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The Lowdown: Malibou Lake

Patch has assembled a few things you should know about Agoura Hills' Malibou Lake.

Malibou Lake was established in 1931 by Bertram Lackey and George Wilson. Just south of Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains, tucked away in a town that was once considered Cornell, Malibou Lake has a history unlike any other, filled with Chumash legends and Frankenstein. Here are some facts you never knew about the man-made lake and private club.

What's with The 'O' in 'Malibou'?

While there are many theories, nobody really knows the answer to this question. Terry Endsley, Malibou Lake Mountain Club operations director, sticks with the most popular explanation around—The Chumash inhabited the area for nearly 4,000 years, and they named the stretch of beach where Malibu Creek meets the ocean, "Humaliwo," which translates roughly to "the surf sounds loudly." If you pronounce "Humaliwo," it sounds like "Malibou," and thus the name. There are also rumors that Malibou Lake only wanted to stand out or that the folk just couldn't spell. 

The Lake's Red Carpet

As far back as the silent movies, Malibou Lake's variety of locations have created scenes as different as the Mississippi River, the northwoods of Canada, Philippine swamps and the African jungle. Between 150 and 200 movies and commercials have been filmed at Malibou Lake thanks to its close proximity to Hollywood Studios. More than three-quarters of a century ago, a monster played by Boris Karloff drowned a little girl in the 1931 film "Frankenstein." Scenes from 1958's "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" and the 2002 horror film "The Ring" were shot there as well. A DVD last updated in 2007, made up of clips of movies shot at Malibou Lake, would take nearly two hours to watch. 

Members Only

Local Boy Scout Troops are invited to earn badges camping on the premises, and the public is welcome to use the 80-year-old clubhouse for rental purposes, such as press conferences, corporate lunches, and weddings, but Malibou Lake remains a private lake and club. "People drive by and think, 'Hey, that looks like a nice place to have a picnic,'" said Hart, "but we can't allow it."  

The Simple Life

Today, the 250-acre destination is made up of 135 properties, with additional new and old homes for sale or lease. "Some of the members have lived at this gorgeous location for more than 50 years and love it just as much now as they did the first day," said Hart. Members can participate in community softball games and water sports, along with free admission to the local swimming pool and tennis courts. 

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