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Last time we visited we were enjoying the experiences of a young writer as she shared her thoughts of a new lodge built in the Snowy Range of south central Carbon County. Following a day of exploring in the summer of 1917, Edna Paulson wrote the following in “The Saratoga Sun:”

“I returned to our camp quite enthused over Medicine Bow Lodge.

“That evening as we sat around the camp fire relating our experiences of the day, a light was suddenly flashed upon us, and looking up the road we beheld a Ford ‘rambling right along.’ That was only the beginning of many huge cars that followed. At least 50 cars must have flashed their lights on our camp that evening. We knew they were going to Medicine Bow Lodge and to the Lodge we went.

“The large living room was turned into a ballroom, musicians from the valley caused the feet of the guests to trip lightly to the music, and as I watched the gay scene from a window my imagination soon caused me to see, instead of gay dancers, a band of Indian braves dancing their war dance by the banks of Barrett at the base of the ridge, and the soothsayer came forward and, throwing his hands toward heaven, told of his vision, saying, ‘And monsters with fire eyes shall come, bringing men on their backs. The monsters will run like the wind and all the time growl savagely. Why they come I do not know. Perhaps they come to kill the deer, the elk and the antelope or perhaps they will build lodges here and drive use out.’

“Looking up the driveway, I saw a monster with fire eyes approaching and realized the soothsayer’s vision had come true – that the white men had killed their game and had now taken possession of the forest in the shape of Medicine Bow Lodge.”

In addition to this feature story, the hometown weekly newspaper noted on the front page:

Big Crowd Attends Opening of Lodge. Like Old-Fashioned ‘House-Warming’ was Opening Night at Medicine Bow Lodge.

“About 175 people from various parts of the country attended the opening dance at Medicine Bow Lodge last Saturday evening, and all enjoyed to the full the opportunity to make merry in the bracing mountain atmosphere of an altitude of 8,000 feet as the guests of Sisson and Moore, proprietors of the Lodge. The opening was most successful, and although the camp is not yet entirely completed, the big crowd was taken care of by the matron, Miss Jessie S. Moore, without any apparent inconvenience.

“The fun lasted throughout the night, the majority of the cars leaving the lodge after the coming of daylight. Some of the guests, so well pleased were they with the treatment accorded, even stayed for breakfast.

“All the visitors to the camp were agreed that it is most beautifully situated for the enjoyment of summer life in the mountains, and it will no doubt be largely patronized by tourist and vacationists. But a short time will now be required to put the finishing touches on the buildings and grounds and to install the furnishings, after which the lodge will be in full running order.”

Years ago when most elections were civil and constructive the “Wyoming Observer,” which proclaimed to be “Independent in Everything,” published the following editorial in its May 7, 1908 edition:

One of the most gratifying features of the city election in Saratoga this year is the total absence of political names and political prejudice. The citizens have all caught the fever of progress. They have come to a full realization of the needs of our town. The past year has brought many new people and made many changes toward the future. The coming year, we shall see more people and greater advancement in every line of industry.

This means much to every citizen. It means that the city needs, more than ever in its history, a mayor and a set of aldermen who are thorough and successful businessmen; a mayor who is thoroughly acquainted with every resource the city and valley is endowed with; who can meet and interest the pleasure seeker, the home seeker, the investor, the businessman and the invalid; one who has the whole people and every enterprise in our city at heart; one who has ‘advance, build, beautify and prosperity for everybody alike,’ as his motto.

There is always a turning point in every life, so with every town. The turning point for Saratoga has come. We believe every citizen in our borders will stop and think. The future stands before us as an open book. In it we can see the results of sound judgment and business foresight. The people will see and heed the demand of the times – unity, strength and progress – the all-important requirements for our success as a city. For a greater Saratoga first – all political and personal matters, let us forget.

We believe that the ticket known as the People’s Ticket, headed with Gustave Jensen as Mayor; J.F. Si___ and W.G. Forney as councilmen, represents all we have said. We further believe that it will appeal to the good judgment of a large percent of our progressive citizens.

Two other articles in the same issue note:

Fremont County Republicans were instructed to cast ballots for a third term for Roosevelt, with Taft as second choice. This was for the county convention. The endorsement of the convention was tendered to our national representatives in the U.S. Senate and in the House of Representatives.

Continued resignations from the board of University trustees are going in to Gov. Brooks. He continues to make appointments, but the honors are refused. Strange that three members of the board don’t see the dusky individual in the wood pile.


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.

Within Next Few Years

the Saratoga Hot Springs

will be Recognized

as One of Greatest

Health Resorts in U.S.

—————

Arrangements Being Considered

for Construction of Large Hotel

—————

On the last day of the session, House Bill No. 225 introduced by Hon. Harry Hunter, providing for the purchase of the Saratoga Hot Springs by the State of Wyoming, passed the House by a unanimous vote and was sent to the Senate. The bill passed the Senate by a favorable vote of 16 out of 19 votes.

It is the plan of the administration to see that these springs are fully developed by leasing land for cottages and for hotels. Several prominent men have signified their intention of forming a corporation for the purpose of erecting a mammoth hotel and plunge at these springs. The Union Pacific railroad has promised that on all literature distributed by that
corporation the Saratoga Hot Springs will be strongly advertised.

The Saratoga Hot Springs will be developed and will be advertised as the only resort of the kind on the Lincoln Highway and the Union Pacific between Ogden and Omaha.

The entire Carbon County delegation deserves credit for the favorable consideration given this measure, but to Hon. H. A. Hunter belongs the greatest credit.

Mr. Hunter introduced this bill and from the very first was an active worker for it. It was solely due to the high regard and respect in which Mr. Hunter was held in the House that the measure passed that body-without a dissenting vote. It has been seldom that a measure such as this one has received a unanimous vote. The people of the Platte Valley owe to Mr. Hunter a debt of gratitude, which they can never repay.

Above were the headlines and an article in the Feb. 24, 1921, issue of the “Rawlins Republican.” Passage of the bill at the 1921 Wyoming Legislature established the Saratoga State Park, which, in later years, paved the way for the Saratoga Inn, Hobo Pool and Veteran’s Island ... but, then that’s another story to be told as we soak in the famous mineral hot springs.


As hunting season approaches, this writer’s neck begins to swell, he is pawing the ground and is under a permanent restraining order to prevent him from sniffing the air. He also remembers great hunts of past years when he did a lot of bragging about the quality and quantity of big game in south-central Carbon County Wyoming surrounding Saratoga and Encampment. 

An article in the hometown newspaper in 1968 notes:

“When you want trophy mule deer, bear or pronghorn antelope, the upper North Platte Valley is evidently the place to hunt.

“Anyway that seems to be the conclusion a reader would draw from the results of the second annual big game records program competition conducted recently by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“In the mule deer non-typical antlers class, the only two racks to qualify for the record book were harvested in the valley. First went to a set of horns taken by the late Sam Whitney in 1946 near Encampment, and the other was antlers entered by Alfred Hoffman of Mankato, Minn. The Minnesota man harvested his big buck near Saratoga Oct. 6, 1967.

“In the typical antlers category for mule deer, a buck killed on Blackhall Mountain by Richard L. Coose of Encampment placed fourth and a rack taken near here by Burton C. Bliss of Anchorage, Alaska was eighth.

“Big antelope were also harvested in this area. Bob Herbison of Cheyenne entered the fifth largest buck in the contest. The animal was shot north of Saratoga in 1955. The 11th place buck was harvested by Doyle Thompson in Sage Creek Basin Oct. 2, 1967.

“Last season was a record year for bear hunters in this area. The top four skulls entered in the contest came from the surrounding mountains. Don Nichols of Cheyenne killed the biggest bear on Kennaday Peak Oct. 14, 1967. The second place entry was harvested by William D. Behrends of Laramie near Crater Lake Oct. 12, 1967. Linda Serdiuk of Torrington bagged the third biggest bear on Kennaday Peak Oct. 14, 1967, and Joey Pirrung of Mesquite, Tex., shot the fourth place entry June 14, 1967 in the Encampment area.

“A total of 56 big game trophies scored high enough to be eligible for entry in the Boone and Crockett Club’s Record Book of North American Big Game. All of those listed above are now entered in the record book.

“Other valley hunters also made the record book with animals taken outside of the valley. They were Kenneth Swanson who bagged a big antelope south of Wamsutter and Paul Herring of Encampment who harvested a record mule deer Nov. 10 near Kemmerer.”