The greater Arnold area is filled with natural bounties and a noteworthy past.
The giant Sequoia trees found in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park began growing in the Mesozoic Era, when giant dinosaurs stalked the Earth. In 1931, long after the Sierra Miwok Indian tribe inhabited the area, the North Grove became included in the California State Park System as Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The California Gold Rush of the mid-1800s brought an influx of people to the area in search of opportunity. With this new population and the area’s extraordinary natural attractions, the Arnold community experienced its first industry, tourism, which continues to be an important resource.
The town of Arnold has its roots in the logging industry with the first mill opening in the 1860s. It remained the primary industry until the Blagen Mill, located in White Pines, closed in 1962. The town received its name from Bob and Bernice Arnold, who arrived in 1927, and built the Ebbetts Pass Inn and Restaurant which was completed in 1939. This is also the year Highway 4 became a State Highway.
In the mid 1960s with the development of the Bear Valley recreation areas and several subdivisions (many with private lakes, pools and recreation facilities), modern-day greater Arnold began to take shape. Continued growth has resulted in thousands of primary and secondary homes, with many more building sites still available. Arnold to day is a destination resort for Mountaion sports and recreation and continues to be a special place for all to live or get away to its beauty.
Present day Arnold was once comprised of several cattle ranches and sawmills. The Dunbar Ranch and Sawmill spanned 880 acres and was believed to have been established on 6 different parcels of land by homestead certificates. The other cattle Ranch, was named the Moran Cattle Ranch, which was located along Moran Road, then the main road through the Arnold Area. The Moran Cattle Ranch covered an area over 2,000 acres.
The town of Arnold was first founded by Bob and Berniece Arnold (the town’s namesake) when they purchased 40 acres of land on October 4, 1928. They built a house and some cabins on the main road, later known as Highway 4. They rented the cabins to people on vacation and eventually sold home-cooked meals to their guests and travelers going to ski and play in the snow.
Arnold itself consists of smaller housing communities that were founded at different times and have grown together to form the larger community of Arnold. Blue Lake Springs, PineBrook, Lakemont Pines, Meadowmont, Fly-In Acres, White Pines, Lilac Park and Grizzly Ridge are all subdivisions contributing to the whole of Arnold. The neighboring town of Dorrington boasts two developments, Big Trees Village and Snow Shoe Springs. Each subdivision has its own special features making Arnold and its surrounding area so unique.
Recreation in Arnold and the surrounding area is abundant. Most housing communities have either an adjoining lake or swimming area, along with club houses and resorts. Two golf courses are centrally located in Arnold with beautiful mountain surroundings that you can’t find at other courses in Northern California. Big Trees State Park, just 3 miles above Arnold is one of the only places where the public can easily view giant Sequoia trees. Fishing, boating, camping and biking are easily accessible in Arnold or a short distance from Arnold. Skiing is also a plus with Mt. Reba Ski Area only a hop, skip and a jump from your winter vacation hideaway in Arnold. All of the above features of Arnold give reasoning behind the coined term, “God’s Country”, which was given to the area.