Looking Back


Here’s a look back at some of the things that were happening in the month of July over the past 45 years in Canyon Lake.

45 years ago

In July 1973, the Home Owners Club hosted a Fourth of July pool party at the lodge pool. Relay races, tug of war and greased watermelon contests were all part of a fun and successful event.

Ed Park was hired as a youth counselor at the newly gained recreation room at the lodge which had previously housed POA staff. Ed had many plans for the youth recreation room, which included enlisting youth to help decorate the room, holding dances and having ping-pong, pool table, jukebox and pinball machines to help keep Canyon Lake youngsters busy.

In 1973, this group of young people helped to save the sinking boat of the Davis family. Names were not available as the youth pranked the editor of Lighthouse Magazine by giving false names.File Photo

A group of Canyon Lake youth helped to save the sinking boat of the Davis family and were praised by the Lighthouse Magazine Editor as a “Good bunch of kids,” who did “A great job!” The editor was unable to list the names of the youth as they pranked her by providing her fake names.

Campground Chairman Mitzie Mordkin announced that the 1st annual Boat Floatilla of Lights would be held Sept. 2. The Boat Floatilla is now called the Parade of Lights and is hosted by the Yacht Club.

Canyon Lake Women’s Golf Club presented its first President’s Cup award to Clara Brown. Clara said she was “Proud as a peacock.” Her name was to be inscribed on the perpetual trophy which she would hold for one year or until it would be passed on to a new winner.

Corona Land Company donated a three-acre parcel on Railroad Canyon Road to house the new Canyon Lake Community Church.

40 years ago

A beauty contest was held on July 2 by the pool at the lodge. The five categories were; Miss Tiny Canyon Lake, ages three to five; Miss Little Canyon Lake, ages six to nine; Miss Pre-teen Canyon Lake, ages 10-12, Miss Canyon Lake, ages 13-18; last but not least Mr. Hairy Legs for men.

The Home Owners Club incorporated their monthly news bulletin into Lighthouse Magazine’s monthly publication. According to Editor Dorothy Southern, the merger would benefit both current subscribers of the magazine as well as Home Owners Club members. Dorothy wrote in the July issue, “Now, anyone who joins the Home Owners Club at the cost of $6 would receive Lighthouse Magazine for a year at no charge.” Existing subscribers would benefit by being informed of Home Owners Club activities as they, “Are the watchdog over the POA activities,” said Dorothy.

A feud between the British and the Yanks broke out on the weekend of the Fourth of July. Residents took sides and battles took place in the form of contests. Houses on Gold Cove were decorated with American or British flags and signs, some of which read “Down with the Yanks” and “Go home British.” Americans won the tube race, swimming contest, egg toss, horseshoe contest and retrieving greased watermelons from the lake contest. British won the rowing contest and volleyball. Ping pong was canceled with both sides claiming they would have won.

POA General Manager Floyd Fiddler announced he was getting bids to see what it would cost to enlarge the Fireside Room and lounge at the lodge.

At the campground, speed bumps were put in to slow traffic down and make it safer for children. Additionally, the campground restrooms were painted and flowers were being planted in an effort to beautify the amenity.

Villa Properties Inc. advertised in the Lighthouse Magazine custom built homes starting at $69,500 and three bedroom, two bath custom waterfront homes starting at $95,000. Available for rent was a 2,300 sq. ft. waterfront home for $745 per month and a two bedroom, two bath condominium on Treasure Island for $425 per month.

35 years ago

In July 1983, Canyon Lake held its first fireworks show on July 3. Chairman Pat Sullenger of the President’s Committee sent out a plea in Canyon Lake Community News requesting additional donations of more than $200 to pay the final bill for the fireworks.

The rising costs of the lake lease which had gone from $87,000 in 1977 to $247,000 in 1983 were cause for concern among residents. Representatives from the POA and Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District formed a committee to look into the legal and financial ramifications of acquiring Canyon Lake from Temescal Water. The groups objective was to study legal documents and leases to determine if the purchase would be workable and timely.

The new captain of Fire Station 60 sent out a call for volunteer firefighters. “We’re primarily looking for people who are interested in community service. If a person has had prior firefighting experience, that’s great, but we will be holding classes to certify volunteers,” he stated.

Boat dock rentals were available for rent for $300 per year and fishing boats were available for rent for full or half day at the Village Store.

The POA Board of Directors voted to enforce the CC&Rs prohibiting keeping animals not classified as normal household pets on premises within Canyon Lake. The vote to enforce this rule was in response to a resident who had been maintaining a leopard and bobcat as pets.

On July 30, the POA held an auction of “used usables” at the Maintenance Center. Items up for auction ranged from tables and chairs to tools and unclaimed lost and found items that had accumulated over the years.

30 years ago

In July 1988, the Home Owners Club held its annual Fourth of July Volleyball Tournament at Sierra Park. Twelve teams signed up for the double elimination competition. Prizes awarded were $60 for first place, $35 for second place and $25 for third place.

For the first time, donations for Canyon Lakes fireworks show were not solicited from the community thanks to the Presidents’ Council and the community-wide reclamation project of newspapers and aluminum cans funded the fireworks which cost approximately $3,600. More than 290 pyrotechnic shots were set off from Skipper’s Island on July 4.

The Equestrian Center introduced a “Petting Zoo.” Open to the entire community, the zoo featured two chickens, three ducks, three rabbits, two miniature horses and goats. Under the direction of the new Equestrian Center Manager Eldon Beheney, the amenity had seen numerous improvements and needed repairs as well as increasing the number of horses boarded by 100 percent.

The POA Board of Directors appointed a group of experts from Canyon Lake to evaluate the proposed agreement with the Eastern Municipal Water District regarding the purchase of the lake. The Lake Lease Negotiating Committee was formed to preserve and protect the rights of Canyon Lake property owners.

The Public Works Committee was looking into solutions for the congestion at Canyon Lakes Post Office locations. More than 3,000 households were being served by post office boxes at three locations. Public Works Committee members Bill Scheib and Steve Libring made several revisions to a plan to place approximately 60 neighborhood cluster boxes throughout the community.

Volunteer firefighters were soliciting funds from property owners. Annual donations from individuals and clubs were needed to help pay for insurance and gasoline, to purchase new gear and maintain and replace existing equipment.

25 years ago

In July 1993, the POA and Golding Publications were involved in litigation after the POA canceled its contract with The Friday Flyer and received a temporary restraining order against Golding Publications to reduce the masthead of the paper to The Flyer. Directed by the POA Board, the POA contracted a replacement periodical to be published by the POA to be called The Canyon Laker. Attempts by The Flyer editor Carolyn Knight to get costs for the new POA periodical went unanswered. According to The Flyer estimates for the total cost per year to POA members would be more than $72,000.

The Golf Course Beautification Tournament raised more than $4,000 and the clubhouse and bar received approximately $2,000 thanks to the event. Tournament Chairman Bob Bohan reported that over the past several years the tournament had raised upwards of $40,000 to beautify the golf course.

The City of Canyon Lake held a celebration on July 27 to dedicate the new traffic signal outside the East Gate at Canyon Lake Drive North and Goetz. Festivities included a continental breakfast for all residents, a short program and a procession of vehicles from several organizations and clubs through the signal following its dedication.

EVMWD announced an intensive sewer rehabilitation project in Canyon Lake would begin in mid-September. The improvements were ordered by the Regional Water Quality Control Board after excessive rainfall in the winter caused sewers in Canyon Lake to overflow.

A four bedroom, two bath golf course home was being offered at $229,000 and a “spectacular” waterfront home with a pool and spa was being offered for $389,000.

POA President Lori Ziegler reported she had received many complaints regarding inconsistencies in the new street signs that were approved by the 1992-93 Board of Directors. In addition to misspellings, several signs had the word “Drive” spelled out while others were abbreviated. Some of the abbreviations were in all caps while others were upper and lower case. File Photo

POA President Lori Ziegler reported she had received many complaints regarding inconsistencies in the new street signs that were approved by the 1992-93 Board of Directors. Some signs had the word “Drive” spelled out while others were abbreviated. Some of the abbreviations were in all caps while others were upper and lower case. There were also misspellings in some street names. Residents were asked to report inconsistencies so that corrections could be made.

The Board voted 5-0 to add the Canyon Lake Community Theatre and Performing Arts Association to its list of sanctioned clubs.

20 years ago

In July 1998, the POA and City of Canyon Lake reported the Fourth of July holiday to be crowded but peaceful as the number of guests entering the gates numbered 16,890.

Canyon Lake City Manager Jeff Butzlaff resigned to take a similar position in Calistoga, California. Jeff served as city manager for seven years and was an active member of the community, serving as president of the Lions Club, president of the Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the annual Canyon Lake Classic 10k Run and as director of the Home Owners Club. An Open House was held at Village Cafe to bid Jeff farewell.

A meeting was held at Blue Bird Hall to discuss issues regarding the increasingly popular sport of wakeboarding. A large crowd of property owners attended the meeting to discuss the hot topic. Of greatest concern were the wake enhancing devices often required to perform maneuvers which some residents complained the resulting waves damaged boat docks and eroded slopes. Skiers also complained as many preferred a smooth surface to ski on and wakeboarders caused excess waves. Solutions that were discussed were moving buoys to keep boats further from the docks, converting the ski jump lagoon into a wakeboarding area and providing time allotments for various water sports. It was decided the Lake-Marina Committee would name a sub-committee to study the issue and report back to the board in the near future.

A lawsuit was filed in Riverside County Superior Court on behalf of a young boy who was hit by a car in August 1992 as he crossed Continental Drive to attend a weigh-in of the Kids Fishing Derby. The complaint named the driver of the car, owner of the car, POA, Wells Fargo and the Canyon Lake Anglers and Bassmasters Clubs as the defendants. The injured 12-year-old boy suffered a coma and months of rehabilitation.

In 1998, new playground equipment was installed at what is now Emerald Park. The new equipment was made possible by a $5,000 contribution by the Jr. Women’s Club. File Photo

New playground equipment was installed at what is now Emerald Park on Gray Fox Drive. The new equipment was made possible by a generous $5,000 contribution by the Jr. Women’s Club. Other improvements at the park were landscaping around the pump station provided by EVMWD.

A 1,868 sq. ft. three bedroom, two bath home on Point Marina Drive was being offered at $270,000 and a 2,400 sq. ft. four bedroom home on a cul-de-sac on Red Setter Place was offered at $198,500.

15 years ago

In July 2003, following several years of drought and low water levels, Canyon Lakers were finally enjoying high water levels thanks to the deluge of rain in the winter months. EVMWD announced that water levels would once again go down as the water district had completed its first phase of a $200,000,000 project and was once again operating the filtration plant. EVMWD also announced that water rates would rise later in the year.

A fire fighting aircraft scoops water from Canyon Lake in an effort to extinguish a fire that burned down Lamb’s Fellowship Church in 2003. File Photo

Lamb’s Fellowship Church on Railroad Canyon Road was under construction when a fire broke out destroying the 20,000 sq. ft. building. Canyon Lake residents and boaters had a great view as aircraft manned with large water buckets scooped water from the lake in an effort to extinguish the fire.

A 1,600 sq. ft. three bedroom, two bath home on Hoofbeat Way was being offered at $315,000 and a four bedroom, four bath “luxury” waterfront home was being offered at $849,000.

The matriarch of Canyon Lake’s Zingg family Margie Zingg-Donaldson was named World Champion of Tae kwon do in a competition against women age 60 and over in Little Rock, Arkansas. Margie won a gold medal in form performance and a silver medal in sparring.

The community mourned as they paid their respects at a memorial service at Canyon Lake Community Church for 16-year-old Canyon Laker Brennan DiMaggio who was killed in a head-on collision on Railroad Canyon Road on July 1. Brennan would have turned 17 on July 17 and was looking forward to entering his senior year at Temescal Canyon High School.

Former editor of The Friday Flyer Carolyn Knight and her husband Vic won the sweepstakes prize in the Home Owners Club’s Green Thumbs in Paradise contest. Carolyn and Vic created a park that included a waterfall on a vacant lot adjacent to their home on Canyon Lake Drive South.

The POA Board of Directors voted 5-0 to remove the lake and marina rule in the CC&Rs that allowed three boats to be registered per lot, two of which could be over 70 horsepower.

10 years ago

In July 2008, the Fourth of July fireworks ended with more of a fizzle than sizzle as spectators complained there was no grand finale.

The POA Board of Directors held a three and a half hour Community Forum regarding a proposal to prohibit the parking of RV’s, boats and other motor toys in the community setback area. More than 60 attended the meeting with those in favor of maintaining the status quo speaking louder than the ones in favor of the proposal. Many exclaimed the reason they moved to Canyon Lake was that they were allowed to park RV’s, boats and toys in their driveways and in setbacks. Those for the proposal referred to it as an eyesore. Board members assured the residents they had not made any decisions and that a vote on the matter would be taken at the August meeting.

Canyon Lake City Councilmember Mary Craton was presented with the Woman of the Year Award from Soroptimist International of Tri-Valley at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula. Soroptimist International is an organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of young girls and women in their local communities and around the world.

Sky Blue Invites held an open house in the Multi-purpose Room at city hall to offer residents a sneak peak of a rendering the commercial plans of what the group envisioned for the development of Goetz Hill. The project would involve grading the hill and terracing the 29 acres to achieve a nine to 10 acre pad for retail store sites. According to investor Dave Carlton, one of the perks for Canyon Lake residents would be golf cart access to the center.

Canyon Laker Anton Riniti, better known as Chef Anton, won the national championship in hydrofoiling at the Erlich Toyota United States Hydrofoiling Association Nationals held on Lake Water Valley in Windsor, Colorado.

A three bedroom, two bath waterfront home on Boat Haven Drive was being offered for $625,000 and a two bedroom, two bath home with a swimming pool on Gray Fox Drive was sold for $325,000.

5 years ago

In July 2013, the prospect of closing Fire Station 60 was looming. At the July meeting, Canyon Lake City Council discussed putting a Fire Safety Special Tax measure on the November ballot. The proposed tax would be for a five-year period at a flat rate of $260.25 per parcel. Council members decided to vote on the proposed measure at their August meeting.

A Canyon Lake mother credited Engine 60 with saving her life. A group of residents learned first-hand the need to keep Fire Station 60 open when at a pool party at the Canyon Lake home of Alana and Randy Reynolds, Alana slipped and fell. Alana received a nine inch by three inch laceration to her thigh that severed an artery. While her husband and partygoers tried to create a tourniquet it did not completely stop the bleeding. It was the quick response time of Engine 60 that kept Alana alive.

Canyon Lake Community Theatre put on an all-kids production of “Seussical Jr.” in the Holiday Bay Room at the lodge. Producer Sue Collins said, “ It’s a conglomeration of the best-loved Dr. Seuss storylines and characters. A show like this is the kind of hopeful, sweet and silly celebration of life that reminds audiences a person’s a person no matter how small.”

Canyon Lake Little League Junior All-Stars won the District Championship held at Los Alamos Hills Sports Park in Murrieta. It was the 11th time a Canyon Lake team won the Championship since the league was formed in 1996.

The team of Jon Evans and Steve Baker earned the top spot in the Bassmasters Club July fishing tournament with a five-fish limit of 19.26 pounds.

Auditions and rehearsals for the inaugural Canyon Lake Has Talent Show were held July 17. The show was held during the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce mixer on July 31 at Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in the Canyon Lake Towne Center.