Bear Resort began
in 1948 when a school teacher from Louisville , KY ,
took a drive around the newly formed Kentucky Lake .
Robert MacFarland and his wife came upon this perfect
place and decided, right then and there, that they wanted
to open a fishing camp. It wasn't something they planned
to do; it was just something that presented itself.
the time the area was pretty much wilderness. Mrs. MacFarland
was scared because she claimed you could hear big cats
screaming at night. She didn't know if there were Mountain
Lions roaming the area or if it was wild cats but she
had a great fear of them. At night some of the cabin
guests would need more kerosene for their cottages and
she would have to go out back and fill up their cans.
The kerosene was kept out back in a 55 gallon drum on
a platform. She was always certain one of those big
cats was going to be sitting on top of that drum of
kerosene waiting for her! She told a friend that she
had to control herself until she got the kerosene and
then run back to the house.
first none of the buildings had foundations. Each unit
was set up in the air on concrete blocks. Air conditioning
meant you propped open the shutters with a stick. Heat
was kept in by closing them. Mr. Mac and some of his
neighbors had gone coon hunting one night and the dogs
chased the coon back to the Mac's house. Mrs. Mac said
you had not lived until you wake up with one terrified
coon hissing and pack of coon hounds baying under your
that far out of town and with transportation and roads
not what they are today, the town sheriff made Mr. Mac
a deputy, just in case he had any problems with a customer.
This way, he could “legally” take care of the guests.
Mac had an old guide that worked at the lake who had
lived here long before there was a lake. Actually, the
lake was so new that most everyone around had lived
here before there had been a lake. The old guide would
take fishermen out and knew where to get the fish. In
the spring or fall when the birds were migrating, he
and Mr. Mac would get in a boat and go goose or duck
hunting. Mind you, this was before fish and wildlife
agencies existed. He said the old guide had an old gun
and he would shoot until the barrel got too hot to touch
so he would dunk it in the lake to cool it off, then
bring it out and shoot some more. He said it was quite
funny to see that old man leaning over the side of the
boat, holding his gun in the water and steam coming
up. It had a certain smell to it …the combination of
lake water and gun powder.
Bear Resort had its humble beginnings as
a fisherman's campground in 1948. Located in the Big
Bear Embayment of Kentucky Lake, at the point
of Malcom and Bear Creek, Big Bear Resort has provided
anglers with one of the best points on the lake for
fishing. Owned and operated by Rick and Janet (Caldemeyer)
Meier since 1971, the resort embodies an old-fashion
family vacation with modern amenities. Many memories
of tackle-bearing anglers stepping up to the old marina
and bait shop to rent one of the jon boats, which were
put out each morning, still reside in the minds of those
who share their fond fishing experiences at Big Bear
with their grandchildren.
The front office in 1950...
... and as it appears today.
|The addition of rustic fishing cottages
throughout the years and the remodeling of an original
1812 log cabin during the 1950's began a lodging tradition
of Kentucky hospitality and service, an enduring signature
for Kentucky Lake vacationers.
The jon boat marina in 1948...
... and Big Bear marina today.
remember fun-filled vacations as children at Big Bear:
fishing, swimming, camping and outdoor fun and more!.
They remember the rolling woodlands in which they camped
; the restaurant once located next to the office, in
which they dined; and, of course, the countless tales
of the 'Big One' which sometimes didn't
bringing their own children to Big Bear, much has changed
and much has remained the same. Your hosts, the Meiers,
continually strive for excellence in your vacation experience.
Today the 52 acres of woodland lakefront splendor feature
the best and modern conveniences on the lake; such as,
cottages, townhomes, condos and villas. Big Bear Marina
provides boat rentals, guide services, bait, tackle,
gas, snacks, ice and gifts.
We would like to thank all of
our guests for all the wonderful years you gave us at
Big Bear and warmly welcome our new quests.
1948 views of
Big Bear. The first Kentucky Lake resort.
History of the Log Cabin
Log Cabin was originally owned by Rosabell and Tom
Threlkeld of Paducah, KY.
Threlkeld was an attorney and was paid with the Log
Cabin. When Mr. McFarland bought Big Bear he
let the Threlkeld's put the Log Cabin on the property.
The McFarland's sold the resort in the early '50's,
along with the cabin, and the Housers used the Log
Cabin as their summer headquarters during the the
Big Bear Camp days.
thanks to Bettie (Threlkeld) and Tom Poland of Danville,
KY for the information and pictures.
This is the
Log Cabin before it came to Big Bear
This is how
the Log Cabin looks today.