose from turkey, ham or lamb.

Thanks to the persistence of Canyon Lake resident Hal Skinner, a portable electric piano was purchased and available for clubs in the community to use at special occasions and events. Hal attended club board meetings requesting donations and received a total of $400 in pledges from the Woman’s Club, Travel Club, Homeowners Club and resident Dave Hook. Along with a POA pledge to match money raised, Hal was able to purchase the piano.

The POA awarded the contract to build a new maintenance facility to Frank W. Baldwin and authorized the Ski Club to construct and donate a 20-ft. by 50-ft. viewing platform at the north ski area subject to approval by engineers and county.

Homeowners Club donated trees to the Golf Club to be planted along the course’s fairways. The Tuesday Work Group planted the trees.

FBI agent Ron Heller spoke to the Homeowners Club at its monthly meeting about white-collar crime and its effect on society.

Due to the actions of a few teenagers within the community, POA Board of Directors approved the adoption Riverside County ordinance 339. The ordinance set a curfew of 11 p.m. and imposed a maximum fine of $100 for violations.

30 years ago

As of November 1987, 260 new homes had been approved for construction and the community was 64 percent built. A total of 1,895 homes were owner-occupied, 311 were leased and 1,097 were rented on a month-to-month basis. A three bed, two bath home with water access and a private dock on Seahorse Circle was listed for $169,000 and an Eastport Villa Condo was offered for rent at $850 a month.

A controversial lot on Village Way was sold to a group of Beverly Hills businessmen. Lot number 78 (now Holiday Harbor Park) was the only commercially zoned site inside the gated community.

The Community Facilities Development Committee created a questionnaire to determine the needs and desires of property owners. The questionnaire  was published in The Friday Flyer and listed 21 potential projects including developing lakefront parks, improvements to access at Sierra and Moonstone Parks and a golf course irrigation system.

The Teenagers Against Boredom Club held its first dance at the lodge. Tickets were $3.50 per person.

The USPS proposed two alternate plans for Canyon Lake postal delivery, including 11 post office box clusters throughout the community.

A Thanksgiving buffet was served at the lodge for $9.95 for adults, $5 for kids over five-years-old. The buffet consisted of roast turkey, seafood Newburg, baked ham, yams, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn pudding, onions and cheese, green beans, salad bar and assorted pies.

25 years ago

In November of 1992, Holiday Harbor was undergoing a facelift. Demolition of the buildings at Holiday Harbor was undertaken by His Church Christian Fellowship of Escondido. The church salvaged building materials from the project and used them to build a sanctuary in Mexico. On Nov. 3, the Community Facilities Development Committee submitted immediate and long-range recommendations for Holiday Harbor to the POA board. Recommendations included keeping the area as open as possible, restrooms, a basketball court, beach area, parking for the boat trailers, a sea wall, cabanas and barbecues.

Tuesday Work Group members were continuing to improve golf cart paths. The group also received approval to improve hole 11. The plans included renovating the pond at hole 11 green, laying pipes, constructing a three basin waterfall, lining the outside of the pond with rocks and adding a pedestrian bridge across the pond.

New playground equipment, picnic tables and barbeques were added to Outrigger Park.

The Homeowners Club hosted its annual Men’s Fashion Show. The event was tongue-in-cheek

with men from local organizations and clubs wearing outlandish costumes.

The city of Canyon Lake was preparing to celebrate its second year anniversary with a reception at the lodge.

A Beautification Golf Course Tournament was held with 258 golfers participating in the event. The event raised $6,000 to go toward trees and improving landscaping on the course.

20 years ago

As of November 1997, Canyon Lake was 82 percent built with 875 vacant lots remaining. A three bedroom, two bath home on a large waterfront lot was being offered for $149,900 and a custom five bedroom home on the back bay was offered at $389,000.

A group of Canyon Lake youth met with the city and POA officials to address several issues including the Youth Center located in Towne Center, a new ordinance that required permits for events with 50 or more people, lack of library funding and the need for a skateboard park.

Canyon Laker Ron Smith took first place in the 9.5-second bracket of the National Jet Boat Association held at Lake Ming in Bakersfield. He was also the “High Point Champ” in his division the entire season.

Canyon Lake residents expressed outrage over an article in the Press Enterprise with the headline, “Gated life called trouble in paradise.”  The article was the subject of the book, “Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States,” and how middle Americans were overwhelmingly moving into gated communities to hide behind the walls. Residents that were interviewed by The Friday Flyer referred to the arguments made in the article as fallacious nd an inaccurate portrayal of Canyon Lake by the reporter.

The POA board approved plans to construct new gatehouses at the north and east gates.

Community volunteers were being sought for Fire Company 60. Volunteers would go through 6 weeks (two days a week) training held at Fire Station 60. Volunteers were required to receive an additional six hours of training each month and to either answer 10 calls per month or spend 10 hours each month at the station.

 15 years ago

As of November 2002, there were 4,189 total residences in Canyon Lake, 3,357 were owner-occupied, 429 leased and another 26 were rented on a month-to-month basis. There were 525 vacant lots remaining. A three bedroom, two bath 1,477 square foot home on the golf course was listed for $289,000. A completely upgraded waterfront home with a pool on Clearwater Dr. was being offered at $495,000. According to Inland Empire Databank, Canyon Lake was listed as “the costliest place to live in Southwest Riverside County,” where the median home price was $309,000.

The Operations Department was in the process of replacing many of the POA’s docks. Most recently completed was the dock at Sierra Park. The Diamond Point dock was the next to be replaced.

Police were seeking information regarding vandals who drove down Canyon Lake Dr. North tossing pumpkins at cars causing major damage to several cars. One pumpkin that was thrown at a high velocity of speed smashed through the back window of one car and hit the windshield cracking it.

Mary Craton and Marty Gibson (former owner of Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina) were elected to city council.

The new Cottonwood Canyon Elementary School had reached capacity causing concerns within Canyon Lake. The school reached capacity with the unexpected sales of the Canyon Hills development.

The school was partially funded through a special tax district, so residents of that district had priority over Canyon Lake in terms of attendance. Representatives of the POA, city and Lake Elsinore School District met to discuss options for the future housing of Canyon Lake elementary school kids.

 10 years ago

In November 2007, members of Canyon Lake’s Emergency Preparedness Committee gave aid to members of the Pechanga tribe when fires forced them to evacuate to Pechanga Resort and Casino. They prepared banquet rooms at the resort with cots, bedding, comfort kits and check-in stations brought by trucks from Red Cross warehouses.

A POA Community Forum at the lodge drew almost 300 residents. Most attendees were there to protest a proposed six-foot setback rule that would prohibit any storage within the setback including recreational vehicles and boats.

The City of Canyon Lake reestablished the “We Tip Program,” a nationwide not-for-profit organization that acts as a neutral third party to receive anonymous tips from citizens regarding criminal activity.

Canyon Lake resident Bobby Kielty played for the Boston Red Sox, where the team won the 2007 World Series.

5 years ago

In November of 2012, a 4,000 square foot, four bedrooms, three baths, waterfront home was listed at $649,000 and a 1900 square foot, three bedrooms, two baths on a corner lot was being offered at $269,000.

The Yacht Club was seeking donations to reconstruct the ever popular “Green Dragon” float which leads the boat parade every year. The cost to revamp the dragon exceeded $2,000.

A lawsuit was filed against the POA by two former employees who claimed they were improperly fired and that one was falsely accused of stealing pizzas and disparaged in a community publication.

Canyon Lake residents Scott Covey, Dave Rowan, Matt Szymanski, Anthony Rowe, Nate Duer and Terry O’Brien represented Canyon Lake in Red Bull’s Flutag Race held in San Francisco. The team took third place with the flying craft they designed and built to look like a taco.

Canyon Lake resident and chef Wayne Quintos (owner of The Urban Craft Eatery in Towne Center) won second place in the People’s Choice category at the annual So-Cal Chef Open.

1 year ago

On November 8, California voters passed California Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative. According to the Secretary of State website, 56.5 percent of the voters voted to pass Proposition 64 and 43.5 percent voted against it.

While medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996 with the passage of Proposition 215, the possession or use of it for recreational purposes was not legal until now.

Larry Greene, Randy Bonner and Jordan Ehrenkranz were elected to the Canyon Lake City Council. Results showed Larry Greene as the top vote-getter with 2,093 votes, Randy Bonner with 1,886 votes and incumbent Jordan Ehrenkranz with 1,516 votes out of 7,541 cast. Coming in fourth and fifth respectively were George Middle with 1,074 votes and David Eilers with 972 votes.

Residents donated 97 turkeys and several dozen bags of fixings to the city’s 6th annual Turkey Drive.

The Temescal Canyon High School football team beat the Elsinore High School Tigers on Nov. 4 earning them the Mayors Trophy and a spot in the CIF-SS Division 8 playoffs.

Sixty golfers participated in the Women’s Golf Club’s Turkeys on the Loose Jack and Jill Tournament.

The weather high in Canyon Lake for the week of Nov. 9 to Nov. 15 was 88. Weather low was 45.