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Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Baver-Li-Lodge III
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During the flood of 1947, the Moses family watched Ophir Creek rise higher and higher inching toward the lodge house. They decided to move up to the highest cabin for the night. In the morning the lawn to the west of the Lodge had become a pond and the water was still flowing under the Clarkson Inn and the northwest corner of their barn. At that point they didn’t know the flood had washed out the nine miles and eleven bridges of old Highway 78, Squirrel Creek Road.

The 1947 flood closed the Squirrel Creek Road permanently. The same year Clifford Henderson Moses died at the age of 75.

Tena continued the business and the Baver-Li continued to attract visitors. Although Squirrel Creek Road had been the shortest way to Pueblo, it was still a nice loop to drive up through Rye and return to Pueblo through Wetmore—19 miles from Rye and 19 miles to Wetmore.

“The lodge dining room with its blazing fireplace is cozy and comfortable, but the biggest drawing card is Mrs. Moses herself, because she likes people and thoroughly enjoys her guests. One of her hobbies is the study of metaphysics—she enjoys guessing about people before learning about them. It is sort of a game with her to ‘size up’ people who come into the Lodge.”

The Baver-Li was open May 1st to October 1st. In the winters the family moved to Seattle so Chuck could attend school. An early October storm caught the family one year. The car had been packed and all the perishable food eaten when the snow began to fall. By the next morning they couldn’t get out and by the second day “six feet of snow sat on the level.” It took three weeks for a plow to reach them from San Isabel. There were canned goods, mostly fruit, in the cellar and only water for the cereal. Ruth dug out a path to the road while they waited. She and her mother waved frantically at a snow cat that passed by one day, but it didn’t stop. The two women cried from relief when they were finally plowed out.

When Chuck was in the 8th Grade, they stayed in Fairview and he went to school in Beulah. The priests from the Abbey Summer Camp often stopped in for a meal at the Baver-Li-Lodge and encouraged Chuck to attend school with them at the Abbey in Canon City. Eventually it was just assumed he would attend there and he did; graduating after spending his junior year at Rye High School.

In a 1967, Tena completed the 40th Baver-Li Lodge season. She admitted to still creating music, if only “running arpeggios on the piano at the lodge ‘to keep my fingers limber enough to mix the bread.’” She believed “primitive places are fast disappearing from the American scene, and many people still like to get away and enjoy the country and home-cooked food. The Baver-Li cabins are not modern—but each has a homey fireplace, which furnishes heat.” According to Chuck customers began to expect more modern facilities than the bath house and outhouses—the woman’s a six-holer and the men’s a four.

Tena Moses died in 1971 at the age of 87. Chuck, his mother, Ruth, and his wife, Susan, continued to live on the property and operate the restaurant for a few years. Chuck opened Greenhorn Electric and they closed the restaurant. A collector, he built a large garage in 1989 to store his purchased ‘treasures’ and has renovated the original Lodge into a lovely home.

Sources: interviews with Chuck Steigerwalt and Dick Bigelow; Pueblo Star Journal December 3, 1967 article by Grace Lowe provided by John E. Korber


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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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