Author Topic: Rockcreek Lake Resort  (Read 5844 times)

Sierraslam

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Rockcreek Lake Resort
« on: December 04, 2012, 10:55:01 AM »
Anybody know when the resort was built? I know My father helped build the original cabins in the Summer of 1955, I beleive. I remember Frank and Leila Colby, and Harry and Dona Raider owned it before the Kings. I don't know if there were owners before them, or of the Colby's and the Raiders built it? Toms Place was buit in 1917, had to be 20 - 30 years after that. Just wondering exactly how long it's been around.

wshawkins

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 02:27:56 PM »
According to my records, Rock Creek Lakes Resort was first established in 1923.  They had several buildings over the years, but not sure why (fire, termites, old age?).  My oldest vintage photos I have go back to the early 1930ís.  But the present resort you see today was built in 1980.  The cabins go back pretty far too, but they did built some cabins more recent.  Not sure on the years for the cabins.

Tomís Place goes back to 1917, but burned down in 1947.  The one you see today is from 1947.

Rock Creek Lodge was built in 1927 and still is the original building I believe.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

RockNCreekGirl

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 09:10:33 PM »
I can tell you that in 1928 the dirt road only went up to Iris Meadow and it was mules/ hiking up the the Lake from that point.  So many of the old buildings in the canyon were built by material that was hauled by pack trains and good old fashioned hard work.  The dirt road expanded all the way to the lake sometime after that.  I am sure Scout would know as he grew up in the area.  I know when my Dad was a kid in the 50's, he remembers that the road to the lake was dirt.
The creek is waiting...

wshawkins

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 10:10:28 PM »
I got the information on Rock Creek Lake Resort when it was up for sale a couple years ago?  Had all the history about the resort on the listing, including where it all started in 1923.  It was a great find for me!    Check out the picture from 1927 as Rock Creek Inn as they called it then.  The picture came from the Eastern Sierra Museum archives.  The mountains behind the resort looks familiar, but Iím guessing the resort is closer to the main highway then the lake, but not sure.  Check out the price for gas (0.20 gal), and that was probably high in them days.  How funny!

Does anybody know if the resort was ever sold?


1927
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Scout

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 11:15:27 AM »
Just to set things straight, I didn't grow up up here, but I had a childhood full of oral history, and a ton of pictures, from my Grandmother, who spent 30 years here, and my Mom, who did grow up in the log cabin behind Tom's Place. I wish I had grown up here....at least I got to spend all my vacations in a cabin below Tom's. I was also able to talk with quite a few old timers from that era before they sadly passed away.
I agree with RCGirl about the road. Construction was started in 1923, right beside the old Lodge building at Tom's Place. The Lake was accesible before that by using the Sand Canyon/Wheeler Ridge route. Johnny Fobes ( Fobes 40 ) told me that his parents honeymooned at the Lake in 1923, they took a stage up the above mentioned route to get there...how cool.
The only thing at Tom's Place that has burned is the original Lodge that Tom built in 1924. It burned in 1947, no other buildings were involved, the current Lodge was built in 1948. Although the dates at Tom's say 1917, I've heard from "Happy Jack" Partridge that it was started as "Rock Creek Station" by a guy named Hans Lof in 1916 (what's a year either way?)...Tom bought it in 1923, started building right away, there wasn't a whole lot there when he got it. Most of the cabins etc. that are there now date from the 30's. Hans Lof proceeded to homestead what is now Aspen Springs, built, and then lost, due to poor fiancial wisdom, what became Happy Jack's Resort in the mid 30's.
Rock Creek Inn was across the road from Tom's Place, the foundations are still there, across the creek on the uphill side of the road. I haven't been able to find that much information about it, my G'ma never really talked about it, as it was direct competition to Tom's. It burned sometime in the 40's...if I learn more, I'll pass it on. It was on private property, so I can't get info from the Feds on it.... the Birchim family homesteaded there in the 1880's, the property included quite a bit of acreage in Little Round Valley. It was up for sale in the mid 1980's, DWP bought it.
The best ideas I have on the Resort...I think it was biult in the late 20's....admittedly, there may have been something there before that, accessed by the Sand Canyon route, but I'm not sure. It seems that the whole "recreation lease" thing started in the mid 20's, resorts and cabins started being built in the area. Jim has some old photos hanging in the Resort that date from the late 20's. The only thing at the Resort that was built recently are some of the cabins...I was there when they built #3 and #8 ( mid 80's), others after that...I remember going in the current store in the late 60's /early 70's, it was added on to the original building.
I could figure all of this stuff out if the USFS people in Bishop would let me look at the files regarding all of the cabins and resorts in the area, but it's been a battle for years...if anybody out there has any positive ideas as to where I might find this info, let me know. The Bishop office is hesitant to let me look at them because they contain "sensitive information".....?

Sierraslam

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 01:10:26 PM »
Thanks all! I'd love to get the full history of the resort. Trying to figure out who buit it, and when the Colby's and Raider's started running it. When did the King's take over? Had to be 1978 - 1980? I hope whoever the next owner's are, they're  great people like the King's, Colby"s and Raider's have been. I started camping on the creek, across from the resort, by the Ranger Cabin at age 3. I have So many memories of the resort and Rockcreek. I'd love to buy it myself. Maybe we should all buy a little piece and we'll take turns running it? If i hit the lotto I'll let you know. Thanks again.

RockNCreekGirl

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 09:33:42 PM »
Thanks for the info Scout! 
The creek is waiting...

wshawkins

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 11:26:24 AM »
Scout, thankís for clarifying The ďRock Creek InnĒ.  Always wondered where it was located.   I stayed at one of Tomís cabins and searched the foundations you mentioned, so now I know what they were.  On the Rock Creek Inn picture, it has the names Mary and Jimme on the large sign for your information (no last name).  They also rented out cabins as I also have pictures of them.  I just wish somebody would write up a book on this area (hint hint Scout!), I would donate my pictures of the area for the cause.  Many more old pictures on the walls of Tomís Place, Rock Creek Lodge and even Rock Creek Lakes Resort that could be used in a book.

Another photo Iíd like to show.  Itís a post card of Rock Creek Lakes Store and Camp Grounds from 1927.    Any ideals where in the canyon this is?  Appears to be up the canyon quite a bit with the grass and possibly mountains behind the structure.  Thanks.

 
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Scout

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 03:54:13 PM »
That's Rock Creek Lakes Resort in the picture. Same door that you go in today, same window, the one behind the register.
The pictures in Tom's Place are from my famiy's collection. I'm always happy to share them with others....but not on this page, as I don't have the ability to do it. Some of us who live up here in the sticks still have dial-up, so I can't access photo bucket, so I can't post pics. I've got quite a few of Burton Frasher's photos (the guy that took that pic of the Resort),  post cards as well as pictures he took for my Grandparents, plus pics that my Grandmother, and others, took with their Brownies...lots of different stuff....LOTS of big fish....
I've been doing research on this stuff for over 20 years, always planned on writing a book about it, but it's still in the planning stages. Seems they want $ to publish things, another snag. Someday....

Scout

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 03:56:16 PM »
That's Rock Creek Lakes Resort in the picture. Same door that you go in today, same window, the one behind the register.
The pictures in Tom's Place are from my famiy's collection. I'm always happy to share them with others....but not on this page, as I don't have the ability to do it. Some of us who live up here in the sticks still have dial-up, so I can't access photo bucket, so I can't post pics. I've got quite a few of Burton Frasher's photos (the guy that took that pic of the Resort),  post cards as well as pictures he took for my Grandparents, plus pics that my Grandmother, and others, took with their Brownies...lots of different stuff....LOTS of big fish....
I've been doing research on this stuff for over 20 years, always planned on writing a book about it, but it's still in the planning stages. Seems they want $ to publish things, another snag. Someday....

wshawkins

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2012, 05:23:09 PM »
Thanks again Scout!  I know I speak for a lot of us that we would welcome and support any book you publish about the history of this area, the creek, the lake or Little Lakes Valley in general with open arms!

Sorry Sierraslam for hijacking your topic!   ;D
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 08:56:48 AM by wshawkins »
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Sierraslam

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 09:42:35 AM »
No problem at all! I love this stuff. Thanks Scout, keep it comming! Miss seeing you at Toms. I'll be staying there right after the 1st of the year.

Fredb

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 11:09:54 AM »
Yeah Scout let us know when the first edition comes out, it will be a good read for sure

TEX

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2012, 01:12:23 AM »
Scout , In the 3x I've been this year I have missed you. MY disappointment. I love history and whatever I can gleen and sponge off into the my passing to the next generation (s) VERY important! Hope to purchase the first volume.  TEX
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Sierraslam

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Re: Rockcreek Lake Resort
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 09:48:59 AM »
I found a document granting Frank Colby and Harry Rader rights to the creek water behind the resort. It was for the use in the the cabins that were yet to be built. This was in January 1956, so Im pretty sure they went to work on them in that same Summer. My dad was between his Junior and Senior year in high school, and helped drag some wood up the hill for them. i spoke with an owner of one of the cabins by the lake , and was told they were built in the mid 1940's. Pretty cool stuff. Just makes want to be there.