The Lodge: 1900-1930
The First Lodge at Drakesbad Guest Ranch
Roy Sifford reports that "Drake had been there [Hot Spring Valley] since '87 had a log cabin, built a bath house and built a good, new log cabin of some size which was used for many years for the office and headquarters" (Roy Sifford interviewed by Les Bodine n.d.). Roy Sifford places the cabin shown above "near the site of the present lodge. To the right would be up valley [west] - to the left down valley [east]" (Sifford Manuscript:1).
On June the 20th, 1900, the Siffords' "took possession of Hot Spring Valley, the beautiful log house that Drake had made, the bath house, a barn and that possible meadow land" (Roy Sifford interviewed by Les Bodine, 9 Oct 1984). Both the lodge and the smaller structure on the left were built by Drake.
The lodge faced generally to the east and was fronted with a covered porch. There was another covered porch on the south end of the building, and a fireplace and flue at the north end. The west (rear) of the building was an unbroken wall without windows or doors and lacked a porch or overhang. Sifford states that the large pipe that served as the fireplace flue was part of a mining flume from the Dutch Hill mine at Seneca (Sifford Manuscript: 6a.). The south porch contained a bench and wash basins for family and guests to wash up before meals.
In 1912 the Siffords formed the Drakes Spring Company and used the funds obtained from investors to begin a number of improvements that included the construction of a kitchen and dining room, a barn, the rock and cement pool, 20 wooden tent platforms, and completion of the bridge over Warner Creek.
Did You Know?
The 29 mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted. Near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains. It is not unusual for 40 feet of snow to accumulate on the road near Lake Helen.