The First Lodge at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

1887--Edward Drake's first cabin in Hot Spring Valley

     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).

1900 -1920

 1902--Drake's "New Log Cabin" showing south end of the lodge

   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.

Annie K. Bidwell (in hat) on porch. She visited in 1901 and 1904                         Lodge in 1907   

     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.  

1907  The Leichters                                                                                    Lodge n.d. 

1910--Standing on porch L-R  Ida May, Pearl, and Roy.  Alex at far right
(Photograph courtesy of Susan Watson)

     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.

1913 Camping permit                                                                   1904 Glen French in his tent

     In 1914 the first telephone line was run from Chester to Drakesbad. On May 14, 1914, the Mount Lassen volcano came to life in the first of a series of eruptions. Two years later in 1916 Lassen Volcanic National Park was created.


1923-- The lodge and guest tents

1924--Guests on the front porch on the east side of the lodge

1925--Ida May Sifford on the south porch of the lodge

1926--Front of the lodge
(Photograph courtesy of Susan Watson)

1927--Snow pile at the rear (west side) of the lodge

1928 Campfire on the lawn in front of the lodge


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