Your Grand Lake Stories

Share Your Stories

We love to hear other people’s stories about their history with Grand Lake, Colorado. Send us your stories and we will publish them here on this page. Fill out the form under “Leave a Reply” to submit your story. Use the comment box to tell your story. Your name and email are required to post your story. Your submission will be reviewed by GLAHS, and upon approval, it will be available for the public to see. This is a fun way to keep a collection of everyone’s stories about their time in Grand Lake. Share your story today!


  1. In the 1906 Boulder directory, my great grandfather, Thomas S Waltemeyer, was noted as President of the Monarch Consolidated Gold and Copper MiningCo, M and S Co, Rocky Mountain RR Co and Colorado Consolidated Lumber Co with business office in Boulder at 1932 13th. Can you tell me anything about his role in these companies. I know that by 1918 he moved to Seattle, WA to help his widowed daughter manage the Seattle Baking Co and lived there the rest of his life. Thank you, Alice Murphy

  2. I have been starting more research on my family of which I know was the founding fathers of Grand Lake! Would love to be around for these celebrations (along with my bro and sis) Please send us more info! My grandparents were Gerald and ClaraWescott and my Loren and Charlotte Wescott were my parents! I am a cousin of great distance to Joseph Wescott.

    1. It is February 6, 2018…I found (in Fresno, CA) a 1951-52 “Trails” yearbook from Grand Lake School to the Museum for you all to enjoy. I noticed a young man named Myron Wescott pictured in 8th grade. You may want to check with Kathy Means at the Museum to see the book when it arrives. I hope this book (the 1st yearbook for the school) provides some enjoyment to many looking back at the history of the School & Area. I enjoy returning history to it’s rightful owners! My Best – Joe (Executive Director – Triton Flight for Heroes

  3. A trip to Grand Lake every August was my Mom’s idea of the perfect vacation. She INSISTED on staying at Sptizmiller’s Cabins, and I imagine that over the years, we stayed in each and every cabin in the complex. The best thing about Grand Lake back then (we’re talking the 50’s and 60’s) was that it was still a small town with not a lot of people around, so my parents pretty much turned us loose and we (my Brother, Sister and I) played in the park and down at the lake. Now, I don’t remember the names of the streets any more, but in one section of Spitzmiller’s, where the individual cabins were, there was a big granite rock and my Brother and I played “King of the Hill” every summer on that rock. The things I remember BEST about Spitzmillers are…the heating elements that hung on the walls, the faux wood painted tin headboards (circa WWII I think), and the rusty, squeeky springs on the OH so comfortable beds. I can remember my Mom putting milk in the window “coolers” and finding it frozen the next morning. My parents would always get up real early in the morning and head to the beaver ponds so my Mom could fish. All I ever wanted to do was to go horseback riding…and Sombrero Stables got a good chunk of money over the years from my parents. There were always concerts or plays that were put on in the park, and the kids always spend plenty of time spinning each other around on the merry-go-round (for lack of a better description), that we always whacked our shins on. And, the rumble of the wood charter boats on the lake every summer evening…as they cruised around Grand Lake and Shadow Mtn.

    I miss those simpler days…a sure sign that I’ve gotten older. Sometimes….I want to go back to Grand Lake…but maybe it’s better in my memory…someplace of a different age and time.

    1. i expect i saw you and your brother knocking each other off that rock. i lived in the house directly across Garfield street on the opposite side of the cabins. i was 6 years old in 1960. j.

      1. I was amazed when I returned there…and saw how small that rock really is. 🙂 We thought it was HUGE!!!! It truly felt like we had climbed to the top of a mountain when we played on it.

      2. Jamie Howard. You and I went to school together in Grand Lake. I lived there from 1959 to 1964 in the house across Main street from the Park Lumber Co.

        Those were good days and a great way for a kid to grow up

  4. I have been doing family research and found out that my Great Grandfather built the spider house, I have been looking for more family members, If you have any information please e-mail


    1. Theresa,

      Don’t know if you’re still searching 7 years later, but if you are, maybe this will help. Was your great grandfather Warren Gregg? He had a son named Lloyd who move to Craig, CO. Perhaps research in that town may bring up relatives still living there. Library phone books from past years can be a good place to start.

      Also, You may be interested in this image that’s part of a digital collection with Denver Public Library. I just happened on it today. I have a photograph of me standing on the spider house porch from when I live in Grand Lake.

      Not all images are, but this one is available for a reprint. Scroll down and you’ll see that info.

  5. I just found out that my Grandmother Helen Gregg (Osborn) was married to Alonzo Osborn and that Mom’s Syble Sue (Osborn) Tellier she was the youngest child and grew up in Grand Lake. I was so surprise all these years I never knew now I just need to keep on trying to find more of my family members I am so excited, now I have to make the trip to grand lake Colorado and see the land that I never knew.

    1. Theresa,
      I lost my list of relatives that attended the Lindsey and Osborn family reunion in Arvada, Colorado, on April 26, 2015. If I remember, you were there. Have you found the family information you were looking for?
      I am Joyce (Lindsey) Alexander. My mother is Mary Elizabeth (Osborn) Lindsey, sister of your mother.

    2. My father, Dr. John Batty, knew Lon. Dad told me that Lon told him he carried a container of small trout all the way to Lake Adams and put them in the fishless lake. Dad also told me that Lon had built the two fireplaces on our 1909 duplex log cabin on the south shore of GL.
      Steve Batty

      1. Steve,
        Is your dad’s house still there? If so, do you have an address for the house. I am going to Grand Lake soon and would like to see the house. Lon Osborn was my wife’s grandfather.

  6. My grandparents lived in Grand Lake during the late 1940s. My grandpa worked for the Bureau of Reclamation. I had heard my grandma talk about a dreadful place where the snow drifted over the windows in winter. Imagine my surprise when I first laid eyes on this paradise and realized it was the same place my grandma loathed. Then again life would have been hard up there back then, with a new baby and cut off from family in the wintertime.

  7. Recently I discovered that my great great Uncle William Longfellow Mason, his wife Juliett Chamberlain and their daughter Elizabeth Ethel Mason (called Bessie in Grand Lake) lived in Grand Lake and built a cabin at the turn of the century. I have been a lot of pictures of this family and their home in Grand Lake. Other pictures document the history of the area and our whole family is thrilled to see pictures of our ancestors. I have been told the original pictures are in some historic venue in Grand Lake. William and my great great grandfather Timothy Mason are brothers. I have done a lot of research on my family and to find pictures of that generation is just such a great find. I would like to see the album one day of the originals and visit Grand Lake. I lived in Colorado in the 1957 -58 time frame and visited Grand Lake. Little did I know that my mothers ancestors were there in the early 1900’s. So I plan on traveling to the area to see some of the history.

  8. I am looking for any information on the Harrington family that owned a large home on grand lake in the late 30s and early 40s. My father’s friend was Martin Harrington Jr. He graduated Yale with a law degree and became a prominent attorney in Denver in the 50s and 60s. I believe according to my father, Martin was a commodore of the yacht club for a few years and he and my father crewed a Star class sloop in the regattas and won the Lipton cup more than one time.
    I an also looking for info on the Humphries Drug Store. Jeanette Humphries was also a friend of my father.

    Thank you

    tom barry arvada, co.

  9. I had a cousin who spent many years in Grand Lake…. Her name was Marlene Collins Aldrich. I would love to hear from folks that knew her. Her mom and my grandmother would take roadtrips from New York State to Colorado together to visit.

  10. Tom Hudgins arrived in Grand Lake in the early 1970s. He worked for Grand Lake Log Homes for a while, then Grand Lake Plumbing (when Gordon Spitzmiller was the owner). Later worked as manager at Strachman’s Grocery Store in Granby, then for Sam Childress at Gambles store. I met Tom Hudgins at Jimmy Walker’s wedding in 1976 in Grand Lake. We were married in early 1977 at Church of the Pines. I moved to Grand Lake from Colorado Springs. My first job was with Marv Fischer at the Grand County Department of Building and Sanitation and Grand County Department of Development. We lived next door to John and Betsy Redder for several years. Best neighbors ever. Our first child, Marie, was born in 1978 in the hospital in Kremmling. We have many fond memories of Grand Lake and the Grand County. We moved to Michigan to be closer to my family. Sadly, my father passed away in early 1982, but we were glad he was able to know his first grandchild.

    1. Julie and Tom, my oh my a few years have gone by! This is Jimmy Walker, was trying to find out when Aunt Toots bought the store from Carins and came upon this site and your letter. Humphrey died in a cot next my Grand father, Len Zick during the 1918 epidemic. Hope you are well and getting thru this one. I had a gallery for 30 years in Denver and moved to the North Fork of Long Island to paint full time. I had a cousin who painted on the South Fork, Jackson Pollock.

      1. Thank you for this timely comment. Please share with us any other information you have about the Humphrey family

        1. Ugh… So many stories! The soda fountain, cowboy boots, comic books. I wrangled horses at Rustic Stables that my Greatuncle Harry Buntie started. I started out as a barn boy working for Rocky Garber and worked for him until I was out of college.

          1. Hi Jimmy! I remember you well. My parents, Bob and Marge Midkiff, had Timber Cove Lodge in the late 60’s. A few years later they built a beer garden and had the restaurant Pizza Corral there. Spent a lot of time at the stables which is where I met you. Take care! Leslie

      2. Hello James Walker. Are you the wrangler and artist I knew in the early 70’s? My father and mother, John (from Denver) and Suzanne (from Ohio) Ziegler met in Grand Lake working at the lodge and got married in Hot Sulphur Springs. I wanted to spend the summer there since they had so many fond memories. It was a wonderful summer. But I did get homesick and dad drove up with the sailboat from Lake Dillon and we had a wonderful day sailing. I’m glad you had a gallery – you were so talented.

        1. Oh my yes, it’s me. Thank you, it was a wonderful summer. The horses are gone but I’m still painting!

      3. Hi, Jimmy, this is Jane Kemp. I used to annoy you by stomping on the bell at the gas pumps in front of the Rustic Stables in 1963.
        Matilda Humphrey bought the store from my grandfather, James Cairns, in 1924. He died in 1925.
        My husband, Richard McQueary, was the wrangler for Harry Bunte at the Rustic Stables in 1959. Your cousin, John Akolt, worked there too that summer. That was when the horses were kept nights in the pasture across from our house on Cairns Avenue. The wranglers used to drive the horses from the stable down Lake Avenue to Cairns Avenue every evening. I can’t imagine their doing that now. I was 9 years old at the time and must have seen Richard riding by. I wouldn’t meet him until 40 years later.

  11. Mr and Mrs Patty employed me as a waitress when I was 15. I worked the summer of 1962 for them. I believe that they must have owned the restaurant at that time. Your dates may need further research.

    My father and mother owned Bell Crest Resort. We have many pictures and stories from the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s and 80’s.

    I have a craft table from the grade school and a pull down school map that was there when I was. If you want them I would be happy to give them to you.

    We have many mementos and historical papers from Bell Crest. We don’t know what to do with them as we are getting older. My parents, Bill and Katie Bell, were wonderful people. My father volunteered as a fireman for many years (25-30). He was a rotarian and he helped set up the sewer system so that people would stop polluting the lakes. We would be interested adding to your Grand Lake /Shadow Mountain archives.

    1. Hello Linda,

      As a member of the Historical Society Board of Directors and a guest of your mom and dad for several years at Bell Crest in our RV, (’89 to ’95) I have a lot of memories that un-doubtedly jive with some of yours.

      I would be happy to sit with you when I return to Grand Lake for the summer in June of ’17. We could catalog your memorabilia, collect your stories and see where they’ll fit in the Society’s exhibits and archives. I’m sure they will be of great value….having experienced some myself in the latter years of Bill and Katie’s lives. Real pioneers those two.

    2. Hi Linda from your Kansas relatives (Gene, Mary, Debbie, and Mike Townsend) who loved the time spent with your family at Bell Crest.

    3. My grandfather and my dad Bill Crowder is related to your dad. I stayed at the cabins in the 1960s so my dad could visit his great uncle Bill Bell. My grandpa’s mother was Mary Bell Crowder.

  12. I rode on the float for Park Lumber Co., two years in a row, in the parade. I worked at Scotty’s Chuckhole summers of 1957 and 1958. My step-mother worked at the post office for years. Most of the boys that worked at the Grand Lake Lodge were from Laredo, Texas. We liked the Pine Cone Inn. When I was really small, my dad worked at the Stagecoach, and I would sit on the bar and play the slot machine and on the old yellow stagecoach in front. My first legal beer was at the Foghorn for 10 cents a glass.

  13. Jene Harper acquired the /J/ ranch in the early 50’s. Mr. Harper owned an oilfield supply company and used the ranch extensively to entertain his clients from all over the United States and Canada. The ranch had cooks, cowboys and even baby sitters and could easily accommodate 30 or 40 guests at one tome. The summers were booked from June to September and again for deer hunting when the season opened. Mr.Harper sold Franklin Supply Co. around 1973 and the ranch shortly thereafter.

  14. I stayed at Grand Lake “Hallmark Lodge.” My grand parents were the caretakers of this lodge for some years. The owners were acquaintances or friends of theirs. I was wondering if the Lodge still stood and if it is privately owned or you could still rent rooms?

    1. The Grand Lake Lodge is still in operation and cabins are still available for rent during the summer months.
      The Lodge was sold by the James family a few years ago and is being operated by a company that has lodges in several National Parks.
      We would be interested in any information or pictures regarding your grandparents and their life in Grand Lake.
      Kathy Means GLAHS
      Our e-mail is
      PO Box 656, Grand Lake CO 80447

      1. I reread the message and think you may be referring to the Hallmark House which is on Grand Lake. That home is still in use by the family and they do not rent it out.

  15. I just saw your post. We were all young when we sailed on the lake. We are selling Bell Crest this June because it is finally time. We all have our memories. We loved your visit or was it visits? I remember the sailboat adventure. Mom and Dad enjoyed having you here! Best Wishes from your Grand Lake cousins

  16. Please tell me if you know when and by whom the Main House at Lemmon Lodge (owned and occupied for years by Jenny(?) Lemmon) was built. In the kitchen/dining room of the main house, there are floor boards with the name Henry Schnoor printed on them. from the Historical Society records, we know he moved into Grand Lake from a nearby ranch in 1906, but perhaps he built the house earlier. or even later, along with a number of other Grand Lake houses and buildings. If you know about the old Main House at Lemmon Lodge, we would appreciate your memories, and/or information, and/or suggestions for whom to ask about building dates and who actually had the Main House built. Thanks in advance. Best, Steve Thomas and Carol Dreselly (current owners)

  17. My Aunt Grace Barhydt built a cabin on Lake St in 1933. 20 or so years later my parents moved to Aurora where I was born. I remember my dad fishing in Grand Lake every summer and bringing home many trout frozen in ice. He built the boathouse in about 1949. I remember him telling the story about how difficult it was and they had to roll a huge boulder down the moraine and into deeper water before they could even get started. He also built the steps from the cabin to the boathouse.

    I was quite young then and only have a child’s memory of what happened there. I remember the horse stable downtown near the cabin. I must have watched the horses for hours. Occasionally I could talk my mom out of a dollar to ride for an hour. There also was a place that had trampolines. I would spend hours there. I would also go to the movies at someplace in the center of town. One night I went to the movies and saw “I married a monster from outer space and the Blob”. I had to walk back to the cabin and was so scared that the blob was going to drop from every tree.

    I also spent hours hiking around the area. There was a trail that went along the lakeshore. I was told it went all around the lake but I only went from the marina area to the river connecting Grand Lake to Shadow Mountain. I became a geologist later in life and attribute it to all the pretty rocks I found.

    I have gone back to visit. I find that the “people” things haven’t changed to much. Just newer and more of them. What has changed significantly is the environment. Significantly fewer trees. I guess the bark beetle did a job on them. When hiking many trees down. The forests look grey with all the dead trees. It doesn’t smell quite the same with all the pine trees gone. There are areas where almost all trees are gone. I couldn’t see the Grand Lake Lodge from town because if all the trees. Now there are very few trees and you can easily see the lodge. The area is definitely not in a forest today. So sad.

  18. I found a postcard that my father had written in 1949 about moving in (for the summer) a cabin they just completed on Grand Lake. The family name would have been Shelby or Townsend. They traveled there from Mountain Grove, Missouri to spend summers at the cabin. Does anyone have information regarding those names? It may have been called the Black Wren cabin. Thanks!

  19. Does anyone remember a George and Maxine East that owned a row of cabins across from Grand Lake, CO in the 1960’s & 1970’s. They had a pet fox, and the bears would always rummage in the trash cans at night. Remember going to a candy shop for “rock candy”. Returning Memorial Day Weekend 2019 after about 50 years being gone. Can’t wait, but want to stay in the same cabins at I did as a young child under 10 years old. Would this be the legendary Grand Lake Lodge? Reply to this post if you know anything. We are sure the George and Maxine have passed, we may check the local cemetery too!
    The best memories can’t be topped …

    1. We stayed in those cabins too. They are still available just behind the Grand Lake Town Hall.

    2. I was just going through some of my Grandma’s old photos tonight and found one of Maxine and George East. They are standing in front of Park View Cabins which I assume was theirs.

      I just happened to Google them as they were good friends and neighbors with my Great Grandparents, Delbert aka “Pix” and Dorothy Fabra who owned Eagle Lodge in Grand Lake and I found this page and your comment.

      Small World.

  20. My mother, Marie Fritzemeier Lang (“Fritzie”), taught first and second grade in Grand Lake 1942-3. Mom loved her year in Grand Lake, bicycling over Trail Ridge Road on her trusty bike “Sampson” and stopping at the Holzworth Ranch on the way. Two of mom’s students were Chris Lorenz and “Toots” Fisher. Mom and Chris made a deal: mom would teach Chris to read if he would teach her to ski. Mom was an original member of the Church in the Pines, along with Red and Nita Cole. Grace and Clyde Eslick were also mom’s friends. My dad took a short leave from his Army post in Texas to propose to mom on the shores of Grand Lake in the spring of 1943; they were married in June. I am not sure mom would have left Grand Lake if it weren’t for dad and World War II. If there is anyone out there who might have known my mom or been a student of hers, it would be fun to hear from them. Mom lived a long and full life; she died in 2002.

  21. When I was a kid in the 1960’s, Grand Lake was one of my family’s favorite vacation spots. We would spend hours at a time fishing there. We had a favorite spot, under a bridge where Shadow Mountain Reservoir connected with Grand Lake. It seemed like every time a boat would go under the bridge, the fish would then bite. Sadly, someone built a house with a boat garage, right on that same spot, so we sadly no longer had access to it. In the 1960’s Grand Lake had a horse stable on each end of town. During that time, you almost saw more horses than cars. When in Grand Lake, we stayed at the Riggs Motel. The building is still there, but under the name “Spirit Lake Lodge”. One of the times that I stayed at the Riggs Motel was on July 16, 1969. This was the day when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. The individual rooms did not have TVs, but we watched the landing from their recreation room/building. I remember that the picture was somewhat snowy, as the TV repeater was located closer to Granby. Overall, great memories!

  22. Just got back from viewing the fire devastation in Grand Lake. It was heartbreaking to see my childhood friends, the Wagner’s place, was reduced to a pile of ashes and two old burned out cars. My Dad, Mel Herman, owned the Grand Lake Garage in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. My brother, Mel, who will be 87 this December was a member of the first class that graduated from the new high school in Granby, which I believe is now the junior high.

    I am the younger brother Dean, now 83 years old. I still stay in touch with some old classmates – John Snyder, Larry Lindsey and Myron Wescott, who is in AZ plus Jerry Albers, a student of mine while teaching at Arvada West High School.

    As I grow older I smile when I recall those days when John Henry Rhone and I would hook our ski poles to the back of a car bumper and get a free ride to school. With our sled brother Mel and I would go two blocks down main street to the town water pump and fill up our cream cans full of water on our sled which we would use for drinking, cooking and our once a month bath.

    Brother Mel and I still go to Grand Lake a few times each year and relive those childhood days. We both still reminisce how we would still be living there if Dad would have spent more time at the garage and less time at the Stage Coach. Ha. Mom, Helen, passed away in 2003 and Dad died in 1991.

  23. In the summers of 1969, 1970, and 1971, I worked for Rocky Mountain National Park in Grand Lake. I was a garbage man picking up garbage in the campgrounds and pull overs on trail ridge road and cleaned the toilets in the campgrounds. One summer I helped repave trail ridge road. To this day, I tell friends that the best job I ever had in my life was as a garbage man and toilet cleaner. I mean it too!!

  24. As a child my grandfather used to rent out a few of the grand rapids cabins for the fourth of July. We watched the little tourist town transform every year when we came and the charm just never seemed to leave. What a beautiful quiet place to relax and enjoy not only nature but the rich history Colorado has to offer.

  25. I’m looking for information on Jake Pettingell Jr. and his wife Lesta. They ran a lodge that also had cabins included. My grandparents were really good friends with Uncle Jake and Auntie Lesta. My sister and I would go to Grand Lake every summer and I have fond memories along with a few photos. This woud of been in the 1950’s/ till 1963-64. I know that Jake’s father was a judge and lawyer in Grand Lake in the 1930/1940. His name was Jacob N Pettingell 1860-1941 and wife Laura Jean Miner Pettingell 1868-1952. I would appreciate any information that you may have and if their cabins are still there. Thank you, Lynda Higley, Denver, Co.

    1. Thank you for contacting us. We are just in the process of researching and adding more information about the Pettingell Family to our website.
      Jake and Lesta owned the Brownhurst Tourist Cottages. They are still here and are located at the east end of Grand Avenue. Jake was the handyman, while Lesta cared for the cabins and cooked for the guests. He was a past president of the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Grand Lake Pioneers Society. Jake and Lesta were married 50 years in 1974 and celebrated their anniversary at the Daven Haven Lodge in Grand Lake. Jake passed away June 2, 1979 and Lesta on September 1, 1979.
      If you have any photos that you would like to share with us, we would love to have them. Our email address is

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