Castle Rock Ruins and a Tragic Love Story

For the history of the area you can read this article: “The Whole Dam Area” followed by “Lake Wohlford and Bear Valley Dam seen here:

I have love our colorful wild west history and when I came across a 1970’s postcard of Lake Wohlford it lead me to a tragic love story of a castle that never got built.

I will try to tell it like I have read in several articles I found about this place. I also took a lot of photos of the area that you can see in the above articles along with the best part. The castle ruins.

The story goes like this.. When Bear Valley Dam ended it’s construction in 1895 the original homesteaders found themselves with prime water front property on the now beautiful Lake Wohlford located in Escondido California. The Kruebler’s decided to open a resort and named their resort which had camping available for weary travelers. Kuebler’s camp hired a local photographer to make post cards of the camp. (the postcard I found) They made several of them showing people swimming, boating and fishing.

During the great depression a man name Earl Losch started working at the camp and soon made enough money to not only buy the camp but also married the Kruebler’s daughter, Ava.

Earl renamed the camp Lake Wohlford Resort which it is still named today. He built 10 adobe casitas, a boat ramp, pool and airport. Actors from Hollywood found the resort a charming place and would fly in, without the press finding out.

His love for his wife so profound he decided to level off a 3 acre piece of land to build a stone castle for them to live on right above the resort on a bluff over looking the lake with beautiful views of the lake and valley.

This place is not accessible to the public. The city owns it and has no trespassing signs up. Enter at your own risk.

Earl started building by hand from scratch a castle wall for the perimeter. Made of stone which was quarried on site. He made the wall and steps leading down to a viewing area, along with stone seats to sit on.

Construction halted abruptly when Ava accused Earl of infidelity and left the area because he was spending so much time “alone”. She did not know of his castle and I don’t know if she ever found out.

The photos below are the ruins today, showing his labor of love. Make sure to check out all three stories of this area! Enjoy!


What do you think?

23 Points

Written by Kim_Johnson


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  1. Oh what a tragic story 🙁 That poor guy! But super photos and great prose 🙂 Can you explain why the reservoir is off-limits to everyone? And Earl’s ‘castle’ too? From what I understand, they are on public land – or am I missing something?

    • It is a drinking reservoir, they don’t want any contaminants.. I guess? Okay, the next question the castle. Back before Earl bought the place it was a 20 acre parcel of land, which was sectioned off and sold. I think the castle part was donated to the city by Earl from what I understand. I hope this answers some questions. Thanks so much for reading each one, much appreciation, always!

    • I loved the story no matter how it might of changed as stories do as they are retold. My feelings were of wonder at first. The physical work that he did is amazing. Shows what a man can do, for no matter the reason if he just puts his mind to it. (Or woman)
      Then you get kind of mad at Ava.. and lastly you just enjoy each little spot, and let the artist side take over..Click, snap.

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