Fawnskin is an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The small township was once an artists’ colony, which attracted artisans, musicians, composers and actors from the Los Angeles area. Mountain travelers in the 19th century came to the Big Bear Valley through Fawnskin on the rough road by stagecoach and later motorcars. Several other names were temporarily chosen for the North Shore village including Bald Eagle Valley, Big Bear Village, Cline-Miller, Grout, and Oso Grande.
The village has always been an attraction to vacationers seeking a retreat from city life in its mountain terrain. Several hundred homes are in the forested mountainside adjacent to the forest. Fawnskin was once the hub of lakeside activity, serving as a stagecoach stop and tourist attraction with hotels and dining. The town’s main landmark is the Fawn Lodge,built in 1924,but now closed. Composer Fannie Charles Dillon founded Woodland Theater at Fawnskin, Big Bear Lake, California, in 1924 and served as its general manager from 1926 to 1929.
Fawnskin is a popular filming location and has been featured in the 1958 B-movie, Giant from the Unknown, Hallmark’s Angel in the Family, Doctor Dolittle II, the 1999 Academy Award-nominated film The Insider, and others. Many scenes of Columbo: Murder by the Book were filmed here. The small town’s news and informal activities have been reported in two publications, Fawnskin Folks (1920s) and the Fawnskin Flyer (Est. 2005).