The area known as Malibou Lake consists of two locales; Malibou Lake Mountain Club and Malibou Lakeside.
MLMC is a for-profit corporation, that operates much like a stock cooperative, meaning the owners are actually stockholders in a limited liability corporation. An owner is given a "license" to maintain a domicile on a designated piece of land that is owned by the corporation. MLMC owns a common area clubhouse, a favorite venue for weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc., pool and tennis courts, and of course, the lake. Most licenses include a dock for mooring one's own party barge. Horse keeping is not allowed on MLMC property.
Malibou Lakeside is not part of the MLMC. Fee simple ownership is possible of custom homes and lots surrounding the lake, many suitable for horse-keeping. The area is surrounded by Malibu Creek State Park, with lush scenic trails that benefit from an occasional marine layer.
Malibou Lake was the creation of two men: Bertran Lackey and George Wilson. They envisioned a remote residential community surrounding a lake and set out to build it. They chose their site wisely: the convergence point of Medea Creek and Triunfo Creek. There were few roads in the mountains then - mainly wagon trails. What would become the 101 freeway was a dirt path and the extension of Pacific Coast Highway through the Malibu Area was still years away.
Wilson and Lackey's job was made much easier by the fact that Medea and Triunfo Creeks only flow at anything above a trickle after heavy rains. To build a dam on this site would not require a great engineering feat such as rerouting a major water flow, as is common on large-scale dam projects.
While residential lot surveys were started, work on the dam began in November 1922 and was completed five months later. The drawing for the cabin sites around the still dry "lake" took place on June 19, 1923 and exchanges among the original members of the Malibou Lake Club (later the Malibou Lake Mountain Club) took place with those wanting waterfront sites swapping with those who preferred hillside sites with views and so on.
Tales persist to this day that legendary film director Cecil B. Demille had a hand in creating Malibou Lake, but that has never been more than a rumor. Demille was a guest at the lake on several occasions and did shoot scenes of several films there, but was never behind its creation - much to the dismay of creative real estate agents who have used the story for years when pitching houses at the lake.