Lakeshore Resort History
Lakeshore Resort was built in 1922. It features a number of unique wooden structures in the Sierra National Forest. It has been nominated for the National Registry of Historic Places.
In 1922, Harry Allen, a heavy equipment engineer who worked on the building of the dams, built the General Store / Hotel and some of the cabins. He was the person who took a Model T Ford over the mountains establishing the Kaiser Pass Road to the backcountry. Harry and his wife Merle provided housing and comfort for the men working on the Big Creek hydroelectric project during the early 20’s. The hotel was used as a resting place and medical facility for the men who became sick or injured while working on the Ward Tunnel.
The history of Lakeshore Resort and Huntington Lake is tied into the building of one of the most ambitious hydroelectric projects in California history. In 1924 Allen lost the resort to a cattleman named J.C. Walling. Walling built the offices and lodge hall, and more cabins and owned Lakeshore until 1945. During the war years, Huntington Lake was not visited much due to gas rationing and the dams had to be protected from saboteurs.
Lakeshore was again purchased in 1945 by the Edwards / Vandergrif family and was owned by them until 1976. The years between 1976 and 1984 were tough times for Lakeshore. The resort was owned by limited partnerships and sold three times during that eight-year period. The owners changed the name to Alpine Village and again to Canadian Village. At the end of the summer season in 1984, Lakeshore closed its door and went into bankruptcy.
On Labor Day weekend of 1987, the resort was boarded up and abandoned. Stephen and Melinda Sherry were camping at Deer Creek Campground across from the resort. They, along with their four children had been coming up to the area since 1973. Mr. Sherry said to his wife “let’s go over and look around Lakeshore”. That "look around" ended with them purchasing the property from the trustee in Fresno.
They were able to reopen the resort in the early spring of 1988. At the time, it included 29 cabins, an RV Park, saloon, restaurant, market, 19 hotel rooms, offices, lobby area, lodge hall with attached sun room (which was falling down), various out buildings and post office. The sunroom was reattached to the lodge hall, the sewer plant made operational, the saloon, restaurant, general store opened and the community rejoiced.
In 2022, the resort was purchased by Levon and Diane Nargizyan. The couple liked the idea that Lakeshore Resort was traditionally a focal point for cabin owners, vacationers and those out for a daily drive to Come, Play, and Stay. They liked that it is known as a family-friendly facility.