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Postcard from the Past - Tourist Camp to Open for ‘Vacationists’

Written by Dick Perue


A headline in a July 1917 issue of the “Saratoga Sun” reads, “Tourist Camp on Upper Brush Creek Nearly Complete – Will be Popular Place for Vacationists.” 

The story, in part, reads:

“Announcement has been made that Medicine Bow Lodge, the tourist camp of Sisson and Moore on upper Brush Creek will open to the public on Sunday...While some of the buildings connected with the camp will not be fully completed at that time, accommodations will have been provided for a considerable number of guests, and within  a few weeks every detail of the camp will be complete.

“The camp is located among most pleasant surroundings, the fishing in the adjacent streams is at its best, and it is likely that the camp will be largely patronized not only by tourists from other climes but by many of our home people, who will embrace the opportunity to make their headquarters at the lodge while on their week-end vacations and short outing trips.”

A feature article by Edna Paulson in the same issue of the paper notes:

“One day as I was walking in the mountains, I saw, much to my surprise, an American flag waving in the breeze like a beckon to come. Having nothing else to do, and as I was not lacking curiosity, I proceeded toward the place on a well-traveled road. It was not far, and soon I was close enough to discover that the flag was nailed in the top of a small quakenasp.

“I was approaching a grove of lofty pines and a few scattered quakenasps. In front rose a huge ridge running north and south, about six miles in length. The ridge was heavily timbered. At its base flowed a turbulent mountain torrent, in which I knew from experience lived some of the most delicious mountain trout. To my right flowed North Brush Creek, bordered by different varieties of trees. To the left rose forest-clad ridges and hills, through which Brush Creek had cut its basin. I was surrounded by hills on all sides.

“Presently I entered the forest. Beautiful columbines lifted their fragile faces from hedges of juniper, and delicate ferns grew close by the roadside. Other mountain flowers grew everywhere. I heard the roaring of Brush Creek mingled with the sighing of the pines overhead. Now I entered a beautiful driveway, sloping down to a unique, picturesque house built of logs. On either side were tents and tepees, and I wondered if I was entering a modern Indian encampment.

“After wandering about the Lodge for some moments, visiting living room, open air parlor and dining room, where pictures of sage chickens, fish and other game were hung on the walls and where the guests ate from white pine tables, I walked out of the door onto a rustic foot-bridge which crossed the roaring waters of Barrett Creek.

“A little path wound its way up the side of forest-covered Barrett Ridge. It was all so beautiful I could hardly believe it was real. In some places the path was cut through fallen logs, and in other places it dipped down into shady little nooks where birds sang and flowers bloomed unmolested.

“I returned to our camp quite enthused over Medicine Bow Lodge.”...but, then, those are memories for the next time we write.