Above: Guio Block (later known as Fawn Lodge) shortly after construction was completed in 1925.
Fawn Lodge is one of the most well known landmarks in Fawnskin. The lodge’s location at the triangle of the Rim of the World Highway, North Shore Drive, (City Creek Road) and Navajo Street is very familiar to local residents and guests. Despite its familiarity, the history of the lodge remains a mystery to many residents and visitors.
Although local history books have listed the building date around 1919, that is incorrect. The Fawnskin Folks newspaper (October 1924) reported that Mr. and Mrs. Guio (builders and developers of many Fawnskin cabins) had purchased seven choice business lots and started excavation for Fawnskin’s first two-story building. The lodge’s design included 90 feet of frontage on North Shore Drive and was built at the cost of $20,000.
In March of 1925, the building was completed. At the time it was called the Guio Block and just when the Fawn Lodge became the official name remains a mystery.
The Guio Block (Fawn Lodge) reflected the nature of Fawnskin and attracted artists of all types (writers, artists, musicians, actors and photographers) as well as true lovers of nature. This building was not part of the Cline-Miller Fawnskin Resort, which included a teahouse, cabins, campground and grocery store.
At the time, the popular opinion was that this type of construction should be encouraged, as it harmonized with the beautiful natural environment.
There were several storefronts available for lease on the first floor of the building and in March of 1925 Mr. Harmsen, a local barber, made arrangements to open the first business, a barbershop. Then in June of 1925, Mr. Walker opened a confectionery and light lunch parlor. Another section of the first floor was converted into a dance hall for Saturday night dancing during the summer months.
Above: Photo of the Guio Block after it was renamed as the Fawn Lodge.
Over the years the Fawn Lodge has housed many different businesses. On April 27, 1945, the Grizzly reported on Peter Holte’s* beautiful hotel and café. Mr. Holte was then the owner and boasted about the beautiful fireplace that was so enormous that it covered one entire wall of the building. The establishment welcomed all residents and guests with songfests. It also housed a drug store, souvenir shop and the north shore branch of the county library.
Perhaps some of you can remember when it became the House of Wilson in the 1950’s. They had great BBQ meals, a hotel and cocktail lounge; it was the place to meet in Fawnskin for many years.
The Fawn Lodge has at least one deep dark secret according to Pauliena B. La Fuze, a local historian. A child from a very wealthy familywas kidnapped and hidden within the Lodge. Later retrieved by a Pinkerton guard, the child was safely returned to his parents.
I hope in the near future The Fawn Lodge will once again open its doors and welcome the residents and guests of Fawnskin continuing on its long legacy.
*Some records indicate a “Peter Nolte” instead of a Peter Holte.
About the Contributor: Eileen Downey bought a home in Fawnskin as a retreat from the fast pace of the big city. Living here she has found inspiration, a renewed spirit, an endless amount of creativity and curiosity. Off the mountain, Eileen is an elementary teacher for children with autism but for the last three years, her passionate hobby has been to collect, read, and sort through the history of Fawnskin and its founding settlers. She hopes you will enjoy her series and be inspired by the first Fawnskin residents who called themselves “Fawnskin Folks.”
If you have any additional information you would like to share, or have questions about the history of Fawnskin, please comment below.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, June 13th, 2008 and is filed under Business & Commerce, Fawnskin Folk, Fawnskin History, Mountain Lake Resort.
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