Inter-Laken Resort

Year Listed: 2001
County: Lake County
Construction Date: 1879
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect – Vacant
Status: IN PROGRESS

 

Colorado Preservation, Inc listed Inter-Laken as one of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places in 2001 due to the poor condition of the buildings, which were boarded up and inaccessible to visitors.  The extreme weather conditions combined with lack of regular maintenance were leading to this premier historic site being lost and forgotten.

Inter-Laken Resort was constructed as a playground for the upper class of Leadville society during Colorado’s mining heyday.  The site, originally known as the Lakeside House, was built by John Statley and Charles Thomas in 1879.  In 1883, Leadville mining magnate, James Dexter, bought the site and developed the Inter-Laken Resort with an upscale hotel that boasted two elegant dining rooms, a dance hall, barn, and laundry.  Set along the shores of Twin Lakes, guests could explore the Rocky Mountains, play croquet, fish, ride horses, hike, and use canoes, rowboats, a 50-foot steamboat called “Ivywild” and the 30-foot yacht “Dauntless.”  After the turn of the century, the resort lost its popularity and the hotel closed.

The site features a variety of architectural styles, and is listed on National Register of Historic Places.  Inter-Laken’s significance was clearly recognized by the Unites States Forest Service, Colorado Preservation, Inc., the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Colorado Mountain College, and numerous other organizations and volunteers, who invested time, resources and over $1,000,000 to restore and rehabilitate the buildings.  The volunteer effort was based loosely on the Habitat for Humanity model with a group of master woodworkers, the Michigan Volunteers and the Teacher’s Restoration Corps, primarily from Wisconsin.  Architectural reconstruction was supervised by Harrison Goodall of Conservation Services, Inc.

The site is owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), who has instituted a program of converting structures such as these along trails for overnight use by visitors, with Inter-Laken at the top of the program’s list. The USFS has installed interpretive signage on site and teamed with the Rocky Mountain Heritage Society and the Rocky Mountain Region Heritage Program to undertake a 4-year project to restore buildings at the Inter-Laken site. The State Historical Fund granted an award to conduct on-site repair and renovation to the buildings.

Future plans include rehabilitating the Hotel, the Hotel Annex, the Laundry Building and the hexagonal outhouse that originally featured leather seats!  The goal is to restore the eight-room hotel annex to serve as overnight accommodations for hikers on the Continental Divide and Colorado Trails.

Additional Links:
 Bureau of Reclamation Program: Inter-Laken Resort

 

 

 

 

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Featured Project

4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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