She sits among the Big Bear Lake tour boats as royalty on the water. The Big Bear Queen is the only family owned and operated tour boat on the lake.

“The Queen is an icon on Big Bear Lake,” said Captain Chris Bellows, owner of the Queen. This month Bellows celebrates the 30th year the boat, which is docked at Big Bear Marina, has been in the Bellows family.

In the midst of a morning clean up, Bellows shared his knowledge of the Queen’s history. “We have been a Big Bear family since the 1920s,” Bellows said. Bellows has followed in his late father’s footsteps, David Bellows, to share the rich history of the lake with guests.

In 1917, the original Queen, previously known as the Sierra, came to Big Bear as the first tour boat, Bellows said. The Sierra ran until the 1930s. It was stored during the Great Depression years, war years and the dry years of the lake. That’s when the Baird family acquired the Sierra in 1965. The Bairds rebranded the boat as the Big Bear Queen. The boat was purchased from the Bairds in 1989.

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