California Genealogy and History Archives
San Bernardino County and Riverside County
CARL W. STILLWELL. — California is properly termed the Golden State, for it has proven a veritable treasure trove to the people of this country from the day that the first particles of precious metal were discovered, but today its wealth is not confined to its gold deposits, nor are those profiting from its wonderful natural resources merely miners. Its possibilities are unlimited, and almost every day new ones are uncovered until the enthusiasm of its native sons is shared by all who come within the radius of its beneficent influence. One of these of quite recent development is the presence, especially in the southern portion, of regions which for beauty of scenery, climatic conditions, hunting and fishing opportunities and camping facilities far out-distances any advantages offered by foreign resorts in any part of the world. One of these delightful natural playgrounds is Big Bear Valley, which since 1915 has shown a most remarkable development, and is fast becoming one of the most popular in the country. The fact that here may be developed ideal camps to which are attracted the very best class of tourists has brought into the Valley men of wide experience, high character and commanding business ability, and one who is finding here congenial surroundings and manifold opportunities for his genius as a promoter is Carl W. Stillwell, proprietor of Stillwell's Camp at Pine Knot.
Carl W. Stillwell was born at Big Rapids, Michigan, May 12, 1884, and was educated at Ferris Institute, that city. His first business experience was secured at Saint Louis, Missouri, with the Stillwell Catering Company, operating in hotels and restaurants. For ten years he maintained this connection, and then, in 1911, came to California and was still associated with his father C. H. Stillwell (now proprietor of the Stillwell Hotel, Los Angeles, in opening up and managing the following places. They opened and operated The Morgan Hotel, Eighth and Hope streets, Los Angeles. Selling this property, they opened the Monroe Apartments, lease and furnished, and conducted them until they sold them. The next venture was the operating of the furnished apartment houses known as the Hirsh and Potter apartments, which they had newly furnished.
Always on the outlook for big undertakings, Mr. Stillwell came to Big Bear Valley August 24, 1919, and leased of the Bear Valley Mutual Water Company for a period of twenty-five years, with the privilege of buying the property at the termination of the period of the lease, ten acres of lake front land. At once he began the improvement of his property, constructing Stillwell Camp. He erected permanent buildings, modern in design and equipment, a general store, dance hall and pool hall, twenty-five cabins and nice dining rooms, and provided for all kinds of outdoor sports and athletic games, which are offered free to his guests, including a fleet of boats, motor, row and sail, and canoes. Many original ideas are constantly being carried out for the advantage of his guests. During 1921 he inaugurated the practice of throwing open free to the public the dance and pool halls. Mr. Stillwell's young son, Charley Monroe Stillwell, is leader of his magnificent orchestra, which plays in his dance hall and pavilion.
The same enterprise, energy and originality which characterize his present operations have made Mr. Stillwell a success in all of his former enterprises.
On December 29, 1904, Mr. Stillwell married Miss Mamie Caroline Monroe at Saint Louis, Missouri. She was born at Indianapolis, Indiana, and is a highly educated, cultured lady, whose charming personality adds to the attractiveness of the home atmosphere she and her husband strive to maintain at their mountain camp. They have a son, Charley Monroe, who is fifteen years of age and was born at Saint Louis. He has attended the Los Angeles High School, and although only fifteen years old is a musical genius, specializing on the piano, saxophone and drums. The opening of the spring season 1922 will find him leader of a five piece orchestra, he playing the drums as well as the saxophone.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011