Early Development of Lake Mont Pines

Compiled by Lynn Glocker

Lake Mont Pines HistoryIn telling the story of Lake Mont Pines history, we must start with the Tanner family. The land where Lake Mont Pines is located was once a portion of the expansive land holdings of the Tanner family. In 1948 three of the brothers, Norman, Norval & Irvin, from Murphys, California, felled trees on the 260-acre parcel and planted over a thousand Gravenstein apple trees, some of which remain in Lake Mont Pines today.

By the end of 1959, the brothers devised a plan to create a recreational subdivision. In January 1960 they incorporated the property and created Tanner Lake Municipal Water Company. They began dredging a section of Cowell Creek, which ran through the property, and created the lake.

The first area developed was not near the lake but on McKenzie Avenue. Also, properties along highway 4 were reserved for commercial property. By the end of 1960, the Tanner brothers were working with Kenneth DeMeuse, a real estate developer from Alameda County. Joining with several other real estate investors, they took over what was known briefly as Tanner Lake Subdivision. By December 1961, the developers started marketing and selling more lots in Lake Mont Pines. Units 1-4 were open, followed by Unit 5 in March 1965. A total of 586 lots comprised the development, and the first home in the subdivision was built in 1962.

The original Articles of Incorporation were filed with the California Secretary of State on June 18th, 1962 with a fee of $5.00 from each property owner, creating the official Lake Mont Pines Homeowners Association. The first board meeting of the newly formed Lake Mont Pines Homeowners Association was held on September 2nd, 1962. According to the minutes, the two board members present were Kenneth DeMeuse and James K. Strachen. David Spurgeon was absent.

The first sales office was built in 1962, located close to Highway 4 and the building remains as a private residence today. Real estate agents Frank Bennett & Norval Wyrick brought their families to Arnold from the San Francisco Bay Area to sell Lake Mont Pines and Blue Lake Springs. The Bennetts, including wife Lucile and daughters Jean and Joan, stayed at the Timberline Lodge in Arnold on the weekends and commuted from Castro Valley until their first home was built on Dean Way in Blue Lake Springs. Norval Wyrick and his wife Mary and sons Bill, Bob, and Tom eventually settled in Lake Mont Pines. His eldest son Bill Wyrick ran the General Store in White Pines.

The lodge in 1963 | Photo provided by Lynn Glocker

1963 saw the completion of the lodge with a deck, snack bar, kitchen, and bathrooms. It opened as a restaurant for the property owners. In 1968, to enlarge the common area and recreation facilities the Board of Directors purchased several lots along the shore of Tanner Lake.

Tanner Lake in 1968 | Photo provided by Lynn Glocker

Today we have a well-rounded community of full-time and part-time families and retirees. The Tanner brothers created a beautiful haven for generations of families. Offering nature hikes, swimming, sailing, lasting friendships, and much more.

Lynn Glocker Lake Mont Pines plotInformation for this article on Lake Mont Pines history was gleaned from historical documents at the Calaveras County Historical Society, memoirs of residents, Joan Bennett, HOA board meeting minutes dating back to the original meeting in 1962 records, and family photos from Lynn Glocker (pictured as a child at left, at her own family's Lake Mont Pines plot).

You are invited to share your memories of Lake Mont Pines history, personal memories, or photos.  Please feel free to contact Lynn Glocker at LynnGlocker@gmail.com.