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  • Lazy K ranch

    I noticed that some of the vintage pictures feature the Lazy K Nudist Ranch in San Bernardino County, CA. Is this the previous name of an existing resort? or a now defunct resort?

  • #2
    Originally posted by lester:
    I noticed that some of the vintage pictures feature the Lazy K Nudist Ranch in San Bernardino County, CA. Is this the previous name of an existing resort? or a now defunct resort?
    Probably is one of the classic but defunct resorts. There were others -- Sagamatuma is written about and profusely depicted in the nudist magazines of the 50s and 60s, but you can't even find a back-reference to it on the internet. Mystic Oaks - arguably the oldest West Coast club, just closed down recently after a 70+ year run under various names.

    The reason = Today's real estate values can make nudist park operation in a major metropolitan area a poor return on capital value.

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    • #3
      Lazy K Ranch does not come up either. I have been checking the pictures for signage to determine where the pictures were taken. My hobbies is genealogy and historical research. I have BA in history. In genealogy, pictures often give clues to where they were taken and where the people were problably living.

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      • #4
        From a 1971 newspaper article about declining membership at Oakdale Guest Ranch in San Bernardino County. I think that this resort is now Deer Park. It mentioned that a nearby nudist resort was in the process of closing up for good. This was problably Lazy K. This would be the Devore area which is north of San Bernardino city.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lester:
          From a 1971 newspaper article about declining membership at Oakdale Guest Ranch in San Bernardino County. I think that this resort is now Deer Park. It mentioned that a nearby nudist resort was in the process of closing up for good. This was problably Lazy K. This would be the Devore area which is north of San Bernardino city.
          If you ever get down to Cypress Cove in Florida, you can visit the American Nudist Research Library.

          Back in the 1940s-50s-60s, the two major nudist organizations at the time were the American Sunbathing Association (now known as the American Association for Nude Recreation) -- originally founded in the early 30s and reorganized/chartered in the late 1940s, and there was a rival group known as the National Nudist Council, which was an offshoot of the original ASA, and existed as a "major" group into the mid-1980s. It eventually became a one-man outfit offering a monthly newsletter, and the organization ended in the late 1990s when the last owner perished in an auto accident.

          Now, both organizations sold "nudist mags" - generally available in large cities on newsstands. They were profusely illustrated, but they also had a considerable amount of editorial content, to promote their legitimacy as "educational and cultural publications". This got them past the legal obscenity tests of their day.

          The editorial content of those old nudist magazines is, for the most part, the record of North American nudist history.

          The ONLY record.

          If you peruse those magazines, you'll see some nudist parks from the early 50s that are still around -- Cedar Waters, Sky Farm, Rock Lodge, Solair, Pine Tree, Lupin Lodge, and undoubtedly some others.

          You'll also see a lot more that are now gone -- here in New England, there was Stony Acres, Birch Acres (revived as Berkshire Vista), Fernglades, Burgoyne Trail, and a few others.

          You'll also see a lot of photos and stories from some legacy parks like the aforementioned Lazy K Ranch, but they went out so long ago, you mighbt not even find Internet references to them. There was another park called Treehouse Fun Ranch in Devore (where Lazy K was) - perhaps they were one and the same, I don't know.

          But it's really interesting to read the history - I found out a few little things about the park my wife and I attend, Cedar Waters, that even the current owner - whose Dad founded and built the park, didn't know.

          And also, records of parks that existed in New England in the 50s and 60s are found. These facilities are largely unknown to most New Englahd nudists today.

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          • #6
            Treehouse Fun Ranch is now Deer Park.

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            • #7
              Rising real estate prices---that has been the end of many a business or recreational area. I can think of at least a couple of racetracks, one a horse facility and the others NASCAR, plus another couple of local tracks in my area for various classes of cars. It is a sad situation.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by naturalmanwa:
                Rising real estate prices---that has been the end of many a business or recreational area. I can think of at least a couple of racetracks, one a horse facility and the others NASCAR, plus another couple of local tracks in my area for various classes of cars. It is a sad situation.
                The good news is, as the population spreads, older facilities close near the population centers, and new ones spring up away from them.

                As far as nudist parks are concerned, it seems that most of those that have survived close to urban areas are cooperatively held clubs --Solair, Glen Eden, Pine Tree Associates, Mountain Air Ranch, Sky Farm, Rock Lodge (I think the latter two are co-ops, the first four definitely are).

                This is because their members own the place, and it would serve no one any great benefit if they sold up and closed.

                As any real estate agent can tell you - it's location, location, location. If you wanted to build a nudist park somewhere, you would want to build it where land was affordable, and you would want to build it where people could get to it. People will travel out of their way to use it as long as it's not a major expedition for them.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lester:
                  I noticed that some of the vintage pictures feature the Lazy K Nudist Ranch in San Bernardino County, CA. Is this the previous name of an existing resort? or a now defunct resort?
                  Lazy K ranch was 5 or 10 miles East of the 15, up into Badger canyon on the South facing side of the range that faced San Bernadino. There was a natural artisian spring that supplied exceptional water and in the early days they had to use a generator at night. Over 6 or 7 years the park developed into a modern facility of it's time competing with Olive Dell and Glen Eden. Nearby Fun Tree House was shunned for having a BYOB policy at a time when parks didn't allow alcohol. Lazy K closed suddenly, without warning or refund of dues, and the owner ran off to Arizona to buy some hotel that ended up going under. Anything else you want to know about Lazy K, let me know. (I still have a yellow towell with the red Lazy K brand on it).

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lazy K ranch

                    Your information is mostly correct. Joe and Bessie Smith, the owners, were more or less aced out of the property which is now part of the campus of California State University at San Bernardino. Their daughter Rosie still lives in the area.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lazy K ranch

                      Originally posted by lester View Post
                      Treehouse Fun Ranch is now Deer Park.

                      Treehouse was earlier known as Oakdale. Mystic Oaks was earlier known as McConville. Happier days long ago!

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