Looking back


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

45 Years Ago

In 1974, Canyon Lake was six years young and still growing. Jim Cross was president of the Property Owners Association and Smith Falconer Jr. was general manager. Exclusive condominium homes on Treasure Island were offered for $62,750.

Ruthe Lee reported that the Home Owners Club was considering filing a formal complaint with the Public Utilities Commission regarding the Edison Company’s rates for those living in an all-electric community.

After a worship service held at the lodge, residents were invited to the Fireside Room to view a model of the new Canyon Lake Community Church being built on Railroad Canyon Road.

40 Years Ago

In June 1979, one could still buy a vacant lot on Pin Tail Drive for $8,800, a three-bedroom, two-bath home on Early Round Drive for $79,500 and a waterfront residence with dock on Big River Drive for $160,000.

The Canyon Lake Yacht Club held its inaugural open house, hosted by Commodore Sammy Lewis. Seventy people attended. Members were told they soon would receive their sailing flag with a Canyon Lake logo and membership card.

POA General Manager Floyd Fidler was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. Members of the 1979 POA Board were Mildred Browning, Bill Cozad, Emmett O’Donnell, Ben Price and Gerald Zahrte.

Bill Reitzell was president of the Home Owners Club.

Having the newest Canyon Lake amenity named “Gault Field” honored Bill Gault, who was instrumental in convincing the POA to build a new baseball field.

Fred Dalby, campground manager, announced that he had received many compliments on the improved conditions at the facility.

Canyon Lake Lighthouse Magazine Editor Dorothy Southern asked residents to answer the question, “Do you think the gas shortage will affect Canyon Lake, and how?” In the magazine’s “Candid Corner,” three out of four residents felt it would affect Canyon Lake positively because, as one said, “It will increase the use of recreation areas out here because we’re so close to the city, and probably increase real estate sales.”

Lioness Club President Pat Ness reported that the group was planning to publish a cookbook and wanted to have local residents provide recipes to be included.

35 Years Ago

The POA Board Members in 1984 were Jim Cashman, Mary Johnson, John Giardinelli, Robert Rackstraw and Ike Runner. The Presidents Council spearheaded a fundraising drive to collect the estimated $4,000 to cover the expenses of the 4th of July fireworks show. It was suggested that the lodge and Sunset Beach would be the best places to view the spectacular show.

With the coming of summer and warm weather, more than 20 snakes were encountered by Canyon Lakers during the month, according to local herpetologist Lance Buchanan, who picked them up and moved them to a more hospitable environment.

A fencing project was approved by the POA that would secure the Fairway Estates and a portion of the golf course at the east side of Railroad Canyon Road.

The Dirty Dozen women’s softball announced a summer schedule that would start the new season as defending league champions.

The Jr. Women’s Club announced that they raised $5,235 to be contributed to various Canyon Lake clubs and projects from recent Chili Cook-Off proceeds.

Home Owners Club President John Feiger reported that Chuck Bryant of the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District would be the speaker at their monthly meeting and would respond to questions about the lake, sewage treatment plant and possible rate increases.

The Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs co-sponsored a golf tournament to benefit the Canyon Lake Library.

A 17-year-old Wilmington boy drowned near the ski jump, located outside the fenced area where the general public can gain entry from Greenwald Street – an area over which the Marine Patrol had no jurisdiction.

The lodge announced new hours, with the lounge offering live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dinners were served Wednesdays through Sundays with a Sunday Brunch special menu.

30 Years Ago

In 1989, a preliminary study dealing with the pros and cons of Canyon Lake incorporating into a city was being studied.

The active Home Owners Club sponsored a community forum dealing with the “Big One,” a long-anticipated earthquake that could impact Southern California.

The Jr. Women’s Club presented the Presidents Council with a check for $17,147, the profits from its 8th annual Chili Cook-Off.

According to Myron “Mike” Davis, the chairman of the Presidents’ Council, $3,650 was collected to help underwrite the annual 4th of July fireworks show off Skipper’s Island.

The POA settled its lawsuit with the insurer over expenses involving a case with a former Canyon Lake businessman.

A resident attempting to leave the country club on a left turn was broadsided by another vehicle and suffered major injuries. This resulted in the decision to build a median. A signal at the country club entrance wasn’t installed until 2012.

The Canyon Lake Sr. Men’s Slo-Pitch Softball team sponsored by Canyon Lake Appliances was a trophy winner in the league.

25 Years Ago

By 1994, Canyon Lake was 26 years old. As of June 7, Canyon Lake was 81 percent built, with 10 new homes approved in 1994, and 17 new homes under construction. Of the 3,767 total residences, 2,684 were owner-occupied, 487 leased and another 43 rented on a month-to-month basis. Weekenders numbered 481 and there were 999 vacant lots in the gated community.

In 1994, POA President Lori Ziegler passed her gavel to newly elected President John Zaitz. File Photo

Auditions were being held at Indian Beach for Canyon Lake Community Theatre’s production of “Peter Pan.” Earlier in the summer, CLCT’s Pat Train and Vick Knight, the “Wizard” in the group’s first production of “The Wizard of Oz,” were grand marshals at the Fiesta Day celebration.

A free electric shuttle bus in operation the summer of 1994 made it easier for young people to get from one amenity to another in Canyon Lake and the Towne Center.

POA President Lori Ziegler passed her gavel to newly elected President John Zaitz in a televised ceremony.

The City Council asked Canyon Lakers to submit designs for a monument sign that would welcome people to the city at its western boundary on Railroad Canyon Road.

Wells Fargo, the company that provided community patrol services in Canyon Lake, was considering a lake patrol for teens ages 14 and up that would work with Marine Patrol in maintaining safety on the lake.

Five-year-old Brent Miller was bitten by a brown recluse spider and acted as a warning to fellow Canyon Lakers of the painful condition caused by the arachnid.

20 Years Ago

POA General Manager Clint Warrell stands at the construction site of the POA’s new corporate offices in the Towne Center. The building was expected to be ready for occupancy the following month, in August 1999. File Photo

In June 1999, Canyon Lake Community Theatre held auditions for its fall production of “Annie.” Co-director Leslie Vecchione said she was looking for a large cast of kids of all ages, four years old and up.

Lions Club President John McNamara and Flag Chair Henry Perez presented U.S. flags to 650 students at Railroad Canyon Elementary School during patriotic assemblies coordinated by GATE teacher Glenda Haas. Lionesses Frances Cota, Marge Eannucci and Lucy Perez helped with the presentation.

The Women’s Golf Club held a special “Rally for the Cure” tournament and made $1,615 to donate to breast cancer research. Members of the Canyon Lake Bosom Buddies aided them at the registration table.

Clubs were rallying to provide funding for the community’s new Youth Center, which was due to open in August. Kids were being asked to let the Recreation Department know what kind of activities should be offered there.

An article in The Friday Flyer said that 27-year-old Jeremy McGrath sold his waterfront home on Emperor Drive after obtaining his sixth Supercross title in seven years earlier in the spring.

On a Tuesday morning, Canyon Lake Police responded to a call concerning a suspicious object near Blue Bird Hall and found a pipe bomb in a newspaper kiosk. Traffic was diverted while the Sheriff’s Hazardous Devices Team removed the device without incident.

The June 25, 1999 issue of The Friday Flyer provided a full page of information called “The Lodge Perspective,” containing pictures of floor plans created by GKK, Inc. for building the new lodge. The Facilities Planning Committee reviewed the floor plans and made them available to the public for review earlier in the month. Members of the FPC were Rich Croson, Mavis Schaffner, Tony Boyd and Jack Wamsley. Board liaisons were Marty Gibson and John McNamara.

A sign was posted in front of a new building in the Towne Center, declaring it the future home of the POA administration. The 9,100 sq. ft. facility was expected to be ready for occupancy in August.

15 Years Ago

As of June 7, 2004, there were 4,300 total residences in Canyon Lake. Of these, 3,401 were owner-occupied, 453 leased and 45 rented on a month-to-month basis. In addition, there were 317 weekend homes and 84 spec homes. There were 54 homes under construction and only 408 lots remained vacant.

The community was informed that the long-anticipated dredging project in the East Bay was to begin “soon.”

Jillian Haney, the youngest child of Canyon Lake’s Steve and Bev Haney, was honored as Temescal Canyon High School’s “Female Student of the Year” and one of several valedictorians, including her Canyon Lake classmates Cali Johnson and Jeremy Rice.

The new senior center by the main gate was unveiled.

Auditions were held for participation in the next production of Canyon Lake Community Theatre’s production of “The Sound of Music.”

Allegations of special treatment requested by a board member for swimming pool access caused numerous “Letters to the Editor” to be written.

POA Directors were studying the possibility of establishing a dog park within the community.

Carlee Blakemore and Trenton Paddock were named the top two graduates of Elsinore Middle School and presented with the coveted Cass Award.

10 Years Ago

In June 2009, Canyon Lake anglers Jack Wamsley, John Sullivan, Howard Berkowitz, Robb Smith, Leroy Madera, Neil Wagerley and Gene Jones traveled to Fern Creek Lodge in June Lake for their 11th annual fishing trip. File Photo

Members of the 2009 POA Board were Randy Bonner, Michelle Gordon, Steve Salazar, David Johnston and Guy Kestell.

Canyon Lake residents were told that the east gate would be closed to all traffic, with the exception of emergency vehicles, for two weeks beginning June 15, so that International Pavement Solutions could remove and replace the entire roadway, as well as the concrete at the east gate guard shack.

New Hope Community Church received approval from the City Council to relocate the church and all of its existing programs, including Hope Learning Academy, to the Towne Center. It took over the building that had previously housed Curves, and before Curves, Calvary Chapel of Canyon Lake.

Steven Brooks competed in the U.S. Waterski Team Trials in Florida and earned one of four available spots on the U.S. team.

Gault Field was awash in colorful booths and inflatable jumpers as Canyon Lake Little League hosted its annual closing day ceremonies and carnival. Girls softball completed its first successful season.

Debby Gagnon’s Honda Accord was stolen from the parking lot in front of the Pack, Wrap and Post, but was recovered undamaged one week later in the parking lot of the Menifee Valley Athletic Club in Menifee.

In a hearing in the city multi-purpose room, a hearing officer found the show, “Seduction: Exotic Men of Magic,” staged at Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant earlier that year, did not violate city municipal code and dismissed the administrative citation issued against owner Marty Gibson, ordering the city to refund $300 in fines paid by him to the city.

Street Carts of Canyon Lake held its annual Poker Run, raising funds to benefit Lauren Couden-Morrison, the ill daughter of one of the members. The Poker Run was the first official event to be hosted at the newly reopened Indian Beach.

Graduating seniors who were featured in The Friday Flyer’s “Spotlight on Seniors” were Althea Wagoner, Trevor Heglund, Matt Rhoads, Erika Czach, David Hemm, Kalie Reams, Don Dennert, Aubrey Zenteno, Daniel Basubas, Brooke Hanson and Ava Shih.

The Department of Fish and Game partnered with the POA, City of Canyon Lake and EVMWD to provide a training clinic for detecting the dreaded quagga mussels on boats coming from outside waterways.

Canyon Lake anglers Jack Wamsley, John Sullivan, Howard Berkowitz, Robb Smith, Leroy Madera, Neil Wagerley and Gene Jones traveled to Fern Creek Lodge in June Lake for the groups 11th annual fishing trip.
The Women’s Golf Club congratulated two of its players, Mary Leathley and Marion Ewing, for getting holes-in-one on hole 15 on two separate days.

The Friday Flyer’s Reel People reviewed the following movies in June 2009: “Up,” “The Hangover,” “The Taking of Pelham 123” and “The Proposal.”

5 Years Ago

The POA estimates that close to 2,000 people came out for the first Taco Tuesday of the summer. Activities director Lynn Jensen said everyone seemed to be “happy and mellow,” with no disturbances reported. There was music, games, volleyball, vendors and families and friends simply enjoying the ambiance of the beach and lake.

On June 5, members of the Senior Chair Volleyball club took advantage of a special offer on the Catalina Flyer and traveled “26 miles across the sea” to spend a day on Catalina Island. The group enjoyed many of the activities offered on the island.

The Garden Club visited the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District facility on June 10, where EVMWD representatives Bonnie Woodrome and Mary Cherney gave members a guided tour of the drought-tolerant display gardens.

The Canyon Lake Tennis Club congratulated the winners of the “Celebrate Wimbledon” Team Mixer, held June 14. The winners were Melissa Recla, Brian Wood, Mary Jamarillo, Pam Riley, Meg Markley, Tiffany Kepford, George Middle, Anthony Hardin, John Hodge, Monica Hempel and Mike Baxter.

Ten young Canyon Lake women received $11,450 in scholarships from the Canyon Lake Woman’s Club. The recipients were Taylor Connor, Milia Gibbel, Chloe Howard, Katherine Jones, Teal Lundgren, Taylor Smoak, Nicole Taylor, Breanna Murray, Cara Deckert and Carlee Blakemore.

Nicole Taylor was the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship awarded by the Canyon Lake Yacht Club at their June meeting held at Roadrunner Park. The food, music and decorations made the evening meeting extra special.

Athletes ranging from ages 14 to 56 participated in the Super Sprint Off-Road Triathlon in Canyon Lake’s north ski area on June 21.

“Back to the Future” fans had a treat in store when the DeLorean Time Machine from the reality series “The Fireball Run Adventurally” (Adventure Rally) made a second appearance at the Canyon Lake Farmers Market on June 22.

Two of Canyon Lake’s Little League’s All-Star teams brought home the District 28 championship banners. The District 28 All-Star Tournament began on June 28 at Los Alamos Sports Park in Murrieta.

The Family Matters Club held its inaugural Community Swap Meet on June 29 at Holiday Harbor.

The Car Club congratulated Ed Stutler for having his 1950 Jeepster chosen as Car of the Month. According to Ed, the Jeepster in one of 5,856 built in 1950.

A variety of artwork was on display June 29 at the lodge during the Canyon Lake Art Association’s annual “Art at the Lake” show.

1 Years Ago

Riverside County firefighters responded to a residential structure fire on June 4, at 3:06 a.m. at the 29000 block of Old Wrangler Road. in Canyon Lake. The first arriving engine company reported fire coming from the roof of the garage of a two-story single family residence. One firefighter from Station 94 was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Riverside County firefighters responded to a residential structure fire on June 4, 2018, at the 29000 block of Old Wrangler Road in Canyon Lake. Photo by Terri Ireland

The Canyon Lake Woman’s Club welcomed, mermaids, mermen and pirates to its 4th annual Mermaid Festival on June 23 at Indian Beach. The community-wide event featured the ever-popular Cardboard Boat Challenge, contests, vendors, food, games and opportunity drawings.

Canyon Lake resident Paul Parque earned a gold medal on June 24 at the Pasadena Senior Games, an athletic competition event for men and women age 50 and older. The seventy-three-year-old did an impressive 66 military-style push-ups to beat out his competitors in the 70 to 74 age group.

Country music artist Keith Anderson performed at the lodge on June 30.